Adobe Acrobat DC Create, Edit, Fill & Sign Forms, and Export PDFs


Adobe Acrobat DC is part of Adobe Creative Cloud licensing for staff. The Enterprise license for Adobe includes a full suite of over 20 applications for graphic design, video editing, web development, and Acrobat DC for editing PDFs. If you have not installed Adobe Acrobat DC see our Adobe Creative Cloud - All Apps Installation Guide.

NOTE: We do not have Document Cloud licensing which uses Adobe Sign.

Article Sections
Click the links below to take you to a particular topic, related articles can be found to the right of the screen.

Prepare, Add Fields, Fill & Sign Forms

Prepare/Add Fields to a Form

This Adobe page, Convert existing forms to fillable PDFs, contains instructions on how to access the Prepare Form option, insert form fields, and other functions necessary for creating a form.

Fill and Sign / Electronic Signatures

The signature tool is available in both Reader and Acrobat, so all users have the ability to sign your form, but they need to activate turning on the "Fill and Sign" feature.

Fill and Sign alleviates the need to create Form Fields

  • This Adobe page section on saving fillable forms is a nice, comprehensive set of instructions on how to fill in a PDF form.
    Notice the first thing it asks, "Is the Form Fillable?" and explains options for completing fillable forms and "flat" forms (this is Fill and Sign). *
  • This page is specific to using the Fill and Sign option
    Notice the section named SIGN OR INITIAL YOUR FORM.  Users can follow these instructions to use a mouse, stylus or their finger to sign or initial a document. *
Please ignore the instructions and screenshots related to "Request Signatures." Those features are included with a product called Adobe Sign that comes with the Adobe Document Suite, SVSU has licensed for the Creative Suite only, not Document Cloud.

Enable a PDF Form to Save User Responses

Allow users to fill in the fields of your form and save their data entered from within Adobe Reader. To enable your form with these features open Adobe Acrobat Pro DC select File > Save As Other  > Reader Extended PDF > Enable More Tools (includes Form Fill-in & Save) 

You need to reapply the steps above to enable Fill-in & Save on each form you'd like to be fillable.

Completing Fillable Forms for Users without Adobe Acrobat

  1. Download the Form: For the best experience, you need to download and save the form and use Adobe Reader to complete the form. 
  2. Download Adobe Reader if it is not installed. IMPORTANT NOTE: Uncheck the McAfee and Chrome extensions (they are checked by default).
  3. Open Adobe Reader: Fill out the form by directly typing in the field, then save your data. From the Adobe Reader menu click File > Save As and choose the location on your computer and click Save. 
  4. Send the completed form to the intended recipient via email OR using the Inbox in Canvas.
If the form opens in a web browser users need to download and save the file. Do not fill it out or print from the browser.

Combine Multiple PDFs into a Single PDF 

Take several PDFs and merge them into one PDF organize them by drag and drop, delete, or rotate the pages, crop, insert pages, and more.  

Create PDFs from text and image files 

Convert text or images into a PDF format by using the Create PDF tool inside of Adobe Acrobat. 

Save or Convert an Office file to PDF to Share or Print

Convert your Office file (i.e., Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and others) to PDF for preserving the format of your file when sharing or printing.  On the Microsoft Support article choose the type of device you are working on and choose the Office program from the drop-down menu.

Export a PDF to Word 

Open the PDF in Acrobat they use the Export PDF tool and choose Microsoft Word as your format.  

Export a PDF to Excel, or PowerPoint

Open the Office file application that you want to export in Acrobat DC then use the Export PDF tool

Reduce File Size and Optimize your PDFs 

Acrobat can compress the size of your PDF without comprising the quality of your content. 

Scan Documents and Images to PDF on your Mobile Device (Adobe Scan or Office Lens)

Learn how to make digital copies of documents or images with our recommended mobile apps, Adobe Scan and Office Lens.

Redacting Sensitive Information

Redact sensitive content that is visible in a pdf and use the Redact tool to hide it. View Adobe's support article "Removing sensitive content from PDFs."

Change your ​​​​redaction cursor to freely select content. Hold down the Ctrl key while marking the redacted area, it will allow you to select it freely, instead of being bound to the text on the page.

Recognize Text in a Scanned Document or Image

Convert scanned files, PDF files, and image files into editable and searchable documents with Optical Character Recognition (OCR)

  1. Open the scanned PDF.
  2. Choose Tools > Scan & OCR > Recognize Text > In This File.
  3. The Recognize Text options are displayed in the Secondary toolbar.
  4. In the Secondary toolbar, select a page range and language for text recognition.
  5. Optionally, click Settings to open the Recognize Text dialog box, and specify the options as needed.
  6. Click Recognize Text. Acrobat creates a layer of text in your PDF that can be searched — or copied and pasted into a new document.

Using File Explorer on Windows 10 to Open and a View PDF

View a PDF or other Files in Windows 10 without opening them.

  1. Click File Explorer (manila folder) in the Task bar (sits at the bottom of your screen where you launch applications from).
  2. A new window opens, in the top menu bar, click the View tab and then select Preview Pane (Panes group).
  3. Once enabled you will be able to see a preview of your PDF (right side of your screen). You can also preview other files like a Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or an image.

Open a PDF in Windows 10

Find or navigate to the PDF and double click to open the file.

Make Acrobat DC your default app for opening PDFs in Windows 10

If a PDF opens in another application, you may need to install Acrobat or set it as a default app for opening PDFs.

  1. Right click on a PDF, from the menu, click Open with…
  2. Select Choose another app.
  3. In the window that displays, select Adobe Acrobat DC (you may need to scroll the list of apps or click More apps).
  4. Check the empty box “Always use this app to open .pdf files.”
  5. Click, OK.

Don't have Adobe Acrobat DC?

Convert to PDF within the Office Suite

You can save any Microsoft office file (e.g., Word, Excel, PowerPoint) as a PDF directly within the application by clicking:

  • File > Export > Create PDF/XPS Document
  • File > Save as 
  • File > Save as Adobe PDF

Here are the Microsoft Support article links below for detailed instructions; when you open the page, simply click the Microsoft app in the drop-down menu.

Convert Documents and Images to PDF with Adobe Online Converter

Drag and drop a Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint file, or image file to convert to PDF on the web. You can only do this once.

When completed do not click Sign In. We do not have Document Cloud licensing. Simply click Download. The pdf will be downloaded to you computer, ready for you to use. See Limitations of Adobe Acrobat Online Services.

Training Resources from Adobe

Adobe Acrobat Learn & Support 
Acrobat DC Tutorials (Watch short tutorials and Use Practice Files) 
Acrobat User Guide (Step-by-step instructions) 


Article ID: 93719
Wed 12/4/19 9:59 AM
Mon 6/27/22 10:32 AM

Related Articles (3)

SVSU staff and faculty have access to Adobe Creative Cloud software suite through their login credentials. The Enterprise license for Adobe includes a full suite of over 20 applications for graphic design, video editing, web development, and Acrobat DC for editing PDFs. This guide covers how to install the Adobe Creative Cloud software suite.
This article covers how to sign in and out of Adobe Creative Cloud.
Turn your mobile device into a portable scanner. View our recommended mobile apps and view our scanning app comparison chart.