How to create a fillable PDF from Excel for free

Using Adobe Acrobat, you can create an interactive Portable Document Format (PDF) file. An interactive PDF is useful for electronic applications, forms or surveys that you can send to someone to fill out on their computer. There’s no need to print anything because it can all be done electronically. You can create your own interactive PDFs from scratch in Acrobat or adapt one from an existing document, such as a Word document or Excel spreadsheet.


Step 1

Open Adobe Acrobat on your computer. In the “Getting Started” window, click “Convert an Existing Document” to launch the “Create New Forms” wizard. Alternately, you can select “Create New Form” from the “File” menu or the “Forms” menu. In Acrobat 9, click “Forms” and select “Start Form Wizard.”


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Step 2

Select “An Existing Electronic Document.”

Step 3

Follow the on-screen instruction to upload the data from your spreadsheet file. The wizard will be slightly different depending on the version of Acrobat you are using. Make sure your spreadsheet is saved in a place where you can access it.


Step 4

Proceed through the instructions to create Acrobat form fields. If the wizard doesn’t prompt you, click the “Forms” menu and select “Edit Form in Acrobat.”


Step 5

Select a forms tool such as the “Select” tool in the Forms toolbar. Drag the cursor to create rectangular form field. A “Properties” dialog box will open for the form field, in which you can set up the form field behavior. Repeat this for each form field you need to create.

If you are looking for how to create a fillable PDF form from Excel, then you have come to the right place. Today, in this article, I’m going to tell you how to create a fillable PDF form from Excel. Basically, for survey purposes or to gather the information you may want to use a PDF form. Actually, if you want to use a printed copy for filling up that one manually like using a pen or pencil, then this article will help you the most.

Furthermore, for conducting the session, I will use Microsoft 365 version.

Table of Contents hide

Download Practice Workbook

2 Methods to Create a Fillable PDF from Excel

1. Manually Create a Fillable PDF Form Using Excel

📌 Step 1: Create a Fillable Form in Excel

📌 Step 2: Convert Excel File into PDF

2. Use of Excel Template to Create a Fillable PDF

💬 Things to Remember


Related Articles

Download Practice Workbook

You can download the practice workbook from here:

Fillable Form in Excel.xlsx

Creating Fillable Form.pdf

PDF of Form Template.pdf

2 Methods to Create a Fillable PDF from Excel

Here, I will demonstrate 2 suitable methods with detailed steps to create a fillable PDF form from Excel. Basically, I will show you both the manual process and the use of an Excel template to create a form in Excel and then convert them into a PDF file.

1. Manually Create a Fillable PDF Form Using Excel

Now, let’s see the manual process for creating a fillable form. Here, for your better understanding, I’m going to create a form to get the student information for an Institute.

📌 Step 1: Create a Fillable Form in Excel

In this section, I will create the form. So, follow the process given below.

  • Firstly, write down all the information that you want to keep in your form. Here, you must write the information by following an orientation. Moreover, you have to keep enough space to fill in the details with the writers.

Here, you may see the following image. Where I have tried to show you a pattern.

  • Now, select cells C5:J5.
  • Then, from the Home tab >> choose Merge & Center.
  • Then, select that title cell and from the Home tab >> go to Borders.
  • After that, choose Thick Outside Borders.

In the below, you can see how I have organized the title cell (Student Information) of the form.

  • Similarly, choose the Thick Outside Borders for the other cell values.
  • Then, compress the gap between the two cells by changing the row’s height and column’s width.
  • After that, from the Insert tab >> go to Shapes >> then select Rectangles.
  • Subsequently, you will see a cursor point. So, move that cursor, and where you need a box, set the rectangle there.
  • Then, click on the Shape.

As a result, you will see a new contextual design tab named Shape Format. With the help of this Shape Format tab, you can change the shape color.

Finally, I have created the form in Excel.

Now, I will add some colors to the form to look good.

  • So, select those cells where you want to add color.
  • Then, from the Home tab >> go to Fill Color.
  • Then, choose your preferable color. Here, try to select a light color otherwise you may not get the filled information.

Lastly, your form is ready to convert into a PDF.

Read More: How to Make a Fillable Form in Excel (5 Suitable Examples)

📌 Step 2: Convert Excel File into PDF

In this section, I will convert the Excel file into a PDF file. Let’s see the steps.

  • Firstly, go to the File tab.

At this time, a new window will appear.

  • Then, go to the Save As option.
  • Now, from the drop-down arrow >> choose PDF (*.pdf) extension.
  • Then, click on the Save button.

Lastly, you will see your fillable PDF form.

Moreover, you can fill the form without any printed copy. To do so, you have to use any PDF editor. However, you can edit that form in Foxit PDF Reader too.

  • Here, from the Home tab >> click on Typewriter.
  • After that, click on the spaces where you want to insert information.

Below, I have attached the edited PDF. Here, I have inserted a Student ID. The A+ denotes the Font Size increment, and A- denotes the Font Size decrement.

Read More: How to Create Data Entry Form in Excel (Step by Step)

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2. Use of Excel Template to Create a Fillable PDF

The most interesting part is that Excel has its own templates with which you can make your preferable fillable form. Moreover, those templates are so handy to edit. So, you can easily convert them into your own needed form. Now, let’s talk about how you will get the template.

  • Firstly, open an Excel workbook.
  • Secondly, go to the File tab from the top ribbon.
  • Thirdly, from the New menu >> choose More templates.

At this time, you will find an option named Search for online templates.

  • Then, write “form” in that search box.

As a result, you will find a lot of templates related to fillable forms.

  • Now, choose a form that will be nearly close to your target one. Here, you also may find your target form as an Excel template too. As I wanted to make a form for student information, so I have chosen the Sports team roster as my form.
  • Then, press the Create button.

Following, I have attached that template.

Below, I have attached my own format. As you can see, all those cells were editable so, I have converted that Team roster form to student information.

  • Then, follow Step-2 of the previous method and convert your Excel file to PDF file.

Lastly, you will be able to see your fillable PDF form.

Read More: How to Design Employee Details Form in Excel (Free Template)

💬 Things to Remember

  • Here, the manual process is totally up to you. You can create your own form according to your choice. But you must keep space for the writers to fill that form.
  • Furthermore, for the Excel templates, you must use the internet.


I hope you found this article helpful. Here, I have explained 2 suitable methods to create a Fillable PDF from Excel. You can visit our website Exceldemy to learn more Excel-related content. Please, drop comments, suggestions, or queries if you have any in the comment section below.

How do I convert an Excel file to a fillable PDF?

How to create fillable PDF files:.

Open Acrobat: Click on the “Tools” tab and select “Prepare Form.”.

Select a file or scan a document: Acrobat will automatically analyze your document and add form fields..

Add new form fields: Use the top toolbar and adjust the layout using tools in the right pane..

Save your fillable PDF:.

Is there a free way to create a fillable PDF?

Top 5 Free PDF Fillable Form Creator.

PDFEescape. PDFescape is an online form creator free that allows users to create PDF forms for free. … .

JotForm. JotForm is another online form creator for free that makes it easy for you to create fillable PDF forms for free. … .

DocHub. … .

Platoforms. … .


How do I turn an Excel spreadsheet into a fillable form?

Make an Excel form..

Select the Developer tab in the top menu..

Under Control, select Insert and choose the form element you need..

Place the element on the spreadsheet..

Right-click the element and select Format Controls to change its settings..

How do I create a fillable PDF without Acrobat for free?

Create a Fillable PDF Form Without Adobe.

Open Nitro PDF Pro..

Click File and Open your document..

Navigate to the Forms tab in the toolbar..

Select the Text Field..

Drag and drop to where you want the text field to go..

To customize the field, right click and select Properties..

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