by Author thumbnail imageEmily Shaw on

How to create a fillable PDF form template using only free tools

Thanks to a number of online tools, it's quite simple to build a professional-looking fillable PDF form for free. In this article, we'll cover the process of finding a form template using Canva (a browser-based design tool), and converting it into a fillable PDF form using DocFly.

This article is inspired by a YouTube video by Aurelius Tjin showing users how to create a fillable PDF form using Canva and DocFly, thanks for the video Aurelius! For your reference, we have included the edited PDF form at the bottom of this page. The original form template (without the added fields) may be available using Canva by following the instructions below.

 

Finding and downloading a form template from Canva

After creating a free account, please log into Canva, and search for a design as indicated in the image below. In this guide, we'll be searching for A4 document-based templates. Other sizes such as US Letter are also available. As Canva is a design tool that goes far beyond form templates, all kinds of design templates are available such as presentations, videos, and social media posts. You can also create a template entirely from scratch by using the whiteboard option.

 

Choosing A4 document templates

Canva A4 document

 

After selecting the A4 document format, one can search for templates by keyword. In this case, we searched for "Order form" as indicated in the image below and found a number of free templates available for download.* Finally, we downloaded the indicated order form by clicking on "Share" and then "Download", also shown below.

Please make sure to download the template either as a PDF file or as an image file. Image files, such as JPG or PNG files, can be converted using DocFly's online converter.

 

Choosing and downloading a template

Canva choose download template

 

After downloading your selected template, we can now easily add fillable PDF fields using DocFly.

 

Making your template a fillable PDF form using DocFly

After uploading your template to DocFly, you should see your form inside the application. Simply click on the file name or use the dropdown and then "Edit" in order to launch the editor. This is shown below:

 

Opening the DocFly PDF Editor

DocFly edit file

 

Once you are inside the editor, it's time to add the fillable fields. Click on the "Form Creator" tab at the top of the page. You can add a wide range of fields as shown in the image below.

More importantly, you can also arrange the fields so that they appear on the page exactly where you want them to appear. In the GIF below, the user is able to right-align the second fillable field with the one directly above it. One can also use the tool to match the height or width of another field. Note that the reference field (used to determine the alignment or width/height) is highlighted in dark blue while the other field is highlighted in light blue.

 

Aligning form fields using the editor

Align form field

 

Beyond adding a text field as shown above, we added in a date field, some checkboxes, as well as a paragraph field. Thanks to DocFly's varied form tools, we were able to turn a static PDF into a fillable form with ease - pretty neat!

After adding in the necessary fields, please save the final version of your completed form. Now you can download it, email it, or export it to Google Drive or Dropbox. This is also shown below.

 

Exporting the edited PDF form

Export PDF

 

And that's it! You've now taken a professionally designed form, which was originally an image and turned it into a fillable PDF, all at no cost! And you can also now share it as you wish! For your reference, the fillable form is attached below.

Download your free order form template

*Note that at the time of this article's publication, Canva had both free and paid templates.