[HOWTO] Fill and Sign PDF Forms Digitally
I recently made an appointment with a new doctor. At the end of our conversation, the appointment-setter suggested that I download the “new patient forms” from the office website and fill them out before I arrived. I’m sure you've had similar conversations. Here's an easy (and free) way to fill out those forms, without using a pen or paper...
Add Fillable Fields to Any PDF Document
I downloaded all six forms, which were in PDF format. I know that PDF forms can be enhanced with “fillable fields” -- boxes in which you can type text, place checkmarks, or add a signature, right on your monitor without having to print the forms and use a pencil or pen.
I also know that very few creators of PDF “new patient” forms enhance them with fillable fields. The point is to save the medical practice’s paper, not to spare the patient any tedium. Patients get to download forms, print them at their own expense, and fill them in manually.
For many years, I have longed for a free app that would let me add fillable fields to forms. But so valuable is this feature to the business world that it has been impossible to find any software developer who was giving it away for free, even for “non-commercial personal use.” But recently, I ran across DocHub, which answered my prayers and some I hadn’t yet prayed.
DocHub provides a formidable array of document management services to enterprises. If you need to assemble a 500-page contract that bears the signatures and initials of several dozen co-workers, and be dead certain that no signature is missing, DocHub can save your day. But it's also a great solution for someone who just wants to fill out, sign, and deliver a single document.
DocHub saves users’ forms in its cloud servers, and that is the key to the company’s free offer. Paying customers’ documents are stored indefinitely; those of non-paying users are erased after 24 hours. That’s a good trade-off for me; I’m going to fill out these “new patient” forms, print them just once (maybe), hand them to someone at the doctor’s office, and promptly forget them. I don’t need 23 of the 24 hours that DocHub gives me. If they'll accept them by email, I won't even need to waste a sheet of paper.
Here's How it Works
To make fillable fields on a PDF form, you must first upload it to your free DocHub folder. Click the green button labelled "New" to upload your PDF file. Then you can use the “text field” tool to draw fillable fields on the form wherever you need them. But first, you must find the text field tool. DocHub makes that a bit tricky.
With a form open, you will see a row of icons on a menu bar above the form. Their text labels appear only when your cursor hovers over an icon. The second icon from the left end of the menu bar is labeled “Manage Fields.” Click on that icon and a vertical column of new icons appears along the left edge of the window. The “text fields” icon is the third one down from the top. Now your cursor is armed with a text field that you can drop and resize anywhere on the form.
I find DocHub’s text field painting tool to be much easier to use than the similar tool in Adobe Acrobat Reader. DocHub provides grid lines that help position fields accurately. The text box is highlighted in a contrasting color so you can easily see how big it is. The full gamut of text tools is available, from font selection to font size to alignment within the box and styes such as bold, underline, etc,
Beneath DocHub’s text field tool icon are other tool icons. The checkbox and signature tools are probably of most use to us casual form managers.
Please Sign Here...
There are several ways to create a legally valid signature in DocHub. You can scribble a signature on your smartphone’s screen; upload a scanned signature from your computer; draw (or scrawl) a signature with mouse and cursor; or type your name and choose from several signature style fonts. All of these methods create a signature that is legally binding when it is inserted into a document. You can save multiple versions of your signature, but only for a day.
If you prefer not to use paper at all, you can send your completed PDF by email. Click the icon at the top-right of the DocHub screen, and select the Send option there. You can also use the "Download / Export" option on that dropdown to save a copy of the modified PDF to your computer.
It would be nice if the creators of forms made all their fields fillable. But few do so, especially in the medical profession. Tools like DocHub help you create neatly completed forms and even sign them without searching for a pen.
Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 1 Jun 2018
|For Fun: Buy Bob a Snickers.|
The Top Twenty
Avira Free or Paid - How About Neither?
There's more reader feedback... See all 24 comments for this article.
Post your Comments, Questions or Suggestions
Free Tech Support -- Ask Bob Rankin
Subscribe to AskBobRankin Updates: Free Newsletter
Copyright © 2005
- Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved
Article information: AskBobRankin -- [HOWTO] Fill and Sign PDF Forms Digitally (Posted: 1 Jun 2018)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved