[Athen] Creating Accessible PDF Forms in Word

chagnon at pubcom.com chagnon at pubcom.com
Mon Sep 17 14:10:03 PDT 2018

No, Word’s form fields are not exported when a PDF is made. They are strictly for use while the document is still in the Word dot-docx format.

If you want a PDF with form fields, then you can:

1. Make the form “skeleton” in Word. That is, just the visible printable portions like instructions, headings, and labels.
2. Export to PDF.
3. Add the form fields in Acrobat Pro.

Teaching a PDF Forms class right now and that is exactly what we’ve done for today’s learning lesson.

And FYI, if you have complex forms, I highly encourage using InDesign for it. You can make some complex, gorgeous forms and have them nearly complete and accessible when they’re exported to PDF.

Will have a short session on this at the AHG conference in November. Rob Haverty from Adobe will do a similar session on PDF forms from Word.


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Bevi Chagnon, founder/CEO | <mailto:Bevi at PubCom.com> Bevi at PubCom.com

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Upcoming classes at <http://www.pubcom.com/classes> www.PubCom.com/classes

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From: athen-list <athen-list-bounces at mailman12.u.washington.edu> On Behalf Of Robert Spangler
Sent: Monday, September 17, 2018 4:44 PM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network <athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Subject: [Athen] Creating Accessible PDF Forms in Word


I am able to create forms with fields and other controls by using the developer tab, which I had to enable in Word options. I am able to create these forms then use the restrict editing feature to make them fillable only. When I go to save as PDF, however, the fields are not retained. Is it possible to create fillable PDF forms in Word and, if so, could someone please explain? I understand that Adobe Pro could also be used to do this but if we can do it from Word this would be better. Thanks!


Robert Spangler
Disability Services Technical Support Specialist
rspangler1 at udayton.edu <mailto:rspangler1 at udayton.edu>
Office of Learning Resources (OLR) - RL 023
Ryan C. Harris Learning & Teaching Center (LTC)
University of Dayton | 300 College Park | Dayton, Ohio 45469-1302
Phone: 937-229-2066

Fax: 937-229-3270

Ohio Relay: 711 (available for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing)

Web Site: http://go.udayton.edu/learning

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