[Athen] Laying out PDF forms in Word without Tables

Karlen Communications info at karlencommunications.com
Mon Oct 7 11:02:44 PDT 2019

If the form is to be filled out as a PDF form, I'd use columns, remove the
underline as they will get tangled in the content and may show up in an
accessibility check as needing Alt text or being incorrectly in a <Span>
Tag, remove the images of check boxes as you will need to match the size
with real check boxes and again, they may come into the PDF as images
needing Alt Text. The one table I'd keep is the one with the check boxes in

This would allow you to have headings for the different sections and, for
the areas requiring signatures, use the ability in Acrobat to add a thin
black outline to the form control which then will show up if the form is
printed without having the underline get in the way.

Can I use this in my class with a before and after look? I'm always looking
for forms that I can talk design about for my students.

That was the financial form.

The second form has things called rectangle 5, grouped object but I don't
see anything.

There is also a Text Box 29.yikes! 29 text boxes? This is in the second

The second document can be done the same way once all the text boxes,
grouped objects and rectangles are removed.

Can I use this one too!?

Cheers, Karen.

From: athen-list <athen-list-bounces at mailman12.u.washington.edu> On Behalf
Of Joseph Sherman
Sent: Monday, October 7, 2019 12:51 PM
To: 'Access Technology Higher Education Network'
<athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Subject: [Athen] Laying out PDF forms in Word without Tables

Hi all. I am looking for a way to lay out Forms in Word without using
tables. We have hundreds of PDF Forms that are all laid out using tables,
like the attached. I know that using tables for layout is bad practice, but
I am having a hard time finding another way to lay out forms in Word that
looks as nice in PDF. Using InDesign is not an option. I have made an
attempt to duplicate the layout without Tables in the second attached file,
but it does not look as nice or clean.

How do you lay out complex Forms without using tables?



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