Designing Interactive PDF Forms From Scratch


In our last Blog article, we covered how to create an interactive form using an already designed non-interactive one.

But suppose you want to create a brand new form from a blank page. And you want it to be an interactive form that users can fill out onscreen. And you want to go on a vacation to a tropical paradise. Well, Foxit PhantomPDF 6 can help you with the first two of these desires.

How To Create Forms From Scratch

You can refer to your PhantomPDF User Manual for full details, of course, but the gist of form creation is simply this.

  • Create a blank PDF from FILE > Create > Blank.
  • Open the blank page with Foxit PhantomPDF, and then add form fields.
  • Add text before or after the form fields by choosing or the Typewriter Tool (see Chapter 7).

Also, PhantomPDF 6 offers a group of tools called Foxit Form Designer that you can use to create interactive forms from the ground up quickly and easily.

Foxit Form Designer Makes Creating Interactive PDF Forms a Snap

With Foxit Form Designer, you can add almost anything you can think of that an interactive form could need, using the following tools:

  • Push Button creates an interactive form element to initiate predefined actions, such as opening a file, submitting data to a web server, or resetting a form. You can customize this button with images and text.
  • Radio Button presents a group of choices from which the person completing your form can select only one.
  • Check Box presents yes-or-no choices for individual items. If the form contains multiple check boxes, form fillers can select what they want.
  • Combo Box lets the form filler choose an item from a pop-up menu or type in a value.
  • List Box displays a list of options the form filler can select.
  • Text Field lets the form filler type in text, such as name, address, phone number, etc.
  • Signature Field creates a blank digital signature field for reviewers to sign the document.

Chapter 8 in your user manual devotes the bulk of its contents to explaining how to create interactive forms. And you can get pretty fancy, down to using the built-in JavaScript tools to handle number strings, email the completed form to you, even insert the current date or hide certain text fields until the form is printed.

What’s more, interactive forms mean you can capture data more easily. With PhantomPDF Business and JavaScript, you can pull data from your interactive forms into your database. That means less manual data entry, which reduces time, cost and errors.

Come to think of it, with all the timesaving possibilities this offers you, maybe we can help you get closer to that tropical vacation after all.

13 thoughts on “Designing Interactive PDF Forms From Scratch

  1. Nancy

    Hi – I have created my fillable form by going to Form / Run Form Field Recognition. However, I have one text form that I need to be able to adjust so if a person is writing in it and it is a long text, I need it to expand automatically, how do you do that please

  2. Chris Klinger

    Hello, I have a document and I am trying to make the text from one text field move into another when the border of one text field is reached. This is a document where there are multiple lines to fill out a response and those vary in length due to the first line being slightly shorter so creating a standard multi-line text box will not work since those are boxes. What is the best way to do this. I tried the link and join function and it does not allow me to click on the two text fields I created to join them. Thanks!


    I have an interactive form that has been created. I am needing to move text down along with it’s text box. I am able to adjust the text however the interactive box remains. Previously I was able to highlight these interactive text box in another program to move them down (Adobe) however I had to update my computer and no longer have this available to use. Is there a way in Foxit phantom I do something similar without deleting and starting all over?

    1. Laura Silva

      Hi Crystal, You need to click on the dropdown en the dropdown menu under “File”, choose “Select” and ‘Select Annotation’.
      Once you choose that tool, the form fields will be outlined in black and you will be able to drag the form field to another part of the document. Hope this helps!

    1. Laura Silva

      No, you need to expand it. When you create a form field button, you can expand or contract the button’s layout.

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