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A few weeks ago, Kori emailed me asking how to create an editable pdf file. If you’ve ever browsed the template files on Etsy, chances are you’ve come across files for sale that come as editable pdfs. This is cool because you can offer a design file to someone who doesn’t have the programs and they can still work with and edit them to some degree. This is also useful to know if you ever need to send a client any kind of form you’d like them to fill out and send back – same rules apply – which eliminates unnecessary printing steps for the client. In this tutorial, I’ll share how easy it really is to create your own editable pdf. We’ll take a design created in Illustrator and transform it into that editable pdf using Adobe Acrobat. If you don’t have Acrobat (it’s the professional version of Adobe Reader) you can try it out for free for 30 days here. Let’s get started!

How to Create an Editable PDF File


p.s. The template used in the example is part of the Perfect Aim Wedding Pack available on Gumroad and Creative Market.

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Every-Tuesday designer + founder. I help ambitious graphic designers and hand letterers level-up their skills and creativity.
Latest comments
  • Great tutorial, Teela! Quick Q – when I offer the editable file for purchase, the end user does not need Acrobat Pro just to edit fields, right? They can edit in Reader? Thanks!!

  • Teela,

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I was so excited to see this tutorial in my blog feed today. This is exactly what I was hoping for. I’ve been trying to figure this out for ages. I love your teaching style – so clear and so thorough. So glad I found your blog.

    Thanks again!
    Kori

  • love these!! ok – so I just watched your tutorial on how to make a greeting card. And I did it. however – I am confusing myself. I want to create a few that fold horizontally. The one in the video is for vertical. So I want the front to have writing and the inside bottom to have writing. however I am not sure how to do that. so far – with the layout I m doing even though I flipped the rectangles to match horizontally, the writing/artwork would print in the wrong places. and sending it to my printer – she’d be extremely confused as well I think. So the question is, how then would I modify it to make into a print-ready horizontal foldable card? I am not sure if you can help, but thought i’d ask! you’re the best! :] thanks for posting the best tuts!

      • Yah. You’re basically awesome. Thank you!!

  • Yet another top-notch tutorial!

  • Hi! I am finally getting around to converting my designs to editable pdfs so my business can be a little more hands off. However, I’m having some trouble. After adding the form area and then re-opening in preview, some of the lines of text shift up so they are only half visible. Have you ever dealt with that before?

  • Is there a way to embed the font, or do they need to download it? I’m nervous most “regular” peoples won’t know how to install a font. I have designed a few editable PDFs and left the form fields set to Arial or something ordinary. So blah… Would love to find a solution to embed a nice looking font!

  • Love this tutorial! Thank you!
    Is there a way to do this with images? For example, to make the personalized parts of an invitation editable (photo and wording), or is there another way to go about that so my clients can add their own pictures?

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