Tips for completing PDF forms

This page contains information that might help you when encountering software-related or other technical problems with filling out  form files in the Portable Document Format (PDF). While the PDF is widely used for document exchange between different types of application software, hardware and operating systems, there is still a variety of standards and related software solutions for its implementation. As a consequence, the way you interact with our PDF forms provided on this site depends on the software you are using.

If you have a routine for dealing with PDF forms, we encourage you to keep to your system. If you are uncertain how to complete such forms or encountering difficulties, we have the following suggestions how to reach a satisfactory result. Please note that these hints subjectively reflect what we know to work and do not render a fair survey of the vast number of existing PDF applications.

Adobe Acrobat/Reader, Master PDF Editor and PDF Xchange Editor

Our forms are enhanced with JavaScript code. As a consequence, you will benefit from a more intuitive user experience if you use software that does interpret this type of code, including restrictions on data input, automated field input and email export at the touch of a button. Examples for such software are the commercial applications Adobe Reader (a.k.a. Adobe Acrobat Reader), Master PDF Editor and PDF-XChange Editor, which you can download free of charge for selected operating systems.

Please note that you cannot save completed forms with the Adobe Reader. Instead you will have to go to the print dialog and activate the ‚Print to file‘ option. This will let you choose a destination to save a completed version of the PDF form. If you have purchased the software Adobe Acrobat, this will let you regularly save the completed form.

-> Download Acrobat Reader (for Macintosh, Windows and Android)
-> Download Master PDF Editor (for Linux, Macintosh and Windows)
-> Download PDF-XChange Editor (for Windows)

Chrome/Chromium web browser

If you are using the Chrome web browser or its open-source fork Chromium, you can fill in PDF forms with the standard viewer contained in the browser. Most of the JavaScript featuers will be supported, some not. Please note that, as with the Adobe Reader, your changes will not be saved when you download the file. Instead, open the print dialog and choose ’save as PDF‘ as target. This will let you choose a destination to save a completed version of the PDF form.

-> Download Chrome Browser (for Linux, Macintosh, Windows, Android, iOS)
Linux users can install the Chromium browser through their distributions‘ package repositories.

PDFescape

If you cannot or do not want to install special software on your computer and you do not use Chrome/Chromium, you can use the commercial web service PDFescape (small-scale use is free of charge). This will let you upload the form and complete it in your web browser. When you are done, click on the discette icon (‚Save Document‘) on the left hand side to save the completed form to your computer. JavaScript is not supported.

-> Go to PDFescape

Other PDF readers

There is a host of other application software for reading PDF files that also offer form completion, including open source projects. Macintosh users can also use the on-board document viewer. Find out for yourself which application suits you best.


If you have questions or problems concerning completing and submitting PDF forms, please contact Felix.Engel@uniklinik-freiburg.de.