Creating a Fillable PDF

Fillable PDFs are great for documents that need a specific formatting structure and the data is not going to vary in length.  They are really easy for people to read and fill out as well.  To create a fillable PDF, you'll need to use a PDF editing software program like Nitro Pro and Adobe.



In your PDF, you will define the different fields you want to use in your document. 

Make sure to use unique names for each field name. Do not use numbers on their own (eg '123') or include spaces, punctuation, special characters, or hyphens in the field names to ensure an easy integration process.




Checkboxes: Using checkboxes in your fillable PDF can be a little tricky, but once you understand the process, it is fairly straight forward.  Each checkbox in your PDF has an "On" value or an "Export" value.  When the value that you are passing to the PDF matches this "On" value, the checkbox will be checked.  For example, you have checkboxes for Gender (2 boxes - Male and Female), you will want to make the "On" value of the Male checkbox be "Male".

Please note:  the Export value for a checkbox is limited to 125 characters




Once you have the PDF created, simply upload it to Formstack Documents and we'll automatically detect the fields and take it from there! If you need to make any changes, simply make the changes in your PDF editor, then upload the updated version to Formstack Documents.

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  • Avatar
    Laura Quinn

    Hi Jeremy,

    We are trying to upload Fillable PDFs that are password protected, and I suspect they don't allow the permissions you've specified (Fill Form Fields, Document Assembly, Modify Document). However, we're not actually trying to assemble any data into it-- we're just trying to include it, blank, in a packet of PDFs that need to be filled out by the recipient. So we don't want to just make it an image, but we don't need to do anything other than save it and spit it out again in a Route. Is there way to do that? it's giving us an error on upload.

  • Avatar
    Jeremy Clarke

    Hi Laura,

    You could upload the file to Stash ( and then use that file URL in your data route. Once you upload the file to Stash, click on the file and then select the Share option to create a Share URL

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