Tools for Creating Acrobat Forms

by Mark Gavin

Otherwise known as AcroForms; Acrobat form technology was first introduced in PDF version 1.2; and, has been around for more then ten years.  In addition to Adobe Acrobat; there are third parties which have released products to create Acrobat forms.

Following is a list of tools to create AcroForms:

The Acrobat Professional package includes tools to create documents using two different forms technology; Acroforms using the form tools under Acrobat; and XFA using Adobe Form Designer.  Note: XFA is an XML based forms technology which in incompatible with AcroForms.

PDF Converter Professional includes a standard set of form layout tools very similar to Acrobat.  Nuance has built an excellent tool for automatically laying out form fields on scanned forms.  The software can look at a scanned image of a form, locate and place the form fields automatically; and, assign reasonable names to the newly created form fields.  I was suprised with how well the automatic layout tool worked.

FoxIt Software has recently created a plug-in to their FoxIt Reader product with a set of form layout tools similar to Acrobat.

OneForm Designer Plus is the professional forms layout tool used by the IRS to create the US tax forms.