What if you could quickly add text boxes, check-boxes, photos, and signatures to any PDF? What if you could do this on your iPad? Well now you can with Form Tools PDF available in the App Store. This is really cool, for $4.99 you can make any PDF writable. From email, Dropbox, or whatever app you have a PDF stored you can open to Form Tool, and then tap on the tools icon in the lower right corner to toggle between Edit Form and Quick Fill Form. In Edit Form holding your finger anywhere on the form will open a Create New info box, tap on it and you will see text box, check box, and photo box. Taping on one of these will open a tool allowing you to place, size, edit, lock, or discard your chosen box.  The text box can be formatted for plain text, a dropdown box, email address, or date/time.  You can edit the keyboard so when you tap on the text box it opens to a text, numeric, email, or web address keyboard. Try this, name the text box then turn on autofill others, make a couple more text boxes and give them the same name as the first box. Now when you fill in the first box the others with the same name are filled in automatically. The check box allows you to put an “X” where you have check boxes on the form and the dropdown box allows you to make a list of words that can be used. As you add boxes to your PFD toggle back to Quick Fill Form to test your work, you can toggle back and forth at any time.

How would you use this for business? Download the PDFs you want to use into Form Tools and make them into templates which you will save to your iPad or cloud service. Now when you are with a client they can fill out the form right there on your iPad. The form can be emailed to them or printed.

Now for the one downside, you can email the forms you have made using Form Tools as PDFs but unless the computer they are sent to is using Form Tools the writable boxes will not work. A form that has been filled out will email and print but the text boxes are no longer writeable. I have searched for a desktop version of Form Tools but so far no luck. I would not let this stop me from using the app as I think it has a lot of potential.


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Denny Naugle Operations Manager with ERA American Realty of Northwest Florida

Denny Naugle, Operations Manager