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Legal Assistants & Paralegals: Turning a Word doc into a Fillable PDF

Paralegals, legal secretaries and others in administrative positions in the legal field deal with many different types of documents.

As a court reporter and owner of a court reporting firm, my staff and I certainly have to deal with our fair share of documents.

Filling out documents and forms sure can be time consuming!

Receiving a Word document that requires multiple blank lines to be filled in can be extremely time consuming.
It is a waste of time to have to print it out, handwrite in the information, scan the document, name it, save it somewhere, and then send it back to the sender.

Looking for a solution, I found the following steps that allows us to reformat a Word document to a fillable PDF and thought it might be helpful if I shared this with you. These steps involve using Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat.

1.  Open the Word document.
2.  Go to “FILE” and then choose “Save as Adobe PDF”. If you do not see this option, choose “PRINT.”  Make sure the printer selected is “ADOBE PDF.”  Click print.
3.  Word will ask you where to save the file.  Choose your desktop or where you want to find the file.
4.  Your computer will create a PDF file, and it will open automatically in Adobe Acrobat editing.
5.  At this point your document is a basic PDF.  Click on “TOOLS.”  Then click “FORMS.”  Then click “CREATE.”
6.  Acrobat will ask which document. Choose “Use an existing file.”  Click “NEXT.”
7.  On the next screen choose “Use the current document.”
8.  Acrobat will try to detect the fillable fields.  You might have to edit some of fields manually.
Acrobat might think decorative lines are to be fillable fields.
9.  If you see a form field that you don’t want to be fillable, click on it.  It will highlight in
blue.  Press the “DELETE” button on your keyboard.  You aren’t deleting the line on your form, just
the fillable field Acrobat set incorrectly.
10.  When you think your form is ready, click the “PREVIEW” button and proof that the fillables are correct.
11.  If you want to make additional edits, click on “Edit” (where “Preview” had been).  You will return to
the form editor.
12.  When you are satisfied with your form, use the “SAVE AS” feature and save the form wherever you wish.

Kramm Court Reporting salutes legal secretaries, legal administrators, and paralegals and we will be posting more articles in the future that we believe will be helpful to you.

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