Tips for Using Your Fillable PDFs

Make the most of your fillable PDF product and protect your precious data by familiarizing yourself with the following tips and suggestions…

First Things First

  • Adobe ReaderDownload and install/update to the latest version of Adobe Reader to obtain the best results using your fillable PDF.
  • The first time you open your fillable PDF file, save a new copy with a new name somewhere other than where your original file is located. That way you’ll always have a new, untouched copy to go back to if you decide to start over, start a new book or need a clean file.
  • Back-up your brand new fillable PDF files to a location other than your computer, such as a thumb drive, CD or external hard drive so that if something happens to your computer, you won’t be left totally without your product.


Save, Save, Save…

  • Because of the volume of data that could be collected in these fillable products, particularly books with 100-200 pages or more, it is important that you take measures to prevent loss due to damaged files. The larger the amount of data, the more easily the file can become corrupted, particularly if your computer happens to crash during use. To minimize risk, save often and to more than one location.


Print As You Go

  • It is advisable to print pages as they are completed so that if something happens to the PDF file, you’ll still have the completed pages.
  • Pages may be printed individually or as an entire document. The process for doing so will depend upon your printer.


Navigating Your PDF Fields

  • Highlight Existing FieldsIn general, you can use the TAB key to move from one field to the next.
  • Turn the “Highlight Existing Fields” feature (found in the upper right corner) on and off to show or hide the fillable TEXT fields on each page. (Image fields are not highlighted.)


Using the Text Boxes

  • Most journaling areas are text boxes allowing for multiple lines. The text will automatically flow into the next line if you continue typing, or you may <return> to force a new line or space.
  • Most numbered areas and some of the smaller lined boxes are actually a series of one-line text boxes, such as the numbered lines at the bottom of our daily & weekly calendar pages. You will need to move the cursor to the beginning of each box/line to being a new entry.


Using the Image Boxes

  • Notice the white space to the right of the photo. If you do not want white space, you will need to crop your photo to a perfect square BEFORE uploading.

    Image boxes are typically empty boxes that contain no lines. To upload an image, simply click on the box and you will be prompted to find the file on your computer.

  • IMPORTANT NOTE – Once you upload an image to an image box, there is no way to remove it. You can replace it by uploading a different image, but you cannot empty the box entirely.
  • Many of the image boxes also contain overlapping text fields. If you want to add text to the box (with or without an image), turn on the Highlight Existing Fields (see Navigating Your PDF Fields above) to identify where the text box is, then click in that field until you see the text cursor. In many of the image boxes, you will see a narrow white border around the outside edge the text field. Click in that narrow border area to upload the image.
  • Most image boxes were designed to be square for ease of use. If you’d like the box to be filled with your image, crop it to a perfect square before uploading by using your favorite image editing software. Rectangular photos will fill the image box only on the longest side, leaving white space either below (horizontal photos) or to the right (vertical photos) of the image.



  • There is very limited text formatting function in the text fields… you can space and return but have no other control over font choice, font size, justification, etc. With a bit of experimentation, you’ll get a feel for what can be done.
  • As mentioned above, the more data entered into the fillable PDF, the greater the risk of the document crashing your computer or becoming corrupted because of the volume of information being coded into the file. PLEASE save often and in more than one location to avoid losing your precious memories.
  • There is no simple way to clear all fields in a page or document. For this reason, we strongly advise you follow the suggestions in First Things First (above) and create a new document before beginning to fill in pages so you’ll have a clean copy if you decide you want it.


For Further Assistance…

  • If you have questions or problems that have not been addressed above, please email for further assistance.