Make existing pdf fillable

Hi! Would like to convert an existing pdf to fillable form. Scanned document with various check boxes and text boxes that I can make/convert to fillable. Once loaded into libreoffice writer or draw (or other) make those boxes ‘live’ such that I can then type text into the box and print. Forms (I have several) were not originally created in fillable format. Did this once before (I think in Draw) about 3 years ago; can’t recall/find out how I did it! Any advice welcome. Thank You.

This could be interesting

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Yet another KDE Plasma advantage – using Okular to add your signature to a PDF document: <>

  • If you didn’t know already, Nate Graham is one of the KDE developers …

BTW, with Okular you can fill out any form fields the PDF creator placed in that document.

And, provided that, the PDF file doesn’t simply contain a scanned image of the original document, provided that, the PDF file contains PDF tables (marked up in native PDF – a markup language … ), you can mark and copy those to another document application – with Okular …
Plus, of course, any text paragraphs in the PDF document – respecting of course, any password protection that the PDF document’s creator placed on the published PDF document … :upside_down_face:

@arvidjaar, @dcurtisfra Thanks for your kind, quick replies & suggestions. Both methods fail. It seems that because the original document (at least in the format I have it in) was not created to be edited in any way I cannot do this. I must have overlooked this in the past. Okular, though flexible, and even with the possibilty of adding signature isn’t up to the task either. Let me be clear: I have a form, the form has numerous boxes to either add a check mark or add text (name, address, etc.) I guess those expecting the text are called tables in many software. Previously (2-3 years ago) I scanned the document then loaded into Writer or Draw and voila! I was able to hit and go from box to box, enter the text I wanted and print the form. The boxes or tables would show up in a highlighted mode. This was done for convenience. Now I suffered a stroke and can only type with left (weak) hand, and I need to duplicate the previous task. I can no longer fill forms legibly. In any event Thank You again. Will keep trying and see if the process comes back to me.


And, provided that, the PDF file doesn’t simply contain a scanned image of the original document, provided that, the PDF file contains PDF tables (marked up in native PDF – a markup language … ),


This seems to be the rub; it is only a scanned image! Well, I’ll think of something. . .
Have A Healthy, Prosperous Day!

Are you using the same scanning software?

Yes. Simple ‘Document Scanner’ in KDE/Leap 15.5 (previously 15.1/15.2/etc.) till now.

Are there any options to additionally perform OCR on scanned image?

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Thanks again for follow up on this. Will investigate OCR options as suggested. Not today; doctor appointments.
Have A Healthy, Prosperous Day!

      • robhwill

You can edit pdf’s with Libre Office Draw
Probably most likely you will you use the ‘Insert Text Box’ feature
You can do this also with Gimp

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I hate to say this in a Linux forum… but Adobe Reader (free) for Windows will get you partly there. It won’t automatically skip from blank to blank, but you can insert text boxes pretty much anywhere, and there is an option to insert ‘check marks’ in check-boxes. Then, when you’re satisfied with the way the form looks on-screen, you can print it out, complete with the added material.

I’m running a dual-boot system with Windows-11 and Tumbleweed; however you should be able to run windows 10 or 11 in a virtual machine (like a VM under Oracle “VirtualBox”).

(I have Parkinson’s-like symptoms, including very shaky handwriting.)

Good luck finding something that works for you!


Thanks all for replies & suggestions. So far close, but no cigar. Will just have to remember how I did it before.
Two forms were designed to be filled on computer and 3 - 4 of them were scanned from original and converted to fillable by me. Don’t remember what trick I used. . . In any event, this forum remains always very helpful and I greatly appreciate it. Will advise when solution (or notes) is found. Take care for now.

      • rob
        Have A Healthy, Prosperous Day!