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Editable PDF that Auto-Populates Words From a List

About a year and a half ago, I had seen some really cool videos of products, where a teacher could type in a list of words, and the words–such as sight words or student names–would auto-populate throughout the rest of the product, using the perfect font, sizing, etc. It looked like magic, and I could not rest until I learned How to Make a PDF Editable With Soda PDF!

When I was trying to learn, I could not find a detailed, step-by-step guide anywhere, so I’m trying to fill that void. It took me a LOT of searching and experimenting before I figured out how to do this. I thought maybe it was just me, and that everyone else knew how to do it, but I have since helped a few other sellers with this task, so I thought maybe this post might help someone. Visit cartoon torrenting sites.

To make an editable PDF that will auto-populate words from a list, you will need AdobePro.

When you create your product, in whatever program you are using, design your pages, leaving a space where you want your editable text to be.

For this first page, I want the students to trace their name, so I’m just going to leave some blank handwriting lines. After I save it as a PDF, I will add the text I want them to trace.

For this next page, I want it to say the student name at the top of the page, and then populate using a box font on the left-hand side, so I will leave both of those areas blank.

Before I save it as a PDF, I will add a page to the beginning (I usually have it right after my cover and credits pages) that has a blank table for the teacher to type their words in. This is where they would type in the words they want to use in the rest of the document, whether those are sight words, a class list, or whatever. Since I am making name sheets, I called mine “class list”. This page doesn’t need to be fancy. I like to use a table because it makes it easy for Adobe to see where I want to add my text boxes, without me having to manually add each one.

For this particular product, I wanted a teacher to be able to create a class set of name sheets for up to 25 students, so I put 25 lines in my table.

Since I want 25 copies of the same sheet, only with different kids’ names, I need to start off with 25 copies of each product page I make. So I have 25 of the “My name is” sheet and 25 of the “I can trace my name” sheet. At this point, they are all exactly the same, so just design one and copy/paste to get the number you need for your product.

When I have my product pages the way I want them, I save the document as a PDF and open it in Adobe. Then, I click on “Tools” –> “Prepare Form”.
When I do this, Adobe puts text fields all the places it thinks I will want them. They show up as blue boxes with black text in the middle. This text is the name of each field, which we will be changing shortly. These field names are where the magic happens!

Look at the page where you made your blank table. Adobe will fill in the blanks on your table with text fields. Each one has a different name, just whatever Adobe thought was a good idea. On my example, they are called “Class List Row 1”, “Class List Row 2”, etc. You can leave this as they are, or change them to something easier for you to remember and work with. In a few minutes, you will be typing these names exactly as they appear here into other text fields in your document. You may want to change them to something simpler, like “Student 1”, “Student 2”, etc., or “Sight Word 1”, and so on. To do this, just right-click on the text field and select “rename field”.

Do this for each text field–again, it can be tedious, but the end result is awesome! This part takes some tinkering to get the exact sizing and placement right. When you are finished, you can select the little box at the bottom that says “locked” in the properties box and close the window. Don’t do this until you have it exactly how you want it!

Once you have changed the properties in all of your text fields, you are good to go! You can still flatten and secure your file as always, to protect your work and the work of any clip artists you might have used; just make sure the security settings you select allow for typing into form fields.

When you save and reopen the file, you (and your buyer) will only see blue boxes, without any text.

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