I started this new year by trying to streamline many of my work processes. From digital workflow to administrative and billing work I have been looking for ways to decrease the time on tasks I do on a regular basis. One of these tasks I have been trying to improve is the way I deal with contracts and invoices with my customers.

With the latest version of InDesign CS6 I learned I can create beautiful PDF forms, and all could be done without Adobe Acrobat. With InDesign you have wonderful abilities to create Forms with Check Boxes, Combo Boxes, List Boxes, Radio Buttons, Signature Fields and Text Fields with ease and also have options like actions and events attached to them.

Lot’s of great features packed into InDesign and for what I was doing… all I really wanted/needed was the ability to add Text Fields and Signature Fields and no other bells or whistles. Pretty simple right?

I spent a small part of the day today trying to figure out how I can create interactive PDFs with signatures in InDesign CS6, then  I spent the rest of day figuring out that you need Acrobat Pro in order for those signatures to work right in Acrobat Reader.

In order to create a form in InDesign you will need to make use of the “Rectangle Frame Tool” or “Rectangle Tool” and the “Buttons and Forms” panel under Window  > Interactive > Buttons and Forms. If you would like a tutorial on creating Interactive PDF Forms, visit Create PDF Forms with InDesign CS6 in the Adobe Forums. There you will find a .zip file that will walk you through forms with InDesign

Now to actually make it so a digital signature can be applied if the end user only has Acrobat Reader.

If you have created an Interactive PDF with InDesign CS6 you need to open the PDF in Acrobat Pro XI. After the PDF is opened go to File > Save As Other > Reader Extended PDF, save your document and your done! This gives the functionality to the end user to do things like digitally sign a PDF.