Save Time and Add an Interactive Text Box for PDF in Open Office

Open Office - View > Form Controls

It’s a simple problem that doesn’t seem to be one that is being addressed – but just think back to each and every other job application form you have filled out and tell me how many of them were a pleasant or easy experiences?

If your experience is anything like mine, the answer to that will be that they have universally been an unpleasant pain. The same applies to the majority of PDF documents which require information – you can get the form, but there aren’t often text boxes. Does that mean we have to print out a page, fill it out and scan it in or research online for a way to do it? Yes, but it shouldn’t mean that.

The solution for me is great because it’s really simple, it’s quick and it’s free. If you want information from people online, you usually have two options in my opinion (and each has its pros and cons):

1. Build a contact form

[clear] [one_half] Pros:

  • If you know, it’s quick and painless
  • Anyone can fill out a web contact form
  • Nothing needs to be downloaded

[/one_half] [one_half_last] Cons

  • There’s not usually an autosave
  • If the page crashes, you have to start all over again


2. Make a PDF or Word Document available for download.

[clear] [one_half] Pros:

  • Great for long documents
  • Text can’t be edited (unless Word doc – but in this post I wont even go there)
  • Most people are familiar with PDF and can edit the document in their own time
  • Quick and easy

[/one_half] [one_half_last] Cons

  • If you’re in a school, library or on any shared computer, you may not have the ability to download files
  • You could have an over active virus scanner which deems the PDF to be malicious
  • If you forget to save it, you have to start again or you may overwrite previous versions easily.


So what’s the solution?

Watch the video below to find out how to quickly insert a text area into a document in Open Office and export it as a PDF.

Published by mikeleighcooper

Media Production / Training Self Shooting Director & Producer / Editor / Project Assistant / Workshop Leader / Audio / Video Vox Pop / Interviews / Documentary / Shorts I work with people to explore and publish stories about their business using audio and video. I develop and deliver workshops in arts organisations, charities, and school I work in the UK and Europe; and in 2011 I was selected as the UK Relay’ Reporter - one of the 27 Relay Reporters participating to the Relay section of the European Year of Volunteering. I produced two audiovisual reports in Lithuania as well as a series of blogs describing my daily activities that captivated a large audience across all 27 European Member states; reaching more than 100,000 viewers and contributing to the 1.6 million impressions as part of the global reach of the project.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *