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by Ray DeCosta

Q. I received a PDF form in my email. I'm supposed to fill it out and send it back.  How do I do that?

A. If you are using Adobe Reader, it's possible that the form is already in an "editable" format.  This means that the person who created it has designated certain areas to accept your input.  Typically this will be evidenced by highlighted areas into which you can type your entry.  Give it a try and see what happens.  If your typing appears, simply save the form when you're done and send it on its way.

However, if you are unable to type on the form, the easiest way to complete it is to use Foxit Reader.  This is a free PDF reader which has a Typewriter function. You can download it here.

In this program, go to Comment -- Typewriter Tools -- Typewriter Tool.  The only "problem" is that after you type something at the top of the finished product will be a small notation that you have used Foxit to create an "evaluation copy."  Of course, this is to encourage you to purchase the full program.  If that entry doesn't bother you, then feel free to use it as-is.  Otherwise, you should purchase the full version of the program and remove the entry.

An alternative would be to print out the form, write in the information and then scan it as a PDF file and return it to the sender.  Of course, this assumes you own a scanner.

Published: Courier 12/12/10 - Page 5C