filling out pdf forms in preview

macOS and Mac Apps

Hi there,

It's Joseph. Does anyone know how i can fill out pdf forms using preview on MacOS 10.12.3? I've got a form to fill out for my college's testing center, but I'm just not sure what steps I need to take in order to fill out the form?


Joseph King



Submitted by Tree on Monday, March 20, 2017

I'm sorry to say that the title of this post says it all. You might have a chance of trying the the Adobe mac app, but you are much much better off to just do it with windows. You can't use preview.

Submitted by Chris on Monday, March 20, 2017

As the previous poster said, you're most likely going to have to use Windows. As great as the Mac OS and VoiceOver are, this is one of the shortcomings. You can also write to Apple's accessibility team and ask them to implement proper tagged PDF support intoPreview. However, Apple has had years and years to do this. I don't know if it's just not a priority for them, but I'm sad to see that VoiceOver on macOS is steadily declining. It's clear to me that iOS is Apple's future. Still, maybe something will get done if enough people send feedback to Apple.

Submitted by Joseph on Monday, March 20, 2017

That's odd. because I heard that you *could* use preview to fill out forms as long as they were tagged properly.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Monday, March 20, 2017

You cannot fill out forms in preview. I recommend getting adobe reader for mac os. You can fill out the form there. Now if they did not make the form accessible that's for you to email the university about.

Submitted by Lily on Saturday, May 21, 2022

Five years on from this post, apple doesn't seem to have even attempted to add a function to preview where you can fill in forms. Is it just a matter of people need to bug them and keep sending in feedback? They're a powerful multi-billion dollar corporation that's added features to their devices that most people probably wouldn't have thought was even possible ten years ago, from facial recognition software to QR code scanning software. I feel like adding a form filling or editing feature to preview wouldn't be too hard for them, which makes me think they don't care to or it's not a priority for the company.
I've tried using adobe reader for mac to fill out PDFs but struggled to use it. I ended up typing information into the wrong form fields most of the time.
Do people still think that adobe reader for Windows is the most accessible program for editing PDFs? I don't have a Windows device so would have to borrow my friend's laptop to test it out.

Submitted by LaBoheme on Sunday, May 22, 2022

one can always fill out pdf forms in various ways, but one still need to sign it. suppose you can't see at all, it doesn't matter you can fill out the form perfectly, there is still no accessible way to sign the document. one can print it out, but still where to sign?

Submitted by Chris on Monday, May 23, 2022

Apple's neglect of VoiceOver continues, and I unfortunately don't think it's going to get better. Apple did a half-baked job with PDF support in High Sierra and then just left it alone. I'm not sure why this happens, though my best guess is they don't have enough people to work on both iOS and Mac, so they devote most of their time to iOS which is far more popular. I hope this might be changing with the recently announced text checker feature in macOS 13, but I doubt it. Knowing Apple, they'll do a half-baked job and leave it. If only we could talk to the people directly responsible for VoiceOver development. Apparently that's only for the select few who are deemed worthy to join the Apple cult.