If you’ve ever used Affinity Designer, you already know that you can both open and edit a PDF within the application. You can also create an exportable PDF document, but if you needed to make edits after creating your PDF or if you needed to send it to a third party and they needed to make edits, could it be done in Affinity Designer?
Unfortunately, Affinity Designer does not have editable fields to add to your PDF to make it an editable PDF. The same goes for Affinity’s other common PDF editing application, Affinity Publisher. Keep reading for ways to create an editable PDF.
Though it might be disappointing that the Affinity Suite doesn’t offer interactivity for PDFs or editable fields, it doesn’t mean you have to abandon using Affinity Designer altogether. You can create the design for your PDF in Affinity Designer and then export the document to add editable fields using a different program.
If you’re creating a PDF for a flyer, poster, or newsletter, you can head over to placeit.net to browse through editable templates. Placeit is a one-stop shop for some of your design needs.
A PDF or Portable Document Format is a file format for a document that typically contains an electronic image of text or a combination of graphics and text. A PDF can be electronically transmitted but is also commonly printed and distributed. Let’s use a simple document, like a workbook, as a design example.
- Open Affinity Designer
- Create a new document by navigating to New Document > Print
- Choose the following settings for your new document
- Page width and height
- Document units
- Color Format
- Color Profile
Most commonly, for print, you’ll use a DPI of 300. All the other elements are based on your preference and the project. A workbook would typically be 7 x 10 inches, setting your page width, height, and document units.
Now, you will want to start adding elements to your workbook design, like graphics, text, color, etc. If you want to add an existing graphic or image, you can use the following instructions.
- Navigate to File > Place
- Select the image or graphic and click Open
- You can either click to place the image at its default size or drag the image onto the page to set the size and position.
- Once it’s positioned, deselect the image or graphic to move on by hitting CTRL + D.
To add headers or titles to the sections in your PDF, use the Artistic Text Tool. This tool best suits decorative typographical design or important single words or phrases.
- Click on the Artistic Text Tool icon, which will show as the letter “A”
- The context toolbar will appear above the canvas. In the toolbar, you will be able to choose the following:
- Font Family
- Font Style
- Font Size
- Font Color
- Character Style
- Typography Advanced Settings
- Once you’ve selected the settings, you can type out your heading or title.
- To move the text, drag and drop where you’d like it. Just make sure the word or phrase is selected first.
If you want to add larger sections of text, you can use the Text Frame Tool, found under the Artistic Text Tool icon.
- Click on the Artistic Text Tool icon and choose the second option in the drop-down menu.
- Navigate to your document, click on the area in the document you would like to place the text frame, and drag it out to the desired size.
- Once you let go of the mouse or touch screen, your cursor will appear in the text box.
- The context toolbar will appear above the canvas. In the toolbar, make the selections you would make for the Artistic Text Tool.
- Begin typing your text.
Don’t forget to leave space for sections to be made editable later on. In a workbook PDF, you may have questions for your reader, which you can type out using the Text Frame Tool. Leave a section below the question for your reader to answer. You can format this space using the Rectangle Tool in the toolbar to the left of the canvas. Using a shape like this will set parameters for future text.
You can use several applications or websites to make your existing PDF editable. Now that you’ve designed it in Affinity Designer, you can make it fillable. Some of the more commonly used applications or websites are as follows:
- Adobe Acrobat
Before using these programs, you’ll want to export your PDF from Affinity Designer by selecting File > Export. Let’s use one of these applications to show how a PDF can become editable.
- Go to the PDFescape website
- On the homepage, select choose your file. A dialog box will appear, find and select your file and click Open
- Navigate to the section you left open in your design for fillable text.
- Select Form Field in the left panel
- The Type should be set to text, then click Select.
- Click on the document over the section, and a box will appear.
- Drag out the box by the corners until it matches the section parameters.
- Above the document, you can change the font type and font size
- In the Form Field, right-click and select Object Properties
- A dialogue box will appear, and you will check mark Multi-line, then click Ok.
This website has other functions for images, text, links, and tools like whiteout and freehand. Browse through your third-party options and see what best suits your needs for creating an editable PDF document.
Though you may not be able to use Affinity Designer to make editable PDFs currently, you can use a third-party until that feature is added to the design application. Many Affinity Designer users have requested editable or interactive fields for PDFs, and Affinity is always making updates to the suite applications.