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What is the best way to create PDFs so that customers can download the file and edit the text that is specific to them (date, names etc), while maintaining fonts and sizes as well as the format and layout. I'm trying to create a digital download to sell on Etsy, specifically a party invitations, and I'd like to be able to create these files on Illustrator or InDesign or another software that gives me extreme control over the formatting and details.

I realize this has been asked before but it seems medieval that Illustrator or InDesign do not offer a better way to do this, without having to replace and reformat my text in Adobe Acrobat Pro.

Any tips? I've scoured the internet for more info on this to not much avail :(

marked as duplicate by Scott adobe-illustrator Jan 21 at 19:52

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • use Inkscape to convert text to path where user won`t be able to edit and keep personal data like name, phone with normal text. EDIT: I personally use Inkscape feel free to use other software solutions – wwwjsw Jan 21 at 19:57
  • @wwwjsw that appears to be the exact opposite of what this user is asking. – Scott Jan 21 at 21:54
  • @Scott my bad :/ – wwwjsw Jan 24 at 16:47
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I have made several designs for cafes that have need for daily menu, special offer menu, etc. So what I've done is create full design in the InDesign and for the changing part create additional text form element in Acrobat with font, font size, text align and other things in mind. After that customer can open PDF file as a template every day and fill in info, then print it and put it on the wall. All formatting is kept as I decided it to be, only thing is that you must think in advance about the max amount of info that can be added.

You can download one of sample PDFs from Document Cloud. When you will open document in Acrobat, you will see that form with text «iekopē-tekstu-te» is active. Feel free to put an info there. Document is not locked so you can play with form field to understand how I designed it.

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This problem is discussed before this here How do I create a PDF invitation template my customer can edit the text only themselves?

As a new possiblity I can add Google documents. It's better than relying on Acrobat Reader (see NOTE 1.) or MS Word, because Google offers a bunch of fonts. You generally have no right to distribute fonts. Some freeware fonts can be distributed, if the license allows it, but there's still various demands on paid usage and crediting.

NOTE 1 People usually do not have Acrobat Pro. The Reader allows editable texts only as comments or form fields. Comments use system fonts. Forms can have embedded fonts, but embedding commercial fonts is illegal.

ADD: See the earlier answer by user mserge. He has included an example of editable PDF.

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