How to recognize form fields and make them fillable in PDFs

Foxit PDF editor

This article will tell you how to recognize form fields in PDF with Foxit PDF Editor.

There are two commands for form field recognition in PDF forms: Designer Assistant and Run Form Field Recognition.

The Designer Assistant command automatically detects form fields that can be created on PDF pages and displays a blue frame where there is a suggested form field. By default, when you select any type of form field button from the Form tab, the Designer Assistant command will be selected and enabled automatically. With any type of form field button selected, as you move the cursor 1.png on the page, a blue frame appears if the cursor is hovering above an area which is detected as a form field. If you want to add a form field at that position, just click on it without dragging an area. And if there are multiple form fields detected, you can complete the form field creation with just a few clicks. (Tip: You can disable the auto-detection by clicking the Designer Assistant command again when you are creating form fields. Then the command will no longer be selected automatically next time you create form fields. To enable it again, select the command before you create form fields.)

Alternatively, you can use the Run Form Field Recognition command to recognize form fields through the whole document. To run form field recognition in a PDF document, do as the following:

1.       Click Form > Run Form Field Recognition. All fillable fields in the document will be recognized and highlighted.

2.       All the corresponding types of form fields will be automatically created and named with the text near the form fields. (Take the text fields for an example as below. With the Text Field command selected, you can see the form fields recognized and created are named with the text near the form fields.) 

3.       You can edit or delete the created form fields after right-clicking them. To edit the form field further, please refer to the instruction on the properties of “Push Button”. 


                                                                               The text fields created after recognition

7 thoughts on “How to recognize form fields and make them fillable in PDFs

  1. Mary FrancesMary Frances

    But what about all the checkboxes? It completely ignores those. I have to go back and manually create all of those, and when there are a lot, that’s a pain! Why doesn’t it recognise those as well?

  2. Mary FrancesMary Frances

    I did run the form field recognition, and it did recognise most things correctly. Some check boxes were missed, but that’s no big deal. However, when moving through the form to complete the fields, it did not move in order. For example, starting at the top left, when I entered text and hit tab, it moved to a field further down the page rather than the next form field to the right. I know we can reorder them, but on lengthy forms that will be time-consuming. It should automatically start at the top of the page, and move left to right as it moves down the page, as most forms would be filled in that manner.

  3. PavolPavol

    What object does Foxit expect in a form, so that it recognizes it as a radio button ? All small squares always recognized as checkboxes. Also, I noticed that form recognition works best, of objects in the form have black border and white background. Objects (frames) that do not have borders and have some background colors do get recognized with mixed success rate.

    1. KarolinKarolin

      Hi Pavol,
      In Foxit PDF Editor, to recognize an object as a radio button in a form, you need to use the “Radio button” form field button from the Form tab. This button creates a specific type of form field that is recognized as a radio button by Foxit.

      When creating a radio button form field, make sure to set the appropriate properties, such as the name and value, to differentiate it from a checkbox form field. Additionally, ensure that the “Radio buttons with the same name and value are selected in unison” option is unchecked under the Options tab in the Radio button Properties dialog box. This will allow only one radio button to be selected at a time within a group.

      Regarding form recognition, Foxit PDF Editor may have better recognition of objects with a black border and white background because it can more easily distinguish them as separate form fields.
      If you have further questions or need more assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to our customer support.


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