How-To Geek

How To Save Fillable Form Data in PDFs

Fillable PDF forms are much more convenient than filling out pieces of paper by hand, but wouldn’t it be nice to save the forms that you’ve filled out? Nothing would be worse than having to fill out the same boring paperwork twice!


Having a filled out copy of the form isn’t just good “for your records,” it’s also useful if you notice a typo or small mistake after printing out the form. If you accidentally close Adobe Reader, then you’ll have to type in all that information again!

Fortunately there is a free PDF viewing program that allows you fill out fillable forms and save the changes, to be edited later if need be: PDF-XChange Viewer.

After you install PDF-XChange Viewer, open your fillable PDF form (right-click and choose Open With… if PDF-XChange Viewer isn’t the default for opening PDFs).


Fill out the form.


Click on File > Save, or just press Ctrl+S.


Close the file. If you open it again, you will see that your changes are still intact! In fact, even if you open this file with Adobe Reader, you will find that your changes are still there.


That’s all you need to do!

We did run into a few cases where the filled out form didn’t open quite right in Adobe Reader, even though it still looked fine in PDF-XChange Viewer. You should keep Adobe Reader around just to confirm that your filled out forms look right if you have to send them digitally.

PDF-XChange Viewer is a great all-purpose PDF viewer, and the ability to save filled out PDF forms makes it even better!

Download the free version of PDF-XChange Viewer

Trevor is our resident Linux geek, but always keeps his eyes open for neat Windows tricks too.

  • Published 09/23/10

Comments (6)

  1. ron

    thanks for the heads-up on PDF-XChange Viewer.

    However, the link you provided does not point to the free version. I was unable to find how to d/l the free version from the info you provided and once at the site I was lost.

    Please provide a “direct link” or, where to click to get the “free version”


  2. Trevor Bekolay

    @ ron

    So that link does point to the free version, though I agree, it’s kind of shrouded by plugs for the non-free version.

    However, on the right side, under the Download Now header, if you choose your preferred install method (I used the EXE installer) and then click Download Now it will download the free version.

  3. Withanamelikedave

    PDF Xchange is the best.

  4. Seegee

    Foxit PDF reader works extremely well and has the capability to save a filled in PDF. You can also highlight information on the form.

  5. Phylis Sophical

    Switched from Foxit to PDF X recently. Foxit had just too many hidden toolbars on various screens during setup. PDF-X has many more features that work in the free version. Including sticky notes, my fav. There are a few bugs but they are working on them and respond quickly to emails.

  6. agnieszka

    i’ve been using PDF X change viewer for a couple of years now – love love love the fact that i can have tabbed documents open just like tabbed pages in a browser (which adobe still hasn’t thought to do!). it can also remember which documents i had open, AND where i had them open to (great for those uni ebooks)

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