Pdf stands for Portable Document Format. It is a way of saving information so it can be read by all computers, no matter what operating software they are running, provided they have the free Adobe document reader.
So, for example, a pdf article can be read by someone on a new MacBook computer as well as someone on an elderly PC running windows.
Although most computers can read the Microsoft office windows software, not everyone has it (it is expensive), plus there are many different versions not all of which are compatible. However, there are very few computers which cannot run the free Adobe Reader software and therefore read pdf documents. This is why they are so popular.
We have many pdf documents on Landlord Law, plus you can also convert many of our pages to pdf using the links at the foot of the pages. Our document creation engine also creates pdf documents.
However, there are also many other forms in pdf format in the site. This page gives guidance on their use.
Guidance on completing pdf forms
You need a recent version of Adobe reader installed on your computer, so check that yours is up to date. The forms can be completed online by filling in the various form fields.
Note that on most pdf forms now, you can click a box at the top which will highlight all the fields in a colour so you can see them easily. This is a good idea unless you are very familiar with the form and feel you do not need it.
The different types of field are as follows:
The 'Clear data' button: This is usually right at the top of the page. If you click on this, it will clear all the fields in the form and any default wording will re-appear. So be careful not to do this until you have printed off the completed form. The 'clear data' buttons are set so that they are visible on screen but do not print.
Text fields: just click into the field (you can usually work out where it is - on some forms, there will be default wording but not on all) delete any default wording and type your answer. You may find that the box is not big enough - in this case, you will either have to write less, or type something like 'see annexed page A' and then type or write the rest of your answer on a separate piece of paper.
Checkboxes: here you will have to click into a box to make a tick. The box may be quite small so keep clicking until you find the right spot. To 'untick' the box, click again.
Radio boxes: these are a range of two or more fields where only one box at a time can be ticked. For example, if there is a question which can be answered 'Yes' or 'No', one of these will be ticked by default, let us say it is 'yes'. If you want your answer to be 'No', then click in the 'No' box and you will see that the tick will move from 'Yes' to 'No'. You can do this as often as you like - only one of the boxes in the series can be ticked at any one time.
Date fields: Some 'text fields' will be for dates and you will have to put the date in the correct manner. This will be, say for 1st January 2002:- 02 Jan 2002. When you click out of the field, it will then display the date in the prescribed format.
In a few of the forms, they are set to display today's date automatically. You cannot alter this on screen. Sometimes you may find that the date does not reappear after clicking the 'clear data' button'. However, if you click the 'refresh' button, today's date should come back.
Combo boxes: Here you are given a series of answers to choose from. You can see the options by clicking on the arrow next to the answer. This will bring up a drop-down list and you choose by clicking on the answer you want. If you change your mind you can alter your answer by clicking on the arrow again and choosing another option.
Notes: Sometimes you will see a little coloured box. This is a ‘note’ and will have some information on completing the form. To open the note you double click on it and to close it you click the X at the top left-hand corner. When you print the form out, make sure that the box for ‘comments’ in the printing instructions is not ticked and then it will not show on the printed copy.
Saving pdf forms
When using our pdf forms where you complete the form fields on screen with the free Adobe reader, be aware that the information in the fields cannot be saved, unless you have the special Adobe Acrobat software.
This means that when you click the reset button or exit the form, the information you have put in the fields will be lost. In many cases, this is not a problem as you will have your printed copy. However, you may want to keep an electronic copy also.
Owners of the Acrobat software will be able to save a version of the forms with the fields completed, but this software is quite expensive and many people cannot afford it.
However, it is not always realised that there are some utilities available free on the internet which allow you to ‘print’ a pdf document to save as another pdf document, exactly as it appears on the screen. This means that it would include all the information in the fields. You would then have a copy of your document which you could save electronically.
This will be particularly helpful if you want to send a document by email for someone else to print out, sign and return to you.
One program which will do this for you is Cute Pdf writer. This can be downloaded free from the internet via this link (the page will load in a new window or tab). There may be others which would do a similar job.
This will not be necessary however if you create a form using our document generator.