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How to Fill-in a PDF

With all schools in NSW now learning online due to lockdowns, we at Teacher PD have had plenty of questions from teachers about how to implement our resources in online classrooms. Many of our resources are PDF files and can be tricky to fill in and mark if you’re not sure how to do it. We’re still getting plenty of enquiries about this process, so we’ve put together a written guide on how to fill-in a PDF.

How to Download Adobe Acrobat

The first thing that is required to fill-in and mark a PDF is to download the Adobe Acrobat program. If your school or home computer does not have Adobe Acrobat, you can download the program from the internet. There is both a free and a paid version available, choose the one that best suits your needs. This guide is based on the free version of the program.

How to Fill-in a PDF

Once you’re in the program, you will notice a tool bar directly above your document. This toolbar contains all the tools you need for filling-in and marking your students’ work.

To write on the document, you will need to press the button that looks like an old fashioned pen and then the ‘add text’ button. This will allow you to type anywhere on the document. On the plus side, this function recognises lines in the document and will assist you and your students to write on the line, keeping your cherubs’ work nice and neat!

If you have set your students a multiple choice task, for example, you may like them to circle their answers instead of writing them. To do this, you simply press the ‘add circle’ button on the same toolbar. The circle will appear on the document, which can then be moved and enlarged to suit the activity.

Don’t forget you can also change the colour of the text or circles being added to the PDF. You can do this by clicking the ‘change colour’ menu in the same tool bar. You may request that students write in a specific colour, such as blue, or let them have a bit of fun choosing whichever colour they please.

How to Save a PDF

Once your students have started editing their document, they will need to save their work. They simply need to click on the ‘file’ menu then press ‘save as’. They will then be prompted to rename their document. We suggest your cherubs keep the original document name and add their own name to the beginning. This way, it is easier for you to track whose work has been submitted and whose hasn’t.

How to Mark a PDF

Marking a PDF is just as simple as filling it in! Use the same toolbar to place ticks and crosses on your students’ work. You might like to change the colour of the ticks to green and the crosses to red to clearly show students whether they’ve answered the questions correctly or incorrectly. If, to use the multiple choice activity example again, you would like to show your cherubs which is the correct answer, you may use a dot or underline to highlight the correct answer. The ‘add dot’ and ‘add line’ buttons can be found in the same toolbar as the other editing tools.

You can also use the ‘add text’ button again to add comments to students work or add feedback at the bottom of the page. If you would like, you can also add in your signature to the document. Simply press the ‘sign’ button on the toolbar before pressing ‘add signature’. It will prompt you to either type or draw in your signature to be added to the document.

You’ll need to save the document once again after marking it. We recommend you keep the original document name and the student’s name but also add feedback at the end, to ensure it is clear that this version of the document has been marked.

How to Add Stamps to a PDF

If you’d like to add a bit of personality to your marking and feedback, you could add digital stamps to your cherubs’ work. To do this you’ll need to have digital stamps saved to your computer as PDF files. You can use your own stamps or download Teacher PD’s Cutesy Stamps.

To upload stamps to the document, you’ll need to go to the ‘tools’ menu, then click ‘stamp’. This will take you back to your document where you will be able to click ‘custom stamps’, ‘create’, before pressing ‘browse’. Here, you’ll be able to select the stamps you want to add to your students’ work. Once you’ve done that, press ‘open’, then ‘OK’ which will then place your stamps in your stamps palette. After this, you can add the stamps to your favourites to find them in the stamp menu. Click on the stamp you want to add to the piece of work and resize and relocate it as you please.

We hope this how to fill-in a PDF guide helps all those teachers out there currently working in online learning environments. If you need further guidance on how to edit a PDF, you can watch this video to help step you through the process.

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