Overcome Online Forms With Formulatepro [Mac]

Jackson Chung 17-08-2008

Everything that isn’t already online is going online these days. Even our banks, government sectors, health clubs, universities, grocery stores, you name it, have websites.


What’s the one thing they have in common?

They all have downloadable PDF forms.

You want to join the gym? Here’s a PDF form for you to fill and you’re all set to go!
Would you like to study in our university? Fill in this PDF form and send it back to us.
You have to renew your passport? Here’s an application form for you.

How often have you had to download online forms in PDF format Be Lazy and Work Better with Adobe Reader Read More , print them to fill out, rescan and send them off? Such a hassle isn’t it? There’s a way to edit and fill in your application forms without printing them out.

Formulatepro allows you to overlay text and images on PDF documents so you can edit them on the fly, fill out your forms and send them off again. All within the time it takes to warm up your printer.


You can add text and as usual, you can customize its font, size and colour. You can also add shapes overlay (squares, circles) and scribbles (which is useful because then you can add your signature on the form).

Overcome Online Forms With Formulatepro [Mac] formulatepro form

One cool thing with formulatepro is the ability to add crosses. This comes in very handy as most forms have boxes to cross out. You can also overlay images onto the form, if you have a scanned image of your signature then it may be easier to insert rather than having to scribble it each time. You can also insert your photo if the form requires it.

Overcome Online Forms With Formulatepro [Mac] formulatepro form cross


formulatepro is very “online form” orientated. I guess it was built to help you fill in those forms, but don’t forget that you can edit just about any PDF document with it.

Saving as a PDF file is a little bit tricky. It’s not very straightforward because merely clicking on ‘Save’ will save the file as “.formulate” so it can’t be read by any other programs. Choosing ‘Print’ instead and on the following window click on ‘PDF’ and ‘Save as PDF’ will evidently save it as a PDF.

If you’re looking for a PDF editor with more features, Skim is a great application which will add “stickies” to your PDF, along with other shapes and can let you easily underline and strikeout text.

formulatepro and Skim are both free and are OS X only.


Do you have any favourite alternatives you’d like to share?

(By) Jackson Chung is a full-time medical student attempting to perform a juggling act with relationships, studies and his future.

Related topics: Digital Document, PDF, PDF Editor.

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  1. Jeff
    October 14, 2018 at 7:38 pm

    Pretty good--but no way to "white out" existing text. Poor directions by developer.

  2. Whit
    February 8, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    I've used PDFPen for several years. Nice to find a free application that accomplishes the basics: add text and signature. I just wish this would allow me to make the signature image transparent so that it looks like I signed the document vs. pasting a white square behind my signature.

  3. drew
    February 5, 2010 at 3:28 am

    Without UNDO functionality, this is unusable software. You could filling out a 3 page PDF, and then make an error on the final page, but be unable to fix w/o starting over.

    • hawkins
      January 21, 2015 at 12:28 am

      Fixing errors is simple. Just check the cursor symbol instead of text. Click on your error and delete!

  4. Matt
    August 30, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    Great article, even better software. Works perfectly, simple to use, brilliant. Thank you!

  5. Stevinho
    July 9, 2009 at 8:02 am

    thanks for this article and link, works perfectly and is just what I was looking for

  6. TZ
    September 21, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    I use when I need to fill out pdf forms. But this editor looks pretty good too...

  7. Jackson
    August 20, 2008 at 2:43 am

    Yup it can. But this app is much lighter and more to the point than Photoshop. And it's FREE!

  8. R. Hunt
    August 18, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    I'm sure most everyone knows this but Photoshop can be used to do the same thing. When finished just flatten image and save as PDF. (You might even be able to email right from Photoshop but I'm not sure).