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California Department of Transportation
Frequently Asked Questions
Q What Filler Software do I need to use these forms?
A The Adobe Reader is free software that lets users view, fill, print, and save (only flattened forms or Reader Enabled) Adobe Acrobat PDF files on all major computer platforms. The full version Adobe Acrobat products (Standard and Professional Editions) allow you to dynamically save your data and/or e-mail your completed form as well as all the features of the Reader.

Q How Do I Upgrade to the latest version of Adobe Reader?
A Users with the older Adobe Reader versions should upgrade to the latest free Adobe Reader. You will need to contact your computer support person to install the Reader software.

Q When I click on the .PDF version of a form file the Adobe Reader opens the form but none of the text appears. Is there something wrong with the form?
A There is a checkbox setting under Edit>Preferences>Display>"Use Greek Text below 6 Pixels." Make sure that the box is un-checked. The text will appear. This is a feature of the reader. Once set, it remains that way so you should not have the problem with any other forms. This problem occurs when users upgrade to a newer release of the Acrobat Reader. You should also make sure that the "Fit to Page" check box is checked in the print dialog box before printing any Acrobat .pdf forms.
Q What are some of the added capabilities of Adobe Acrobat Forms?
A Adobe Reader capabilities - Adobe Reader provides the following forms capabilities:
  • View, navigate, and print PDF forms, including form field data
  • Search forms (requires Adobe Reader with Search)
  • Fill fields within a PDF form (cannot save changes to a PDF form)

If a PDF form is rights-enabled (via Adobe LiveCycle Reader Extensions), Adobe Reader provides these additional capabilities:

  • Save forms and data locally
  • Fill and submit forms online
  • Distribute forms to others for review and comment
  • Add digital signatures (Not support at Caltrans)

Acrobat Standard/Professional capabilities - Acrobat Standard contains all the capabilities of Adobe Reader listed above in addition to the following:

  • Export and save PDF forms in Forms Data Format (FDF). FDF is a text file format specifically for data exported from PDF form fields. FDF files are significantly smaller than PDF files because they contain only form field data, not the entire form.
  • Save or Export PDF form information as a PDF file or in XFDF format for XML-based FDF files.

Q How do I fill an Adobe form?
A We have a detailed procedure for how to fill in Adobe forms located on this website. To view this procedure click here.

Q Are all Caltrans Forms available in fillable Adobe Acrobat?
A All Caltrans Forms that have been converted and approved by their form owner are now available.  All other forms are in the process of converting and gaining approval from their form owners.  Once this process is completed, the forms will be available in a fillable Adobe Acrobat format.

Q Does Adobe have a Frequently Asked Questions web site?
A Yes. The Adobe Acrobat Frequently Asked Questions provided by Adobe Systems can be found at

Last updated 09/26/2013