1 person found this helpful
You can certainly create PDF forms using the FormsCentral desktop application included with Acrobat XI, forms that do not collect data on the FormsCentral servers. Alternatively you can "create" a form from an existing file in Acrobat using the form editing tools and not FormsCentral (you do have to start with an existing file). FormsCentral does provide a much easier to use interface for creating forms assuming the features meet your needs.
You do not need a paid subscription, a paid subscription would give you more online, data collecting forms but is not necessary.
To use FormsCentral desktop to create PDF forms from scratch simply launch the application and either start from a "Template" or "Create custom form", design your form and when you are finished or want to see how the PDF is coming along save the form as a PDF (from the "File" menu "Save as PDF form", or if you are signed in then from the Distribute tab). You do not need to be signed into FormsCentral to do this. Having Acrobat XI + FormsCentral allows you to create unlimited PDF forms for a traditional PDF workflow as you are asking about.
You can also use the Free level FormsCentral subscription/account and try out the online forms or collecting responses from one of the PDF forms you create (the free account allows you to have one form online at a time, but you can have unlimited "local" forms, local forms can be saved as PDF anytime).
Also, you asked about using Acrobat and not FormsCentral but you do have to start with some existing document that you would then edit, like a Word form you want to convert to PDF and add/edit form fields. You could start with a blank page if you don't have an existing document to modify, but you do have to start with some existing document.
You can also use both, you could start in FormsCentral and design a form there, save as PDF and then edit that PDF in Acrobat using the Forms tools to add features not supported in FormsCentral.
I'd be happy to answer further questions about this, I know can be confusing and I'm happy to explain further.
Thanks for the response. I am probably appearing to be ignorant but I guess I am still doing something wrong. I downloaded the FormCentral desktop app and when I click on "File>Save as PDF form" it still pops up the message saying I need to be signed in with a paid account to use this option. I tried signing out from my adobe id and it still gives this message. If I understood you correctly I can use the desktop app to save a created form without having a formscentral subscription. Please advise if I am misunderstanding. I downloaded the FormsCentral help file and the way it reads to me I can do everything locally as long as I am not trying to collect responses.
I saw your latest reply in my inbox, not sure why it does not show up here...
Yes, you did figure out what was going on - Acrobat Standard XI does not include the FormsCentral desktop application and the desktop application that you can download from our website has the same features as the web site, it does not enable you to save as PDF without a paid subscription. Acrobat Pro XI comes with the FormsCentral desktop application that allows you to create PDF forms.