One of the things that bug me the most when buying something are the accompanying rebates, but sometimes that is the only way to get a good deal. When it comes to online purchases I like to print off the rebates as soon as I make the purchase, but then the laziness kicks in for a few weeks simply because I don’t feel like filling out the form.
Luckily some of the free PDF readers out there offer annotation capabilities, and so you can actually fill out a rebate form on your computer before it’s even printed. Not only will it save you the hassle of having to handwrite the form, but I’m sure it will save the person on the receiving end some trouble trying to read your handwriting. ;)
Here’s what an example form looks like that I filled out:
So how can you do this? We’ve got instructions below that make use of our two favorite (and free) PDF readers. The best part is that both of the apps also have portable versions, which means that you can fill out rebate forms digitally without ever installing a program!
Both of the PDF readers make use of a typewriter tool, which gives you a lot of freedom to type anything anywhere. To use the typewriter tool you just have to click on the document where you want to start typing, and then have at it. If there are any boxes or broken fields that you need to fill in just insert spaces to even it all out, like I did in the example form above for the UPC.
–Foxit Reader (Homepage)–
In Foxit Reader you’ll find what you need at Tools -> Typewriter Tools -> Typewriter. When you click on this for the first time you’ll see a warning saying that an evaluation mark will be placed on the document if it’s saved. Don’t worry, we don’t plan on saving the rebate form. Right after you get done filling out the form just go ahead and print it… there won’t be an evaluation marks as long as you never save it.
–PDF-XChange Viewer (Homepage)–
In PDF-XChange Viewer just navigate to Tools -> Comment And Markup Tools -> Typewriter Tool to get started. Unlike Foxit you can save the document without any evaluation marks being placed on it, but I’m guessing that once you print the rebate form you won’t need it on your computer anymore. If for some reason you like to save all of your rebate forms then this is probably the better solution for you.
I’m not 100% convinced that typing out a rebate form is faster than writing it by hand, but it’s definitely a lot easier to read than one that’s handwritten. So maybe it’s better if only to help minimize any mistakes that may prevent you from getting your well-deserved money!