PDQForms Fly-Through

PDQForms are smart forms; all of their calculations are performed automatically, just like in a spreadsheet.

You can edit a form by double-clicking it, by dropping it on the PDQForms icon, or by opening it with PDQForms. If you change any data in a form, a "Save …" dialog will be posed when you close that form. Completed forms can be printed and mailed, or saved as PDFs and emailed.


You've installed PDQForms 2017 from the Mac App Store and are ready to start doing your tax returns.

It’s easier to edit fields when you've zoomed-in on the form. So you expand the page to be larger by zooming in on the document several times using the = keys, or the Zoom In menu command. Notice that PDQForms' page resizing maintains a full page view as you zoom in.

You can select a field and tab through the form, as you'd expect. When tabbing through the form you’ll see a blinking text caret in fields that are editable, but not in calculated, locked, ones.

👉🏿 It is suggested that you open and fill out the BASIC INFORMATION form, first. 

Now, fill out the fields in BASIC INFORMATION that apply to you, and be sure to click on the box for the Filing Status you're using this year. You should save BASIC INFORMATION after filling it out.


Next, you need to open the main IRS form you want to use for filing. In this fly-through we’re going to talk about Form 1040, so open that form, now, with the template chooser by giving the File/New…command.


Notice that fields you entered in BASIC INFORMATION are imported automatically into the main form. That’s because when you open a form it imports any available fields (unless the form already has values for them). And when you leave a form, it exports all of its exportable fields that contain data. That’s why their values were there waiting for you when you opened the main form!

👉🏿 If you didn't check one of the Filing Status boxes in BASIC INFORMATION.pdq, be sure to check it now in f1040.pdq.

Now check one or both of the Exemptions Checkboxes for "Yourself" and "Spouse."

Next, select the field for Line 7 "Wages, salaries, tips, etc."

Edit a value of "100000" in it, and hit tab.

Notice that the value you entered is reformatted as "100,000.00" and that several subordinate lines that are dependent on Line 7 also update.

But look at all the updates on Page 2 of the form:

Line 38 – adjusted gross income is carried over from Line 37 on the previous page.

The Senior/Blind boxes will correspond to your settings in BASIC INFORMATION, or you can set them up here if you skipped them, there.

Your "standard deduction,” on Line 40, was calculated using built-in logic, and so were your exemptions on Line 42.

Your tax, on Line 44, was calculated using the tax table or tax rates, depending on your tax bracket.

There are many other fields you still have to fill out but we walked you through the most difficult ones; not that all of the others are a cakewalk, by any means :-)

Now that you have the basics of how to work with PDQ forms, there is one more thing you need to know, how to change the value of a calculated field. 


As we mentioned, above, your exemptions on Line 42 were automatically calculated for you. But if your adjusted gross income exceeded the threshold for your filing status (the lowest is $156,000 for Single) then this line would have been left blank and you would have to use the instructions to determine its value. And since this is a calculated field, it’s locked. So you’d select the field and use the Unlock Field command to make it editable. Then you could enter the value you figured by following the instructions. And if for some reason you decided, later, to use its original value, you could select that field and do a "Relock Field" command, in which case, the exemption amount would revert to the value that was there before you changed it.

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