How to make PDF include the actually waiver text that the user signed and not all text fields (also conditionally hidden)?

  • Profile Image
    Asked on September 30, 2017 at 02:02 PM

    How to include only the text that is shown to the user in the submission PDF?

    I am building a form that includes waivers that are different depending on the players age, i.e., minor or adult. I can use conditions to show the correct waiver to the user and then use "smooth signature" for them to sign. This works great. However, when generating a PDF all waivers are included, i.e., also the hidden one that the user never saw and consequently never signed.

    I made a short test form here: Note that the first part of the waiver is the same independent of age, but the second part depends on the age (

    How do I make only the text that was actually presented to the user be included in the PDF for that submission. At the moment I can only include all text fields or none at all. If I include all text fields then also the hidden ones are included, which makes no sense since these were never shown to the user.

    In general. I would think this is an essential functionality to have a record of what fields were shown to the user also in other instants. 

  • Profile Image
    Answered on September 30, 2017 at 03:20 PM

    The issue here is that the Text fields, where you put the waiver, will not show automatically in Email notifier/Autoresponder, therefore it will not show in PDF as well.

    Further, the problem is that you're conditionally showing/hiding the Text fields. And the solution to show Text fields in the email is to manually copy and paste the text to Notifier email's body:

    But, you see the problem there, if you copy all text it will show no matter if it was shown in the form conditionally or not.

    One solution I see here is to use Terms widget:

    And then show each according to what is in Age field.

    Could that work for you?

    Please let us know.

    Thank you!

  • Profile Image
    Answered on October 02, 2017 at 05:05 PM

    Actually, my interest is in creating legal paper trail of the form, both for us (organization collecting the form) and for the end-user (filling out the form).

    You are correct in that the e-mail does not include any text fields and that copying-and-pasting text into the e-mail is not a solution. As you point out, you can never add what was actually shown when using conditional text fields. Also it hardly a legal paper trail when manually adding the text a second time.

    Let's first look at your proposed solution: short-scrollable-term widget. This widget is interesting as it allows the text to be treated as a 'normal' field, i.e., included in PDF and e-mail correctly with options to be excluded when hidden. However, there are some serious short comings as you can see in the form to which I now added this widget with a condition on age (two different terms depending on age). The most serious shortcoming is that it requires the checkbox, so now I have both a checkbox and a signature. (The latter is required in this case.) Another serious issue is that when the user clicks on "print form" at the end before submitting he/she only sees the bottom part of the form (scrolled to the bottom). Another issue is that it does not look good on the screen as there is no html formatting allowed.

    To me it seems as if the treatment of text fields is inconsistent, especially from an end-user perspective (person filling out the form). I think the expectation from an end-user is that when clicking on 'print form' as well as receiving a PDF in the e-mail that: a) these are identical and b) that they show the form as it was presented to the end-user (no hidden fields)

    I guess the key question/suggestion I have are:

    1) Why does the PDF of a submission (both the one e-mailed and downloaded afterwards) look different from the output when clicking on 'print form'? Specifically, I am looking for an option to make the PDF to work more as 'print form' that shows a record of what the user actually saw on the screen when filling out the form (e.g. text fields included, but not hidden ones).

    2) Why is a text field not simple managed as a normal input field, but read-only?

    3) short-scrollable-term widget does not show the entire content when the end-user clicks 'print form', which is probably the key content the user wants to print for his records of what terms were agreed to.

  • Profile Image
    Answered on October 02, 2017 at 08:02 PM

    PDF, Email and Web formats are all different, so we do not have an option to receive submitted form everywhere in the same layout.

    At this time, you cannot include conditional text fields only to the PDF output. You may consider using different forms. For example, you can show the form links on the main form, or redirect the user to the correct form based on a condition.

    Other questions have been moved into separate threads so we will be able to address them properly.

  • Profile Image
    Answered on October 03, 2017 at 09:19 AM

    Thanks for the clarification. I do understand that these are different functionality from a developer point of view (PDF, e-mail, web) and they will inherently have different layouts, but my question is why they have different content.

    From an end-user perspective (the one filling out the form), I would think they expect both the "print form" functionality as well as the e-mail he/she receives with a PDF to be a record of the form the he/she filled out for later reference. The "print form" seems to be designed to achieve this objective, while the PDF does not. This is puzzling to me as this seems to be the obvious baseline functionality. It is nice to be able to edit the PDF, but for most, all they want is a record of the form the was filled out.

    The specific thing that is "wrong" with the PDF functionality is that it does not include the information the end-user saw when filling out the form, specifically w.r.t. text fields that are conditionally shown. 

  • Profile Image
    Answered on October 03, 2017 at 11:13 AM

    Just to follow up on what Mike has suggested, you can use a form to welcome the user, take some information, and route them to another form. Because you can break down your one form into several smaller forms. 

    Each smaller form wont need to show/hide anything. And will appear on the PDF.

    This should solve your problem.