User Guide

 

How to Create a Customized PDF or Google Doc for Your Submissions

How to Create a Customized PDF or Google Doc for Your Submissions

Hey to our JotForm users! 

I believe you are already familiar with the Customize PDF Report feature that we have. However, there's another way on how you can create a customized PDF file based on your submission data. This is by using the following 3rd party applications:

- Google Spreadsheet

AutoCrat Add-on

 

You can find the documentation and help guide for AutoCrat on this link

Here's a test form that I made: https://form.jotformpro.com/72362058406959. After you fill it out, you'll receive the customized PDF document in your email, that's just one of the option. 

Following case scenarios where you can use this:

- A highly customized contract with the submission data on it. 

- A certificate you want to send to your users based on their submission data.

- You want a PDF copy of the submission but you have your own format.

- You can also create multiple PDF files based on one submission. 

 

Below is how you can set this up in your form:

1. First, you need to create your form.

2. Integrate the form to your Google Spreadsheet account. Here's a guide about it: How to Integrate Form with Google Spreadsheet

3. Open your Google Spreadsheet and install the AutoCrat add-on.

3.1. Under "Add-ons" tab, click "Get add-ons". 

3.2. Search "autocrat" and add it by clicking the "+ FREE" button. 

 

3.3. It will then ask you to allow your Google account to have this add-on accessibility.  

 

 

4. After you have successfully installed AutoCrat, you can find it under the "Add-ons" tab. 

 

 

5. First, before using AutoCrat, we will set up our folders and template. Below are the folders that I have. 

- JotForm-Sheet-AutoCrat Folder => This is just my main folder. 

-- AutoCrat PDF Files => This is the folder where the generated PDF files will be stored.

-- AutoCrat Document Template => This is the folder where the document for my templates will be saved.

 

You can, of course, have your own way of organizing the folders. Please do note that the integrated spreadsheet is not in any of these folders. 

 

 

6. In my AutoCrat Document Template, I created this Google Doc:

Note that this will also be the template for the generated PDF file. You can create your own template here. Mine is just a simple way of displaying some information from the submission, static text and set up a background color. You can be as creative on your own template. 

What you need to take note of are the tags. You can see tags like <<Submission ID>>. Note that the name is based on the column name in my Google Spreadsheet that was integrated into JotForm. So the tags are enclosed in <<>>, then the name is based on the column headers in the spreadsheet. 

 

In my case, I'm fetching the following:

<<Submission ID>>

<<Submission Date>>

<<First Name>>

<<Last Name>>

<<Email>>

<<Upload Image>>

 

Please note that the upload image here is hosted in JotForm and what we can do is show it as a hyperlink. Unfortunately, we can't embed the image itself (this is based on my own testing, you can try it as I might have missed something). 

 

7. After you have created your template, we can now set up our AutCrat job in our spreadsheet. You can open or launch AutoCrat under the "Add-ons" tab in your spreadsheet. Below are the steps on how to create our first "job". 

Step 1: Click "New Job" button. The "job" term means basically a "task" that will run based on some conditions or triggers. 

 

Step 2: Name your "job" and click "Next". 

 

Step 3: Choose a template, in our case, we have a Google doc template that we created earlier. Choose "From drive" option, and from there choose the template. Click "Next". 

 

Step 4: Here you can choose the "Sheet" as the source of the submission data. In our case, it's named "Sheet1". After that, you can see that the tags are automatically listed and you can map them to the columns in our sheet. 

A special note on this is the type of data. Below you can see we are mapping the file upload field. We set the type to "Hyperlink" here. Unfortunately, the "Image" type does not work because the file uploads in JotForm is not "publicly" hosted as far as I can understand. 

After you have selected a source sheet and map the columns. Click "Next". 

 

Step 5: Name the PDF files that will be created, we want this unique. Good thing is that we can use the tags from our template here. So, in my case, I will use the <<Submission ID>> tag as this is unique per submission. Then in the "Type", you can choose "Google document" or "PDF". In my case, I want it in PDF. Click "Next" after. 

 

Step 6: Here you will choose the destination folder of your generated PDF files. In my case, as we have discussed earlier, we created the "AutoCrat PDF Files" folder in my Google Drive. 

 

Step 7: This is optional, in my case, I will not create a dynamic folder. To learn more about this, you can check the official guide of AutoCrat. You can click "Next". 

 

Step 8: This is optional too. In our case, we don't need this because AutoCrat automatically identifies if the row in the sheet has already been processed for a generated PDF. You can, of course, make use of this depending on how complicated your process is. Click "Next". 

Step 9: Here you can share the generated PDF file and email it. The important thing to set is the "Share doc?" option and the "Share doc as". I set mine to "Yes" and the file type as "PDF". 

If you scroll down, you can see that you can set the email template. Now, this depends on who is your target recipient for this PDF files. If the PDF file is for your own purpose, then add your own email under the "To" line, you can specify any email address here. If you want to send and share the PDF file to the person who filled out the JotForm form, then use the email tag here. 

You can customize this to your own preferences. Click "Next" after. 

 

Step 10: This is where you need to set the trigger for this job. Unfortunately, the "Run on form trigger" works on Google forms. So we cannot automatically trigger this job when the JotForm form is filled out. However, you can use the "Run on time trigger". You don't need to have the spreadsheet opened, this will automatically be triggered, as far as I know. It's best if you test this further to see how it works. The bad news is that the minimum time is "one hour".

After setting up the trigger options, click the "Save" button.

 

If you open AutoCrat again, you'll see your job has been created. You can manually trigger the job by clicking the play or run button. 

 

Below is an example, I filled out my JotForm form. 

 

I then manually triggered the job in AutoCrat by clicking the play button. This is how I receive it in my email. 

 

 

In my Google Drive, you can see that the PDF file has been created. 

 

 

Wow! That was quite a lengthy guide, but I hope you find this helpful. In case you need a highly customized PDF file for your submissions, feel free to try this out. 

If you have any questions, concerns or just to share a feedback on this guide, feel free to comment below.

Cheers!

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2 Comments...

  • nobleone

    Is there an autosend? What other form creators will run this action automatically without add ons?

  • alishehzad

    there is yet a solution to automatically run the trigger? and why is it that jotform does not have an inbuilt system for merge like many of its competitors?