NOTE: This article refers to the GoCanvas PDF Designer. If you are looking to customize the Standard PDF, please click here.
The GoCanvas PDF Designer allows you to customize the output of the data that you submit through the GoCanvas application.
You may watch the video or skip down below it to read about it.
Opening the PDF Designer
The PDF Designer can be launched two different ways:
- Toggle to the PDF Designer using the button at the top of the Form Builder.
- Go to PDF Options in Form Settings in click Launch PDF Designer in the top right of the page.
Navigating the PDF Designer
The PDF Designer is split in two main sections.
On the left panel you will find:
- App Outline - the fields that you have currently in your form
- Elements – static elements such as text and images that can be placed into your PDF
- Setting – stylistic settings that you can apply to text and tables
The main portion of the PDF Designer is where you format your output. Here you can add columns, section, drag fields or elements from the left panel to your output, resize images, and more.
Adding Fields to the PDF output
Before adding fields to the PDF design, you will first need to add a section – the location where the field will be placed. Hover your mouse over the main part of the PDF Designer to reveal the Click to Add Section option. Once a section has been added, you can divide the section into columns at any time. Hover over the section to view the Add a column and Remove a column buttons. Learn more about columns here.
You can also automatically add a section by dragging a field from the App Outline to the bottom of your design.
A header and footer section are added by default when creating a new PDF Design. If left blank, they will not appear on the PDF.
NOTE: The maximum height of the header and footer is currently 150px.
From the App Outline Tab
- On the left panel, click the top icon to reveal the App Outline. You can expand or collapse sections, the screen in your GoCanvas form, by clicking on the name of the section title.
- Find the field that you want to add.
- While clicking on the field, drag it to the corresponding section in your design.
You can add multiple fields to a single section or column. Adding a second field will place it directly on top or below the existing field. When a field has been successfully added to the design, the field will be highlighted in blue in the App Outline.
If your form contains a List (Simple) screen, all fields will be linked in the App Outline. Dragging the linked fields from the App Outline into the designer will create a table. You can learn more about adding lists to your form here.
From the Elements Tab
On the left panel, click the middle Elements icon. When clicked you will see five options to add static text, images, social media icons, page breaks, or submission numbering.
Any of these elements can be added to an existing or new section in your PDF by dragging the element from the left panel into the design.
Click here to learn more about adding static elements to your PDF.
Formatting Text and Fields
To customize the text color, text size, and borders in our PDF design, click on the Gear icon in the left panel to open the Property Settings tab.
There are two ways to customize text and fields in your design: globally, which applies to the entire design, or by field, which will only customize the selected field.
- General – General settings allow you to change font, text color, text size, and vertical spacing (the spacing between fields).
- Fields – Field settings allow you to add borders across all of the fields in your PDF as well as an option to include or exclude field labels.
- Loops – If you have a Loop in your form, it will reflect as a table and you can use the settings to update the header color, borders, and alignment.
- Table Rows – Similar to above, you can use the settings to update the rows' color, borders, and alignment.
- Padding – Padding allows you to add "cushion" for the content within your columns and the column's edges.
To see individual field settings, click in a field in your design. When selected, a blue box will appear around the field and field settings automatically opened.
- General – Field specific general settings let you select a background color for your field, set text alignment within a section, and set text emphasis (such as bold, italic, and underline).
- Other – Other includes the same formatting options found in the global settings; however, these can be applied to individual fields.
- Use Global Settings – This check box determine whether or not you want the field to use the same global formatting defined in the “Global Settings” tab. Deselect this option if you want the field to have unique formatting.
For more information about formatting your text and fields here.
Previewing the Design
You can preview the design by clicking the Preview button in the top right corner of the PDF Designer. If you have already created submissions for this form, a preview will download using data from the most recent submission. If not, a blank preview will generate.
Using your PDF Design
Once your design is complete, you will need to switch your form settings from sending the Standard GoCanvas PDF to the PDF Designer. If this is the first time you are saving your design, you will automatically be prompted to choose if you would like your submissions to use the PDF Designer Output. If this is not the first time saving the PDF Design and your submissions are not currently using a previous version of the design, follow these steps:
- Click the Save button in the top right corner of the Designer then Close out of the PDF Designer.
- Go back to your Forms page on the GoCanvas website.
- Click the name of your form. This will take you to the Form Settings page.
- Scroll to the Options header and select Email Options.
- In the PDF to send as attachment drop-down, choose Designer.
- Click Update at the bottom of the page.