PDF file name for submissions



I´ve been working on defining structure on PDF file names (Submission number+Date+Production Line+App Name) but once I have the PDF files received on Google Drive (I am currently using this to store files) I get the same 14 digits at the beggining. I understand that the first 8 digits would be "submission date" (20180413), which I find pretty useful but is it possible to remove the next 6 digits (- 175207)?




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  • Hi Ricardo,

    That second number is actually the timestamp from when the Submission was sent through. There's no way to get rid of it, I'm afraid. I've definitely gotten questions about this before, so it would be a good feature request

  • Ok, I see now. It seems that this timestamp goes 5 hours earlier than my current time zone, can I have set this up so the time is right? I am currently on UTC -5

  • I think it's going to always be UTC. This is something that (I'm pretty sure) happens on the google side of things (or at least isn't something we get to control). 

  • There's a kind of goofy work-around here if this is an absolute necessity. It involves taking the emailed submission (has to be set as an attachment), and pulling it from an email inbox into google drive. That gives you some more control over the filenames. Here's what that looks like: 

    In GoCanvas:
    For the App I want going through the integration, I went into the email options and chose to send the submission as an email instead of a link. I also made sure I was always cced on the email. 

    Zapier Trigger: 

    We use gmail, so that was my trigger app. I set it up to look at emails that had a certain label, so that it wasn't acting on every email. Then I set up a rule in my gmail to automatically label the submission emails with that label when they come in. 

    Zapier Action: 

    This is set to upload a file to google drive. The file is set based on the attachment in the first step. When it comes in that way, it doesn't get stamped with the date and time. 

    Again, this isn't, I think in most cases, necessary, but it does get the job done. 

  • Hello,

    I too auto-update Drive with every GC submission that is made, and I am ok with the default file name not being in my time zone.

    But I certainly would like the info stamped at the footer of each page on the pdf to state the correct time and date of submission in my local time (not UTC).

    I tried to edit this, but I can't find a setting for it.

    Is there a way to change this?



  • Hi Tim,

    There's no way to edit the default footer. That said, you could include a field in your App that would capture the time in your time zone, and you could place it on the PDF as needed. It depends on how things are set up (loops make it difficult to place things, I know), but you could play with it a bit to try to get it to appear directly above the automated footer. 

    Sorry I don't have better news for you! There are a couple of feature requests about additional customization in the footer, so definitely check these out and add comments and upvote: 




  • I have a similar situation. Google Drive is where my reports are integrated. The date the report is sent isn't the date I want in the file name. I now understand from reading this, that I can't stop that extra stuff from happening in front of the pdf file name without setting up a zap. This is something I desperately need to do.

    In preparation for an audit, I had to spend several hours the other day re-naming about 600 submissions in Google Drive :(

    For your zapier integration/workaround above, any way I could get screen shots of this? 

    I looked at it briefly but I don't use gmail on a regular basis so I am not abundantly familiar.

    Besides the Google Drive Integration, even the PDF name in my email submission sent directly to my company email or gmail have an extra date and what appears to be a submission number stuck in front even though I have submission numbering turned off.

    Even if I setup the zap I'm afraid it's still going to have these extra fields added.


  • I think I actually over-complicated the instructions above (or Drive has changed how they do things - not entirely sure). If you want to control the name for things in Drive, you can set up a Zap like this: 

    The trigger is a new submission from whatever App you want.

    The action is to upload a new file in Drive: 

    The file will be the Canvas PDF and then you can set the file name based on either static text or fields in the App: 

    I did it based on a field that collects the date the Submission was completed and my username. It shows up in Drive like this: 

    Will that help you going forward, Keith? 

  • Absolutely!!!  This is fantastic!  It took little bit of tinker to figure it out but this is exactly what I needed. This will save me so much time.  Set it and forget it.

    This has been plaguing me for so long. What a relief! You have no idea!

    I am going to use this on every one one of my apps from now forward.

    We have naming protocols for all of our files and we are subjected to random short notice audits. This is one of those things that is always looming in the back of my mind. Having 100's if not 1000's of improperly named files is like a skeleton in the closet.

    Thank you!! You're a life saver.

    Any clue about the other date and submission number in the email even though I have it turned off?

  • So glad I could help!

    It looks like the date at least is coming from the field in the App itself:

    I'd guess that's where some of the other gunk is coming from as well (it doesn't look like that's a submission number, but not sure which field is setup to be part of the submission name - looks like maybe equipment ID?). You might want to go through and uncheck the ones that aren't helpful to you. 

    (Edited )

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