Gravity Forms to PDF: The Complete Guide to Fillable PDFs
Learning how to export Gravity Forms to PDF is a huge timesaver. Rather than having to manually fill out PDF documents or collect information directly from your website’s visitors, you can set up a data collection form and automatically generate a Gravity Forms PDF from form submissions.
While there are plenty of potential use cases, exporting Gravity Forms to PDF is especially helpful for…
It will not only save you time, but it will also create a better user experience for your visitors, who have a much more streamlined way to provide their information to you.
In this post, you’ll learn how to export Gravity Forms to PDF in a visual, privacy-friendly manner. You can take a form like this:
And automatically turn all the entry data into a signed PDF like this:
You won’t need to create your own form template using HTML and PHP. Instead, you just upload your fillable PDF document and visually map Gravity Forms fields to fillable fields in that PDF.
You’ll be able to preserve the existing style of your PDF file, and you’ll also be able to include signatures directly in the PDF, which is great for generating contracts.
Important Considerations for Exporting Gravity Forms to PDF
When you export Gravity Forms to PDF, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind:
- Templates – some Gravity Forms PDF solutions make you create your template from scratch with HTML and PHP, while the plugin we’ll feature lets you use a visual interface and map your fields to an existing PDF file, while preserving that file’s visual design.
- Privacy – if your Gravity PDF plugin generates PDFs on a separate server, you want to make sure that none of that data is stored externally.
- Signatures – for contracts, being able to embed a signature directly in the Gravity PDF document is important.
How to Use Fillable PDFs to Export Gravity Forms to PDF
The Fillable PDFs plugin from ForGravity helps you export Gravity Forms to PDF with a visual, privacy-friendly approach. You’ll be able to upload a fillable PDF file and visually map form fields to that PDF – no need to code a template from scratch.
Once a user submits a form, Fillable PDFs will auto-fill that information into your PDF, which you can include as a download link in confirmation messages or as an attachment to an email notification.
You’ll also get more advanced options, like conditional logic and form access restrictions.
All your generated PDFs are stored locally on your own server, and no data is ever retained by ForGravity during PDF generation.
Here’s your step-by-step guide to export Gravity Forms to PDF using Fillable PDFs…
1. Create a Fillable PDF File
Rather than forcing you to create your own custom PDF templates with HTML, CSS, and PHP, Fillable PDFs lets you map Gravity Forms fields to the existing fillable fields in a PDF file.
If you don’t already have a fillable PDF form, you can create a new one using Microsoft Word or Google Docs (or any other PDF creation tool). Then, you can use Adobe Acrobat to turn those forms into fillable PDFs using the Prepare Form option in the Tools tab. You can also configure other details, like paper size and RTL text.
Another option is to use an online tool to create fillable PDFs – JotForm has a good free tool that works great for simple PDF forms that don’t require custom styling:
PDFescape also has an online tool that makes a great option for quickly creating a simple fillable PDF form, though it’s not quite as user-friendly as JotForm.
2. Add Your Gravity Forms PDF Template in WordPress
Once you’ve generated your fillable PDF file, the next step is to set it up as a Gravity Forms PDF template in your WordPress dashboard:
- Go to Forms → Fillable PDFs
- Select the Templates tab
- Click the Add New button
- Use the file picker to select the PDF file you created in step one
- Click the Create Template button to upload your Gravity Forms PDF template
3. Map Fields in Gravity Forms to PDF
Once you’ve added your template, you’re ready to map it to the fields in Gravity Forms.
To get started, edit the existing form you want to add a Gravity PDF to or create a new form with Gravity Forms.
Then, go to the Settings tab for your form and select the Fillable PDFs tab from the sidebar. Then, click Add New.
To map your form fields to the fillable PDF fields, select the template you uploaded in step two from the drop-down and click Open Mapper:
Then, you’ll see a visual preview of your PDF form, with all of the fillable fields highlighted. To map a Gravity Forms field to one of those fillable PDF fields, all you need to do is click on the field on the live preview of your PDF form.
That will open a popover where you can select which Gravity Forms field to map to that PDF field, as you can see in the screenshot below. You can also map Gravity Forms entry meta or a custom value with merge tags:
In addition to mapping basic entry fields, including checkboxes and radio buttons, you can also embed a signature from the Gravity Forms Signature add-on, which is especially helpful if you’re generating contracts, like wills or trusts.
4. Configure Advanced Permissions
Depending on what type of data you’re exporting from Gravity Forms to PDF, you might want to add access restrictions to control who can download and view the PDF file.
For example, you might not want a generated contract floating around unprotected.
To configure these security settings, go to the Advanced tab of the Fillable PDFs settings. There, you can control:
- Passwords to view the PDF or change the PDF’s permissions
- PDF permissions, like whether people can modify or annotate the PDF file
- Download permissions, like whether to allow anyone with a link to download the file or require special access links or users to be logged in
5. Include Links to PDF in Confirmations or Notifications
If you want to give people a copy of the Gravity Forms PDF file after form submission, Fillable PDFs gives you three merge tags that you can include in your Gravity Forms confirmations or notifications:
- PDF filename
- URL to download the PDF file
- Clickable link to the PDF file on your server
You can insert these merge tags like you would any other Gravity Forms merge tag.
For email notifications, Fillable PDFs also gives you the option of attaching the PDF file directly to the email (rather than having users click a link to download it).
To set this up:
- Go to the Settings tab in your form
- Select the Fillable PDFs tab from the sidebar
- Use the Notifications field to choose which notifications to attach the PDF file to
Start Exporting Gravity Forms to PDF Today
If you’re building a WordPress site to work with contracts or applications, learning how to export Gravity Forms to PDF is a great way to streamline your workflows and create a more user-friendly experience for your visitors.
The Fillable PDFs plugin from ForGravity gives you a privacy-friendly way to export Gravity Forms to PDF. Rather than coding a template from scratch, all you need to do is upload a PDF file with fillable fields and then map your form data to generate the Gravity Forms PDF.
Your PDF file will retain its original styling and you’ll also be able to include signatures directly in your PDF:
If you’re creating contracts, applications, or anything else where you need to map form fields to PDFs on a one-to-one basis, Fillable PDFs from ForGravity will have you up and running in no time.
To get started, purchase Fillable PDFs today.
All plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Fillable PDFs is an add-on for Gravity Forms, so you’ll also need an active Gravity Forms license.