Make data from WordPress form submissions easy to read, search, and share by saving them as a PDF document. This article shows how to print your WordPress form to PDF in a few, simple steps.
Have you ever tried sharing data from form submissions with a colleague or a customer? Maybe you tried exporting entries from WordPress forms as CSV files but found this format difficult to read and even harder to search?
Instead, the easiest way to share form data in a readable format is by saving them as a PDF document.
Converting data into a PDF version makes it so you can store, send in email, share, and print all the WordPress form entries in no time. The PDF file format is also readily readable for just about anyone using any desktop or mobile device.
This simple step also makes it so any user can fill out the form entries you need through your website without having to turn the WordPress page into a pdf form itself. They simply answer the questions and the form collects the data on the backend.
Downloading the data entries after submission simplifies the process and makes it so your users don't need any other software to generate a fillable PDF form. This makes it more likely that they'll give you the information you need.
But you might be wondering:
How do I make a PDF form in WordPress?
By choosing a plugin that generates PDF from form submissions.
Luckily, creating a PDF form in WordPress with the all-in-one form builder plugin, Formidable Forms is easier than ever! With the E2PDF plugin, you can generate PDFs from form submissions in just a few simple steps!
With this powerful integration, you can export and print data the way you want, even splitting data across multiple pages.
You can also create a WordPress relational database and web forms with conditional logic to sort your form data before it even hits the database. Then when you use the PDF generation, the data has already been sorted the way you want.
👉 Read More: Formidable Forms vs. Gravity Forms WordPress plugins
But first, let's see how to print a form to PDF:
Method 1: Convert form submissions to PDF from the backend
The fastest, easiest way to get a PDF of a single form entry is from a Formidable-powered database found on a WordPress site's backend (even with the free version).
This easy-to-use forms plugin gives you the tools to both collect and manage data.
Simply go to Formidable → Entries list, hover over the individual entry you want to print, and click View.
Click Print Entry in the sidebar, right under Entry Actions.
This will open the print screen, which will look different from one browser to the next. This is the print screen in Google Chrome. Select Save as PDF in the Destination dropdown box.
In this example, we’ve also selected Portrait mode for the layout. Select the location to save and file and hit Save.
We now have a PDF file of that entry.
Method 2: Install the PDF form submissions add-on (E2PDF)
Let’s look at how to create the PDF from the front end. This allows the user to print a PDF, save it, and receive it in email. Users can send PDF copies of any WordPress form submission by email or export them and use them wherever they need.
But first, let's download the E2PDF plugin.
Install the E2PDF plugin to generate PDFs
E2PDF is a third-party plugin that was designed to create custom PDF documents from WordPress forms. It integrates with Formidable Forms to create PDFs using your own custom templates.
Formidable Forms includes more than 30 field types that are compatible with E2PDF so you can include electronic signatures, dynamic fields, and more. The PDF can be included as an attachment in your email notifications.
Create a template to print WordPress form entries to PDF
Go to E2PDF → Templates in the WordPress dashboard menu and select Add New. This will open an editor where you can make your template selections.
Fill in the title, size, and font options. Under Extension select Formidable Forms. For Item select the form that you’d like to turn into a PDF from. Click Auto PDF so it will create the PDF form automatically.
For this example, we’ve selected a simple Contact form.
This will create a template from the form you’ve chosen. You can customize it however you'd like:
If you want to change the text of the button that will appear where you add the shortcode, enter a button title in the Template tab in the Settings area in the bottom right of the editor screen. We’ve selected Inline so the PDF opens in a new tab where visitors can save or print the PDF:
Add the shortcode to the form submission settings
In the Shortcodes list in the editor, select the shortcodes for the actions you want to perform (attach, download, save, or view):
To show a downloadable PDF right after a form is submitted, go to your form’s settings. Then, in the General tab, go to the Messages section and add the E2PDF shortcodes to the On Submit field:
You can add extra text in addition to the shortcode. We’ve added the shortcodes to download and view the same PDF.
This is the form submissions to PDF example before we hit Submit:
Once the user clicks the submit button and the submission is completed, they’ll see a message that includes the "form submitted" response, the download link, and the open PDF. They can view, download, or print the PDF with the data submitted by the form fields:
If you’ve chosen Inline, the PDF file will open in a new tab with download and print features:
Wrapping up how to convert WordPress form submissions to PDF
And that's how to export WordPress forms to PDF.
Ready to take your form data to the next level? Just a few simple steps will convert WordPress to PDF files that are easy to search and use.
Make data even more user-friendly and easier to read with Formidable Forms and the E2PDF plugin.
Not using Formidable Forms yet? Need a WordPress forms plugin that allows you to download PDF files for free? Get started with Formidable today. Create a WordPress form to PDF generation system easily!