Want to convert a WordPress form to PDF? This post will show you how to do it easily using Formidable Form’s new add-on.
Standard PDF forms are clunky. They’re confusing to fill out on a computer, and sometimes you’re unsure if you’re filling out the right field.
We get it.
What if you were able to create a WordPress form that automatically generates a PDF when the form is submitted?
Well, now you can.
This post will show you how to use a WordPress form to PDF generator for all your needs.
Let’s jump into it.
Why use WordPress to create a PDF from a form?
When running a business, you’re using forms all over your website. You’re using contact forms, survey forms, payment forms, and possibly more.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a way to put the information from those forms into a neat and orderly PDF? The PDF can serve as an easily printable paper trail or something that you can email customers to confirm their order.
But, that’s just one example of what you can do by having WordPress generate a PDF from a form. You can also:
- Send a copy to a customer
- Keep it for your own records
- Create an invoice
- Generate a paper receipt for purchases
- Print out a member profile
You could even have the WordPress Form to PDF email option if you want to send a PDF document.
The visitor submits the form, and you get an email with it compiled into a PDF. You can also have it send the customer an email if you’d like.
How cool is that?
And there’s one plugin that surpasses all the others in this task: Formidable Forms.
How do I create a PDF form in WordPress?
To get started, you must download and install the Formidable Forms plugin. Once you get that activated, we’ll dive in.
There are only three easy steps to create a PDF form in WordPress:
- Create your form
- Set up PDF settings
- Customize the PDF
Short on time? Try one of our WordPress PDF templates instead!
These practical pre-built solutions come complete with a form templates and the PDF view template. In two clicks, you'll have everything you need to quickly create PDF certificates, PDF contracts, or PDF invoices in WordPress.
Let’s get into it.
Step 1: Create your form
Inside your WordPress admin, we can create a form. Go to Formidable → Forms and click Add New.
Next, choose Blank Form or select one of our many pre-made templates.
Give your form a name, and a description, then click Create.
Now, let’s add some fields to your form. As we mentioned above, you can drag these into the canvas. It’s a user-friendly way to build forms.
Once finished, click Update to save your form. You’re halfway there.
Step 2: Set up PDF settings
Okay, now that we’ve set up our form to collect entries, how do you convert those forms to PDF?
You have three options here:
- Export the entry as a PDF
- Attach the PDF file to an email
- Insert a shortcode for a download link
Before you do any of this, in your WordPress admin, go to Formidable → Add-Ons and click Install on the WordPress PDFs plugin.
Now, we’ll show you how you can use the PDF.
Export the entry as a PDF
To export a specific entry, go to your form Entries page, then select View or Edit below the entry on its details page.
In the sidebar, under Entry Actions, select Download as PDF.
Pretty easy, right?
Attach the PDF file to an email
Want to attach it to an email? Easy.
Go to your form’s Settings → Actions & Notifications.
Click on the email notification action to edit it, or you can click the Send Email icon to add a new one.
Scroll down to Attach PDF of entry to email and toggle the switch.
Let’s move on to the last method.
Insert a shortcode for a download link
This is an easier way to download the PDF. You paste the shortcode on a page, post, email, or View. When visitors click it, the document will get open, and they can download it.
To do this, simply put a bit of shortcode into the area:
In this shortcode, simply replace the ‘x’ with the ID of the ID you want to show.
You can find the ID on the entry details page.
For example, you can set up the shortcode like this:
[frm-pdf id=x label="Click to download entry as PDF"]
Three easy ways to take your form entries and export them to a PDF. Simplicity is beautiful, and it’s something we prioritize.
Step 3: Customize the PDF
You'll notice the PDF looks a bit basic.
But it doesn't have to. In fact, you can customize it to look exactly how you want!
To start, go to Views in your form builder. Then, click Add New to create a new View.
You can choose any template you want to get started, but we'll show a Grid view to start.
Next, name the View, then click the Create a view button.
The plugin will take you to the View Builder, where you can click Layout Builder. The Layout Builder is drag and drop like the form builder. So you can drag the different columns based on your preferences.
Then, click Save Layout.
You can click inside the column, and it will open the Visual/Text editor where you can begin customizing your View, which will be your PDF! Add text, images, and more until you get the design you're looking for.
For example, if you're using the PDF editor to create a certificate, you can create something like this:
Once you get your PDF designed, you can display it for download easily.
Head to a post or page where you want to show your PDF download.
Then add a bit of shortcode:
[frm-pdf view="*YOUR VIEW ID*" public="1"]
Then, when you update and preview the page, you can click the download link to view your PDF!
For a more detailed guide on customizing your PDF, check out this post for editing your PDFs in WordPress or this one to learn exactly how to sign a PDF in WordPress.
Why use Formidable Forms for your web form to PDF in WordPress
Regardless of your industry, the Formidable Forms PDF add-on makes using a WordPress form to generate a PDF simple and fast.
No matter the form you’re using — survey, payment, or contact form — you can design your PDF form to fit the form fields. To be clear, you can convert a WordPress contact form to PDF or literally any form on your site!
It’s almost like having a fillable PDF (we think it’s better)!
So, look no further if you’re searching for a WordPress contact form to PDF plugin.
With Formidable Forms' drag-and-drop builder, designing forms is effortless and fast.
This form can serve as your PDF template. With the plugin, you can design a form your customers fill out and generate a PDF using the contact form.
Print this PDF, send it as an email attachment, or display it in our unique Views feature. Or, just display a button where users can click and download a PDF.
No other WordPress plugin has anything like this (not Gravity Forms/Gravity PDF, not the Contact Form 7 plugin, not Caldera Forms, none of them).
With Views, you can create a dashboard where the admin can add information for each customer, then display it on the admin side or your website.
All you need is the Formidable Business plan to get started!
For everything you get in the Business plan, we think this price is a bit of a steal (but maybe we’re biased).
But, you get far more than just the PDF add-on with the Business plan. Here are some more features:
- Drag-and-drop form builder
- 150+ form templates
- Conversational forms
- Formidable Views
- Many integrations
- And much more
If you’re unsure, give it a try. You have 14 days to try it out and get a refund if you don’t like it.
But we’re sure you will 😀.
Don’t you love when things are easy? At Formidable Forms, that’s built into everything we do.
This post taught you how to convert a form to PDF with our fantastic new add-on. The add-on is to Formidable Forms, a plugin that provides an easier way to build and display forms and gather data from them.
Don’t stop with just our contact form to PDF WordPress add-on, though. We have many more features than that.
There’s more you can do with WordPress forms to PDF. Fill out your knowledge completely, so you know all the options available.
And one last thing. If you’re on social media, follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube to get all our tips and tricks. You don’t want to miss out on these.
Nick Venter says
Formidable Forms is really great - but the PDF feature is a bit limited. I was hoping to use this to get a contract document signed and then send a PDF copy to the admin and customer. However, if you have a long document and for example you put the text in a Paragraph Field as a default value, when submitted, the PDF only pulls through the first couple of paragraphs and the rest of the document text is lost. This is really disappointing and the suggested workaround of breaking the document up into multiple paragraph fields is not practical. I'm hoping for an update to the PDF feature soon...!
I'll have to double check with our devs, but this sounds like a bug and unintentional behavior. We just released the first version of this add-on and we are definitely listening to feedback to make it better going forward. We'll work on replicating and fixing this issue in an upcoming release.
Just an update on this issue. A release just went out that addresses this issue and it should be fixed. Long paragraph fields should now properly show in the PDF.
Do you have more info on how to design the pdf template? Let say I have the design and fields, how to integrate with this?
Thanks for the comment. For the time being, the PDF template style can't be modified. You can modify the fields that show or don't show, but that is all for now.
We are working on a styling and formatting option, but this isn't completed yet.
It is very interesting but it is very important and necessary that we can edit the pdf template. I hope this can come soon and doesn't get lost in the developers' worklist.
On the page where the plugin is mentioned, it indicates that it is possible:
Make your own custom PDF templates,...
Kyle Cash says
Just an update on this! We definitely didn't let it get lost in the devs worklist.
You can customize the PDF template within Formidable Forms now!
Here's a post to help with the details:
[email protected] says
Formidable Forms funciona muy bien, debo admitir que tiene su curva de aprendizaje pero la documentación es basta. Me ayudó mucho en mi sitio web
Formidable Forms is definitely one of the most versatile plugins for WordPress. I plan on using the PDF feature shortly in my web projects.
Thanks for the great info!
I looked high and low for this. Thank you for this article.
Thomas P says
Thatis a powerful solution that can be implemented in a variety of ways. Really could be a time-saver in streamlining a variety of processes.
How many file formats are supported other than PDF?
You can export your form entries as CSV files as well. We even have Google Sheets integration so you can automatically pull entries into Google Sheets.
Daniel T. says
Formidable forms is the best! I'm going to add the PDF function soon to my sites