Editing the design of PDFs

By: Rich Burt | Asked: 09/12/2022
ForumsCategory: Paid Help WantedEditing the design of PDFs
Rich Burt asked 2 years ago
I'm working on a timesheet solution for a customer where multiple forms are set up, one for each job type, each collecting slightly different data, with the end result being a PDF that can be downloaded and attached to the email notification so the user can print the form for manual approval (offline signature). The brick wall I have hit is being able to design that PDF. Ideally, I'd have a PDF template for each form, but could possibly get away with one template with all possible fields on it. I've looked at Pro2PDF and can't see how to update the design/layout of the PDF template. I've looked at E2PDF and cannot see how to use these templates to override the FF ones. Any ideas? :)
4 Answers
Victor Font answered 2 years ago
Formidable has its own PDF add-on. Have you tried playing with it? There are hooks available where you can adjust the look of the content. https://formidableforms.com/knowledgebase/pdfs/
Rich Burt answered 2 years ago
Hi, thanks for your answer, really appreciate it! I have enabled the FF add-on for PDFs and it installed the Pro2PDF plugin, is there another version I should be seeing (the page you mention shows a WordPress PDFs Plugin)? I was under the impression that FF PDF add-on, Pro2PDF, and E2PDF were all provided by the same developer, apologies but I seem to be going around in circles with this. I've also contacted Pro2PDF support and after an initial response they have not responded for over a week, so I'm back to the drawing board :) Looking at the hooks I can adjust the content, which might be useful, but what I was looking for was a way to design the PDF from scratch (header, footer, offline signature boxes, and fields) and use it as a template for the form submissions. I think my best bet at this point might be to disable FF PDF (and Pro2PDF) and use E2PDF as this allows the design of the form templates, and then work these into the form and notification emails as a download. Unless i'm missing something? 
Victor Font answered 2 years ago

Strategy 11 is the author of the FF pdf add-on. The add-on uses the dompdf PHP library to generate PDFs.When I researched who the developers are for Pro2PDF and E2PDF, I couldn't find anything on their sites about the companies behind the products. Both of those plugins became available in the same year, but their origins seem to be different. I might be wrong, but from the information I could find, I don't think they are from the same developer(s).Formidable's add-on solution is homegrown by Strategy 11 and it's fairly new. I haven't even had time to play with it yet, but regardless you'd still have to create a template and use it within a filter to format the content before it's generated as a PDF. A template is just formatted HTML with the field values embedded. I don't know of outputting the content through a view would work or not, but it might be worth giving it a shot as well.

Rich Burt replied 2 years ago

Thanks again for your answer, really appreciated it!

I've managed to get it working perfectly with E2PDF, and its built-in designer makes it a simple and great solution.

Not sure how I got tangled up with all 3 plugins, I was following threads FF, no worries now though and if FF adds more visual design elements to it's PDF's I'll be sure to revisit but until then, I'll stick with whats working.

Steve WellsSteve Wells replied 2 years ago

E2PDF and Pro2PDF are both developed by the same company. They are great products but are unrelated to Formidable's PDF add-on.

Glad you were able to get it sorted out.

Fidan Jovanov answered 1 year ago
Were you able to use E2PDF to attach a PDF file after the form is filled or am I misunderstanding? I need to create a PDF as well, but the Forms to PDF addon for FF doesn't seem to have options for design
Rich Burt replied 1 year ago

Hi Fidan, yes I got it working nicely with E2PDF, the design of the PDF is a bit of a fiddle as it was for a timesheet, so lots of possible repeating fields, but it works a treat!

The end result of the form is to send both admin and the user a pdf timesheet for printing and signing.

If there is anything I can do to assist, let me know

Fidan Jovanov replied 1 year ago

Thanks for the info, I just played around with the free version of E2PDF and it can do what I need

Rich Burt replied 1 year ago

No problem at all 🙂 ...yes, the free version is fine if you only need one template

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