How to create Excel and PDF documents from Typeform in Zapier

This article demonstrates how to create PDF documents from an XLSX template on a Typeform submission with the help of Processes in Zapier. It may help you to automize the generation of different documents like applications, requests, orders, etc., in your company.

Processes are a Plumsail Documents feature with an intuitive interface for creating documents from templates.

Typeform is an online form builder that allows you to create modern responsive forms for your website.

Let’s see how to connect them in Zapier to automatically collect data from a Typeform, apply the data to our Excel template, and generate a new PDF document.

Create a Form

We’ve already created a Typeform with a short employee questionnaire. We will use data from its submission. If you haven’t created Typeforms before, follow this link to learn how to do it.

Below is a screenshot of our form:

Typeform image

Configure the Process

Before creating the Flow, we need to set a Process, which will generate PDF documents from an XLSX template.

Create a new process

Go to the Processes section in your Plumsail account.

Click on the Add process button.

add process button

Set the Process name. As we’re going to generate PDF documents from an Excel template, select XLSX for the template type.

create excel process

Configure a template

Once you’re done with the first step Create Process, press the Next button, and you’ll proceed to the next step – Configure Template.

It includes two substeps:

  • Editor;

  • Settings.

In Editor, you can compose the template from scratch or upload a pre-made one. It’s also possible to modify the uploaded template online.

Feel free to download an XLSX template that we have already prepared. It’s a short employee information sheet:

Excel template

Then upload it to the process.

upload template file

Templating syntax

When creating your own templates, mind the templating language. Plumsail Excel XLSX templates use a different approach than most other templating solutions. It uses a minimal amount of syntax to make your work done.

In short, the templating engine thinks that everything between curly {{ }} brackets is variables where it will apply your specified data. Read this article to get familiar with the templating engine.

Test template

You can test a template as well, to see how it will look at the end. After clicking on the Test template button, you will see the dialog where you can fill in the auto-generated testing form. Form fields are created based on tokens from your document template. You can adjust the look of the testing form by changing token types.

test template

It’s testing. We’re going to apply the data from the MS Form to our template.

Once you’ve tested the template, press Save&Next to proceed further - to the Settings substep.

Here, please:

  • Switch to an active mode to remove Plumsail watermarks from resulting documents

  • Fill in the name of the result file

  • Select PDF format for the output file

  • Protect the result PDF if you wish

Configure template

Once you’ve customized all the settings, you can test the template to see the result as we did it before.

When everything is done here, click on Save & Next to set up deliveries.

Delivery

The next step is delivery. For demonstrating purpose, we’ll store the result file in OneDrive. But there are other options.

Select the folder where the ready document will be saved.

create pdf from template on form submission

You can configure as many deliveries as you need.

Start the Process

We will start our Process from Zapier.

Create a Zap

Zap is an automated connection between web services in Zapier. You can create it from scratch following the steps explained below.

Or you can utilize the zap template. Click Use this zap, and then just customize the steps as it’s described further in this article.

This is how our Zap looks:

xlsx to pdf from Cognito Forms Zap

New entry in Typeform

We need to start the Zap everytime somebody submits our Typeform. For that, search for Typeform in Zapier and add New entry as a trigger.

If this is your first Zap with Typeform, on this step, sign in to your Typeform Account from Zapier to use your forms inside Zaps.

Then, you’ll need to pick the form you want to track in the dropdown.

Typeform trigger

The last thing to do with the trigger - Find data. Press “Test trigger” to find data. It will allow you to use the trigger output on the next step.

Test Typeform trigger to find data

Start process in Plumsail Documents

Once the trigger is set, search for Plumsail Documents and add an action Start process.

start process from Zapier action

Click Continue. If this is your first Zap, at this point, you’ll need to Sign in to your Plumsail Account from Zapier to establish a connection between the app and your account. If you already have a Plumsail account tied to the app, you can add another one at this step, and use it instead.

Customize Start Process

Choose the process you want to start by this Zap from the dropdown. You will see fields to complete - they have the same names as tokens from the template.

To complete them, use the output from the Typeform trigger.

JSON data

Our Zap is ready. See how the resulting file looks:

Final document

Sign up for Plumsail Documents

As you can see, it’s simple to automize the generation of documents on Typeforms submission. If you’re new to Plumsail Documents, register an account and follow the steps described in the article to set the process for automatic creation of PDFs from Typeforms. A 30-day trial is free.