Use Form Publisher to transform the data from every form submission into a PDF document. This way, you can use your Google forms as PDF generators.
With Form Publisher, you can control how your PDF documents look by creating their templates in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. As Form Publisher generates PDF documents, you can also send them to email addresses you specify as well as to the people that made the form submissions.
Below are the step-by-step instructions with the corresponding explanations to guide you through the setup of Form Publisher to generate PDFs.
1. Create a Google Form
Go to Google Forms, and start by creating a blank form.
At this point, if you already have the template document that you wish to generate as a PDF through the form, you can start adding questions in your form for each field in the PDF that you want to be dynamically filled with the form data. And if you don't, you can create a question for each info that you wish to display in the output PDF.
2. Build your form
For example, if you want your form to generate a Purchase order in PDF format, you have to create a question for each field that will be dynamic in the document.
And then, you must add the corresponding questions in your Google Form:
3. Create your template
Let's suppose you want to use an existing Word, Excel, or PowerPoint template document for your generated PDFs. You can convert them to their Google Docs equivalents (docs, sheets, or slides) by uploading them to Google Drive.
You can then open the Word, Excel, or PowerPoint document in its corresponding Google Docs Editor. To convert the document, select File > Save as Google Docs.
If the only copy of the document that you want to use as a template is a PDF, you will have to recreate it as a document template in Google Docs, Google Sheets or Google Slides.
After you select a template document, in order to configure it to work with Form Publisher, you must replace the current data in each field that we want to be dynamic with Form Publisher markers.
Markers are simple to add. To create a marker, you add the title of a Google form question inside angle brackets - "<< >>". For example, the marker for the question Plan purchased will be <<Plan purchased>>.
In the end, your document template should contain markers for each field in the document that you want Form Publisher to replace with the data submitted by people in their form responses.
4. Open Form Publisher
To start Form Publisher, click on the add-on menu icon in Google Forms, and select Form Publisher.
5. Configure Form Publisher as PDF Generator
You can now configure Form Publisher to use the template document you have already prepared.
With the Form Publisher add-on opened, click the Select template button and then select your template in Google Drive.
Then you can check that all the markers that you have in your template are matching the questions in the Google form. You can also edit the date format of date and time markers, or the way in which multiple checkboxes answers are displayed in the generated documents.
You can then configure who will receive the generated PDFs by email. You can do so from the Sharing options and notifications page in Form Publisher.
And in the end, select who will receive the PDF file by emails.
6. Test your form to PDF configuration
You can now make a test form submission to see how Form Publisher works.
In the Google form, click the Preview button (eye icon) in the top right. Fill out the form and click Submit.
As you configured the sharing options of Form Publisher, the email you just submitted in Company email question (here firstname.lastname@example.org) and email@example.com will receive the generated PDF.
You can find the generated PDF file in your Google Drive in the folder My Drive > Form Publisher Output's Folder. If other people make submissions in the same form, new PDF files with the data they filled in the form will be generated, sent to the same emails, and stored in the same Google Drive folder.