How to send PDF reports in a Gravity Forms email notification

How to create PDF email attachments in Gravity Forms

Written by Casey Burridge

Last updated:

Categories GravityExport


Welcome to our comprehensive guide on exporting Gravity Forms entries to PDF and attaching them to email notifications!

As a Gravity Forms user, you understand the importance of gathering and organizing data efficiently. However, presenting that data in a professional and easily shareable format can be a daunting task. 

In this article, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of exporting your Gravity Forms entries to PDF files, and automatically attaching those PDFs to email notifications.

This will allow you to simplify the process of sending important information to your clients or team members. Let’s get started!

Emailing PDF reports using GravityExport 

GravityExport is an add-on for Gravity Forms that allows you to export your Gravity Forms data to Excel or PDF using a secure, shareable download link. But that’s not all, you can also send your files to remote storage locations like Dropbox, or SFTP!

The plugin also includes a feature that enables you to send reports as email attachments. While this functionality is also available in the free version of the plugin (GravityExport Lite), the PDF export feature is not. You can test GravityExport for free on our demo site!

Let’s take a look at how to attach exported reports to Gravity Forms email notifications.

Configuring the GravityExport feed

The first thing we’ll need to do is activate GravityExport by enabling the download URL. This is the unique URL that we can share with anyone who needs the PDF report. We can enable it by going to the form settings page, clicking on “GravityExport” on the left, and clicking on the “Enable download URL button”.

A button labeled 'Enable download URL'

Now that we have successfully activated GravityExport, we can start configuring our PDF report! The first thing to do is configure the download settings. You’ll see three important sections here.

The GravityExport feed settings
  1. Download URL: The unique download URL associated with the report. You can send this URL to anyone who needs the data.
  2. Custom filename: The name given to the generated report file.
  3. File extension: The type of file you want to create. This can be either CSV, XLSX (Excel) or PDF.

Next, we’ll need to configure the general settings. Here, we can select an existing Gravity Forms notification to attach reports to. If you don’t have an active notification feed set up, you’ll need to create one first.

It’s important to note that by enabling this option, PDFs of newly submitted entries will be attached to notification emails. In other words, the PDF report will only contain the information submitted for the most recent form submission, not all submissions.

A dropdown field labeled 'Select a Notification'; there are two options: 'User Notification, and 'Admin Notification'

Here, you can also select the column position (normal or transposed) and the order of the form fields in the report.

Column Position (at the top, or at the left), and Order By (select a field)

GravityExport will create a spreadsheet-style report and save it as a PDF document. So, the next option we’ll need to configure is multi-row splitting—this allows you to split fields with multiple values into separate rows. 

A checkbox labeled 'Yes, split fields with multiple values into multiple rows'

Next, we’ll need to configure the PDF Export Settings, including selecting the page orientation, and size.

The PDF export settings for GravityExport reports

Finally, we can choose which form fields to include in our report by adding them to either the “Enabled” or “Disabled” fields areas.

GravityExport field settings, allowing you to select Enabled and Disabled fields

Here’s an example of a single entry PDF report generated by GravityExport: 

A PDF of a Gravity Forms entry, generated by GravityExport

Using GravityExport, there’s another way to send PDF reports via email—you can include a link to the report in the email body itself!

First, we’ll need to copy the download URL by clicking “Copy URL to Clipboard”.

A button underneath the GravityExport Download URL labeled 'Copy URL to Clipboard'

Next, we can construct a simple hyperlink using the HTML anchor tag, like so:

<a href=“[DOWNLOAD URL]”>Download PDF</a>

Now all we have to do is insert this link into the Gravity Forms notification message body!

The Gravity Forms email notification message body, which includes a link labeled 'Download PDF Profile'

That’s it!

GravityExport offers the premier solution for exporting data from Gravity Forms. Not only can you configure reports and attach them to email notifications, you can also send data to remote storage, set up multiple reports with different data and file extensions, and more!

Now, let’s turn our attention to another powerful PDF export solution that’s popular in the Gravity Forms ecosystem—Gravity PDF.

Sending PDF reports using Gravity PDF

Gravity PDF is not affiliated with GravityKit in any way. You may download the free Gravity PDF plugin from the WordPress plugin directory.

We’ll start by creating a new Gravity PDF feed. We can do this by going to the form settings, clicking on “PDF” and then clicking “Add New”.

The 'Add New' button on the Gravity PDF feed page

Now we can start configuring our Gravity PDF feed. After giving the feed a label, we’ll need to select a PDF template. The template that we select will determine the look and feel of the document when exported.

Next, we can choose an existing Gravity Forms notification to attach PDF reports to. By selecting a notification, Gravity PDF will create a PDF of the most recent entry and attach it to the email notification for sending.

Checkboxes for selecting an existing Gravity Forms notification

Under “Appearance” there are several options for customizing the look and style of the exported PDF document. This includes modifying the paper size, page orientation, font, font color, and more.

Appearance settings for Gravity PDF

There are numerous other options to configure here—including the ability to add custom headers and footers. After configuring our report, all we need to do is click “Add PDF”. Gravity PDF will now generate a single PDF document for each form entry we receive.

Here’s an example of a simple PDF report generated by Gravity PDF.

A PDF of a Gravity Forms entry generated by Gravity PDF

Like GravityExport, Gravity PDF also allows you to insert links to PDF reports inside notification messages.

It’s also worth noting that you can add the Gravity PDF shortcode to your notification message body. This shortcode will output a download link to the PDF with the text “Download PDF”.

The Gravity PDF shortcode inside the notification message body

That’s it!

Create PDF email attachments from your Gravity Forms entries

In this guide, we showed you how to export Gravity Forms entries to PDF and attach them to email notifications using Gravity PDF and GravityExport. 

Both Gravity PDF and GravityExport allow you to save time, enhance collaboration, and impress your clients and team members with beautifully formatted PDFs. We hope this guide has empowered you with the knowledge and tools you need to make the most of Gravity Forms. 

If you found this post beneficial, read more helpful tutorials on our blog!

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