We noticed that JavaScript is disabled in your browser. We suggest enabling it for a better experience.
We noticed you're using an older version of Internet Explorer. We suggest you update to the latest version for a better experience.
Skip to main content

Set up response PDFs

OpenForms can generate PDF copies of responses for internal and external use. These PDFs use a best practice template that we have engineered for response confirmations, as a process aid for review staff, and for archival purposes.

Default PDF example

A response PDF can be automatically generated and attached to any automated email

You can also download a response PDF on demand from the Responses screen.

PDFs sent to respondents to confirm form submission will automatically omit some information such as response workflow histories and office-use only fields.

If you're on an Enterprise plan, you can use custom documents to go beyond the default response PDF and pipe response data into templates you've designed yourself. 

The setup screen

You can configure what's included in this PDF on a per-form basis.

To set up the response PDF for a form, go to Forms > your form > Settings > Form documents.

This will open a page of expandable Response PDF settings.  

response pdf settings.png

The available settings are:

Form information

You may want to show or hide particular fields in your form's response PDF to make it more comprehensive, or easier to read. 

Make these changes by expanding the Form information accordion.


The available options are:

  • Include Content fields

    Select this checkbox to include content fields, which you might use in your form to list terms and conditions, for example, or general information about the form that respondents are answering.

    This information is potentially useful for respondent records, but may be unnecessary for a response PDF that will only be used internally.

    If your form includes legacy fields, such as the paragraph, link, bulleted list or numbered list, these will also be included when you select this checkbox. 
  • Include field descriptions 

    Field descriptions are typically used to give respondents information about each field as they are filling your forms out.

    Select this checkbox to include this information in your response PDFs, or leave it blank to leave this information out.

    As with the 
    Include content fields checkbox, you might choose to leave this information out if your response PDF is for internal use only. 
  • Include blank fields the respondent saw and didn't answer

    If your form includes fields that are not marked required, your respondents may opt not to answer some of those fields.

    Select this checkbox to include these unanswered fields in your response PDFs. Leave it blank to declutter your response PDF by leaving these details out. 
    This option is turned on by default to maintain consistency with earlier response PDF features.
  • Include fields hidden by Smartlogic

    If your form uses Smartlogic, respondents may not see some fields depending on their answers to previous form fields.

    Check this box to include these fields in the response PDF. Uncheck it to exclude them.

    For reasons of privacy or brevity, you might want to exclude these fields from a response PDFs that will be sent to respondents.
    This option is turned on by default to maintain consistency with earlier response PDF features. If you have opted to always hide some office-use only fields from form respondents, these will always be excluded from a response PDF sent to respondents, and always be included in a response PDF sent internally. 

Response workflow 

If your form has a response workflow, you may want to include details about its progress through that workflow in the response PDF.

This is especially useful for workflows with response notifications and reminders configured to include response PDFs.

Workflow details are automatically omitted from response PDFs sent to respondents.

To include or omit response workflow details, expand the Response workflow accordion.


The available options are:

  • Include workflow history timeline

    Select this option to include the PDFs progress through the workflow up to the moment at which is sent.

    This may vary depending on when the PDF is generated. For example a response notification for a reviewer in an early workflow step will include less information than a notification at a final step.
  • Include office use only fields 

    Select this option to include reviewers answers to fields in office use only groups

    Depending on when the response PDF is generated, some or all office use only fields may be incomplete (for example, when a response PDF is automatically generated for a submission confirmation).
    Unanswered office use only fields are always included in response PDFs when this setting is enabled.
  • Include comments to the respondent

    Select this option to include external comments made by reviewers to the respondent. 
  • Include internal comments

    Select this option to include internal comments made by reviewers while actioning a review.  


To adjust the styling of the response PDF, expand the Style accordion.  


The available options are:

  • Include document page numbers

    Document page numbers are useful for PDFs that are likely to be printed. 
    This option is turned on by default.
  • Include form logo

    Form logos are unique to each form theme. Select a theme for your form by going to Forms > your form > Settings > Display settings. 
    This option is turned on by default.If you have the admin role, you can create new themes and choose from two logo styling options, by going to Admin > Themes.
  • Include the form title

    A form title is a useful piece of information to include in a response PDF. However, if you'd like to save space you can omit a large title (along with the logo, perhaps), and include this information in the smaller text of a header or footer (see below). 
    This option is turned on by default. 

Header and footer

Headers and footers can give additional context to response PDFs.

To add a header or footer to the response PDF, expand the Header and Footer accordion.  


Add text, including piped answers, to either field to include these in your PDF. 

Useful things to include are

  • Your organization name (in the header).

  • Your contact phone number and email address (in the footer).

  • Information about the form, such as it's title (if you've opted not to include it), the respondent's name, and so on.

You can add as many lines and characters as you want, but headers and footers look best when they’re one line of text. We suggest you stay under 80 characters for each.

You may also want to add headers and footers to printed versions of your form.

Was this helpful?