Wish your Website Form submissions could turn into PDFs?

April 2nd, 2015

Would you like this workflow?

  1. People fill out forms on your website
  2. They press “Submit”
  3. You get that submissions as PDFs that looks just like you need them to

It is simple; we find many organizations are looking for this because either:

  • Their people are used to processing documents that look a specific way — and if their website submissions could look like the forms people are used to … then processing accuracy is improved and change is minimized
  • PDFs are a standard way of saving and archiving documents
  • Maybe you also want to collect a signature on your web form and have the PDF signed

Most web form processing solutions cannot produce flattened, custom PDFs from your web form submissions; almost none can also do it securely, in a HIPAA-compliant manner.

LuxSci Secure Form

A notable exception is LuxSci’s Secure Form service. This service allows you to:

  1. Submit data from either web or PDF forms
  2. Format your data in any number of ways
    1. Re-filled into your custom PDF
    2. Re-filled into your custom text document (e.g. HTML, XML, etc.)
    3. Formatted automatically into a nice 2-column field/value map in plain text or HTML
    4. Converted into a CSV (Excel) document
  3. Deliver your data to your in any number of ways
    1. via Secure Email
    2. via Secure FTP
    3. via Saving into a hosted MySQL database
    4. via Saving to a hosted file storage service (LuxSci WebAides)

It is like an easy-to-use, secure, swiss-army-knife for processing submitted form data that works with most web or PDF forms.

Mastering the Web Form to PDF Challenge

It is easy to get your web forms showing up as custom PDFs with Secure Form. Here is the process

1. Develop your web form

Design and deploy your form.  You can host it anywhere or with LuxSci.  It can be as complex as you like with whatever dynamic features and validation that you need…. this is all up to your designers.

2. Create your template PDF

Design a PDF form file that looks however you like.  E.g. use Adobe Acrobat or InDesign.

The biggest trick is to have the form fields in your PDF use the same field names as your web form does.   E.g. if you are capturing someone’s first name in a web form field named “first_name”, then be sure the corresponding form field in your new PDF is also named exactly “first_name”.

3. Get Secure Form

Next, you sign up with LuxSci for a SecureForm account and then create a SecureForm configuration that tells LuxSci what to do with your form data when it is submitted to LuxSci.  E.g. watch theCreating a new SecureForm Web Form Configuration video.

In that process, you will:

  1. Upload your Template PDF Form
  2. Indicate that you would like this re-filled template PDF to be emailed to you (and/or saved elsewhere)

4. Point your Form to Secure Form

Finally, you need to update your published web form to point to your SecureForm processor.

If you are using LuxSci’s FormBuilder, then this is already done for you.

For your own hosted web form:

  1. You get the SecureForm post URL from your SecureForm configuration
  2. You edit your web forms “<form …>” “action” parameter to send the data to this secure address.
  3. If your form is complex, you could have your JavaScript send the form data to this same address via AJAX.

Your form submissions will then flow to LuxSci, be processed, converted to a custom PDF, and delivered to you.

You do not have to install any custom software anywhere; you can use any provider to host your web forms; you simply change 1 line of code in your web forms to start the data flowing to Secure Form.