Custom PDF

Create a custom PDF that consolidates some of the most important applicant information onto a single page (a dashboard):


Uploading a PDF to Slate
  1. Design the dashboard PDF outside of Slate. You might use a program like Word to design the dashboard and save this file as a PDF. This dashboard may contain a letterhead and should include labels for fields. Be sure to include enough space to display the data.

    A Sample Dashboard PDF can be added from the Slate Template Library in the Files section.
  2. Click Database in the top navigation bar and select File Editor.
  3. Click Upload File.
    • Path -  Enter a path and name for the dashboard PDF. PDFs that will display in the Reader should be saved within the /apply/ directory. For example: /apply/dashboard.pdf (If a file with the same path and file name already exists, the uploaded file will replace the existing file).
    • File - Upload the PDF.
  4. Click the uploaded file - /apply/dashboard.pdf.
  5. Click PDF Editor.
    • Preview - Select a test applicant that has data in the desired fields that is to be mapped. These data points will show in the Selector menu when choosing a merge field.
    • Show/Hide - Toggle between showing or hiding the merge fields on the PDF.
    • Swap Background - Change the background (PDF) without losing the merge fields that have already been added.
    • Merge field options:
      • Field Types - Drag and drop Text, Multiline, or Checkboxes from the right hand palette to add merge fields to the PDF.
      • Selector - Use the Selector setting to choose appropriate merge fields. If entering a record in the Preview setting above, this menu will display data from that record.
      • Field Name - Use Field Name to configure custom merge fields.

Using Application Form Widgets?

Custom PDFs can be used for more than a dashboard page. If using application form widgets in the Slate application, a custom mapped PDF must be created in order to view the custom fields from the widget in the Reader. The Auto PDF functionality will not render custom fields from an application form widget.

When mapping merge fields to the PDF, you'll want to make sure that you have fields created for each school, course, activity, relationship, etc. that you may potentially collect from a given applicant. For example, if an applicant can enter up to five courses from the application widget, fields must be created for each of those five courses on the Custom PDF.

A Reader Portal may also be used for this purpose to dynamically display multiples of items, where you would not necessarily know how many there are per applicant. Please view the Portals in Reader documentation to learn more about this option.

Viewing Custom PDFs in Reader

When creating a Reader Tab Material for a custom mapped PDF, make sure to choose the Type of 'Application/Dashboard' and then select the .pdf file from the Template menu.

Additional considerations: 

  • If using a Custom PDF for an application page with Application Form Widgets, it will need to be a separate Reader Tab Material from the Auto PDF parts of the application.
  • Using the Order setting, you can designate where the Custom PDF appears on the Application tab.
  • Auto PDF parts can help parse out different pages of the application to show or hide in relation to the Custom PDF pages.
  • You can also ensure that your fields are level using snap grid: 


Additional Merge Fields

To find all standard record merge fields, enter a record into Lookup Merge Fields (Database > Merge Fields). Is the desired merge field and its corresponding value showing?

  • If so, add the merge field to the PDF.
  • If not, the export may need to be added to a Merge query.

Reference PDF

For reference page custom PDFs, use the following syntax to create merge fields that return data appropriate to each individual reference submission rather than reference 1, reference 2, etc.: reference_{reference-scoped field ID}. Examples:

  • reference_first
  • reference_last
  • reference_email
  • reference_strength_of_recommendation - where 'strength_of_recommendation' is a custom reference-scoped field ID

Form Response PDF

For form response custom PDFs, use the following: form_{export key}. Examples:

  • form_user
  • form_timestamp
  • form_review_rating - where 'review_rating' is a form export key
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