Document Merge With Zoho Forms

Writer's advanced form automation features, helps you automate multiple business actions and complete routine tasks without having to waste your time. Configure any Writer document to work with Zoho Forms with Form Automation. All you need to do is, build your form and insert the form fields as placeholders in the required areas of your target document. Whenever user submits the form, the form fields will be replaced with respect to the submitted data. On form submission, you are allowed create PDF or Word documents based on the collected data and choose to download, save or email the merged document.

For example, you can automate the process of sending 'thank you' letters for the customers submitting a feedback to your products.

Before getting started, you need to create the following:

  1. A thank you letter template in Writer.
  2. Create a feedback in Zoho Form.

Let's see the detailed steps below:

Step 1: Prepare your template

You can create a template with required text and merge fields. If you are creating a "Thank You" letter, type in the required message and have your template ready to link it with your form.

To create a form-driven template,

  1. Open your document and go to More options > Automate tab > Prepare > Form-driven template.
  2. Choose your data source from the already available list of forms or create a new Zoho Form.

Start creating your Form with the required fields to collect input from users and link it to the document. You can create a new ZohoForm right inside Writer with Zoho Forms integration.

To link an existing Form,

Choose the required Form and click Done to sync data from your existing Zoho form.

To create and link a new Zoho Form,

Click Create a New Form. You will be navigated to Zoho Forms where you can build your Form. Drag and drop the required fields and create your form or choose from default form templates of your choice.

Supported Form Fields: text box, address, phone, email, date, time, choice box, and radio.

Step 2: Set up form fields for merge

Once you have linked your Form with document template, you can choose the required fields to be inserted in your document. You can insert fields of the form as merge fields in your document.

The linked Form and the related Form fields will be displayed in the panel.

  1. Under the Insert Fields header, you can find the list of available Form fields (Main fields and sub feilds). In case, if you have subforms, you will find the fields related to this form under the sub feilds category.
  2. Choose the required fields and place it in your document/letter template, wherever necessary.
  3. You can also create new fields as required.

Advanced Merge Fields - Insert conditions

While using Writer’s document merge feature, you can also include special fields that allows you to insert conditions. Using these conditional fields you can control how the data is shown to the end user.

When you're creating a letter or an email template to send your recipients and you want the letter to display different things depending on the different field values of your data source, you can insert conditions.

Once you have set the data source and merge fields, you can insert conditions to the field values.

To insert a conditional field,

  1. Open the document template.
  2. In the Merge on form submission panel, click on the <<Conditions>> link under the Advanced Merge Fields.
  3. Specify the conditions based on your requirements in Set Conditions popup.
  4. You can also insert multiple conditions. To define multiple conditional fields, click on the + icon in the Set Conditions popup.
  5. Click Apply to insert the conditional field in your template.

You can edit the conditional fields that are inserted in your document. Simply hover your mouse on the if condition part and the Conditions popup will open again. Edit and update your changes.

Step 3: Choose output options

Once your template is ready with related form fields, you can set up the actions that you want to automate. Writer provides multiple delivery options for every Form response generated. New document will be created for every form response and you can choose to deliver the merged document in one of the following ways.

On form submission, a seperate merged document will be created for each user data. The file names of the documents are constructed from the name that you enter, followed by an underscore, and the number of the current record.

You can deliver the final merged document in one or all of the following ways.

  • Save a copy to a folder
  • Email the document
  • Send for signature
  • Push data to Zoho Sheet
  • Allow respondent to download the document.

Create a new Document & save a copy to a Folder

Save response of individual documents in a folder inside Writer. For example, if you have a form embedded in your website and you require saving that information collected from the Form inside a Writer document or you want to automatically populate a document with form data and save it inside Writer for your reference.

To save a merged document copy,

  1. Choose Save a copy to a folder option under the Choose Output header of the Automation panel.
  2. In the Document Settings tab, enter a file name and choose a unique folder to save your documents.
  3. Choose the File format. You can save the document as a Writer document, a PDF file, or a .docx file.
  4. Click Save.

Email the document

Send a personalized email with the document inline or attached.

To email merged document,

  1. Click the Email Document checkbox, under the Choose Output header of the Automation panel.
  2. Click the Document link. Email Settings dialog box will appear.
  3. Choose the Reply To email address from the drop-down.
  4. Also, include Cc/Bcc email ids to send a copy of the mail to particular recipients.
  5. Now enter a subject line to your email. You can create personalized subjects for your emails with merge fields in your subject line. Click the icon, so that the required field will be merged with the subject line. Learn more on how to create personalized subject to your emails.
  6. Now choose how to send your document via email.You can send the document as inline or either as an attachment in your mail. Learn more.
  7. Add additional attachments, if required.
  8. Click Save. The document will be sent via email to each user on form submission.

Send for signature

Send the merged document to multiple signers from Writer.

To send for signature,

  1. Choose Send for Signature option under the Choose Output header of the Automation panel.
  2. Click on Signature link. The Sign Settings pop-up will open.
  3. In the Sign Settings pop-up, you can enter the details of your signers in the Signer Details tab.
    • To be signed by: Choose who should sign your document. You can choose "Only me", "Only Others" and "Me and others".
    • Enter signer details: Enter the signer email id. Click on the plus icon to insert a merge field to your signer details. You can add up to 10 signers.
    • Enter a unique title to your email.
    • Enter email subject and message, if required.
    • Add additional attachments to your email.
  4. Click Advanced Settings tab and do the following:
    • Set expiry and reminder to collect the sign.
    • Choose the actions to be performed after signing: You can choose to add the signed documents to any folder inside Writer. Also, choose to email the signed documents to any email id.
  5. Once the above configuration is done, click Save.

Push data to Zoho Sheet

You can move on all the form data into Zoho Sheet.

To push data to Zoho Sheet,

  1. Choose Push data to Zoho Sheet option under the Choose Output header of the Automation panel.
  2. Click Sheet link.
  3. Now Zoho Sheet with all the form data will open in a new tab. Keep track of the form entries in your Zoho Sheet file.

Download the document

You can allow the form respondents to download the document on form submit. For example, you've created a web app where you want to provide a file download as soon as your users fill the form and hit the submit button.

To enable document download,

  1. Choose Allow respondent to download the document option under the Choose Output header of the Automation panel. The File Output Settings tab will open.
  2. In the File Output Settings tab, do the following:
    • Enter a name to the document to be downloaded.
    • Choose File Format (PDF or .docx file).
    • Click Save.
  3. The submitter will get a downloadable link as soon as they hit the Submit button in your form. They can click Download to download the respective files.

Choose an output option and configure the settings. Once configured, click Save Settings to save your form template.

In the Prepare panel, click "Share form and start merging" button to start the merge.

To share form,

  1. Click Share form and start merging, in the Prepare panel.  
  2. You will be navigated to the Zoho Forms page, where you will find different sharing options to share your form.

To track output,

  1. Click View Merge Logs from the Prepare panel.
  2. This will navigate to a new window with status reports. You can view and keep track of the form entries and completed output here.

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