App Building Two Cents’ Worth: Customize the Standard PDF Generated by GoCanvas

By Jason Good on June 22, 2013

App Building Two Cents' Worth
Over the past several software releases here at GoCanvas we have made a number of options available to help you customize the standard PDF that is generated when you decide to email the data you have collected.  I thought I would share these enhancements and consolidate them into a single blog post.  If you want the GoCanvas PDF to match your existing form, then that is something we can do, too.  There are additional fees for this level of customization but the results are stunning.

It might be helpful if you log into GoCanvas in another browser tab as you’re reading through this so you can follow along.  Not a subscriber yet?  Now worries…sign-up for a no-obligation, free trial!

Page Breaks

You can insert a page break after any screen or any field in your GoCanvas app.  You need to go into our App Builder to insert your page breaks.  You’ll see a checkbox at the screen level and in the field settings.   Go to “My Apps” and hit the “Edit” button next to the GoCanvas app you want to edit.

Page Break - Field Page Break - Screen

PDF Font Size

There are two different font sizes you can adjust on the GoCanvas PDF.  You’ll notice that the name of each screen shows up on the PDF (You can remove it if you like!).  You can change the font size of those screen names.  You can also adjust the font size of the screen labels and the data you’re entering into your GoCanvas apps.

You can do this at the app level or you can do it at the account level (all apps in your account).  To change it at the app level you need to go to “My Apps” and choose “More” next to the GoCanvas app you want to edit.  Then choose the “PDF Options” choice and you’ll find the font size option.

At the account level you need to click on “My Home” and then “My Account”.  Then click “Customize” and then “PDF Options”.  You’ll see the font size option.

Remove Screen Name

As mentioned above, you can also remove the screen name from the GoCanvas PDF.  You do this in the App Builder.  Select the screen you want to edit in the App Outline on the left.  Select the edit button for the screen and you’ll see a checkbox that says “Show Screen Name on Output”.  It is checked by default so un-check it to remove it from your PDF (AKA “output”).

Images – Sizes & Layout

You can also change the size that your images appear on the PDF.  This is done in the App Builder under the “advanced” option for your image fields.  There is also the option to “TILE” your images.  When you check this box the images will be placed horizontally from left to right.  Up to 3 images can be placed in a row across the page.  The size of the images is standard when you choose this option so you’ll notice that you can’t adjust the size.  Tiling your images is a great way to save space on the standard PDF!

PDF Visible

You can also control whether fields show up on the PDF or not.  You have a number of options here that are very helpful.  You can set it so the field NEVER shows up on the PDF.  This might be helpful if you want your user on the mobile device to view a field and populate it but you don’t want your customer seeing this information.  It is common to hide static text fields that offer instruction to your users in filling out your GoCanvas app.

Another setting is to not show any blank fields on the PDF.  If you leave a field blank because you don’t need it in a particular scenario you can choose to have that field not show up.  A blank field might not be useful for anyone to see.  This is a great way to make the GoCanvas PDF much shorter, too.

You find this option in the App Builder under the “advanced” settings for each field.  It is called “PDF Visible”.  There are some other options that might help.  Read this HELP topic for more help.

PDF Lines

You’ll notice there are a number of horizontal lines that run across the PDF.  There are three lines you can either include or exclude from the PDF.

  1. Under Screen Names – A line will appear below the screen name if you decide to include it.
  2. Under Screen – At the end of a screen you can place a line.
  3. Between Field Label and Values – You’ll notice a line that runs from the name of your field to the value you entered when filling it out.  You can remove these if you don’t like them.

All of these options are set in the “PDF Options” menu that can be found under the “More” menu on the “My Apps” page or at the account level under “My Account”>”Customize”.

PDF Logo & Header

You can upload your own logo to GoCanvas and customize the header that appears at the top of the PDF in the center of the page.  You also do this in the “PDF Options” menu found under “My Account” or on “My Apps” under the “More” menu.  One thing to keep in mind is that anything you do at the app level will override anything you do at the account level.  So you can upload your logo under the account area and it will appear on all PDFs for all GoCanvas apps in your account UNLESS you specify a different logo under the “More” menu on the “My Apps” page.

PDF Date Format (Or remove it!)

You can also change the date format for the date that appears in the upper right hand corner of the PDF.  You can remove the date altogether, too.  To remove it just go into the “Header” section under “PDF Options” and you’ll see a checkbox below the field you fill out to enter your header information.

To change the format just go to “PDF Options” and choose “PDF Date Format”.  Your options are mm/dd/yyyy or dd/mm/yyyy or yyyy/mm/dd.


We are here to help!  Contact us at or call us.  A Mobile App Consultant is ready and able to help anytime.  And remember our Custom PDF service that allows us to create a PDF that looks like your current paper form.