Release Notes: Mega-enhancements for the PDF Designer

By Jason Good on August 5, 2016

We have just released a ton of new functionality for our PDF Designer and some nice additions to our App Builder. The PDF Designer was released in September of 2015 and we have continued to improve it based on feedback from our customers. Our App Builder was re-built from the ground up and was released in March of 2015 and it will also continue to be improved. Both tools together allow you to mobilize your business processes and engage your internal and external customers when you share the PDF.

PDF Designer

There is so much good stuff here, you won't believe it!

Auto Layout

If you have shied away from the PDF Designer because it would take you too long to figure it all out, then we built this feature for YOU! With the touch of a button GoCanvas will automatically create a PDF for you. You can then edit it to make it your own!

You can also clear the layout completely no matter who built it. So if you started your own and don't like any of it, you can clear the whole thing.

Auto Layout Screen Shot

Column Settings

This is a totally new set of controls that will allow you more control than ever over how your PDF looks. We had a lot of feedback from customers that they wanted the ability to place borders around their columns and sections and change the background colors, too. Now you can!

When you hover your mouse over the border of a column it will highlight in blue. Click the blue border!

Column Setting Screen Shot

In the side panel you'll get a new panel called “Column Settings”.

Global Settings Screen Shot





Background: You can now change the background color of your column. Keep in mind that a section by default has one column. You can use the color picker or enter the HEX (see our help section) code for the exact color you want.

Border Style: You now have a bunch of options for creating borders around your columns and sections. 

Border Location: You can place a border around all sides of the column by pressing the middle button. Or you can just put a border on the top, bottom, left, or right side of the column.

Width: By default you can have a 1 pixel wide border. You can make them wider using the slider up to 10 pixels.

Style: Use a solid line, dotted line, dashed line or other options.

Color: You can change the color of your border, too, using a color picker.

Padding: This allows you to adjust the distance between the border and the content inside the column. Play with it a bit and you'll get a feel for how this will help you!


Resizable Header

This was a huuuuuge request from our customers. You wanted a bigger header section and now you have it! All you need to do is hover your mouse near the bottom of the header section and you'll see a line appear with a height indicator on the left side of your work area. Just click and drag it up and down as necessary. The maximum width is 2″.

Resizable Header Screen Shot

Text Element – Hyperlink

The Text Element now supports hyperlink functionality. Now you can turn text into a hyperlink so the recipients of the PDF can click through to a website or intranet site. This makes your PDF even more engaging for your audience!

When you select a Text Element in your PDF you will see the settings for that element appear in the left panel.

Text Element Screen Shot

Now you have the Web Link option where you can enter the URL you want folks to be directed to when clicking on the text.

Element Settings Screen Shot

Page Break

EVERYONE hated the way we made you delete page breaks. So we made it super-easy now! You can't miss the page breaks and the delete button now! 

Page Break Screen Shot

App Builder

The changes here are fairly subtle but we hope they make your lives a bit easier.

Errors & Validation

We probably went a little crazy with pop-ups for any errors you made when setting up your app in the App Builder. Here is an example where I have added a Calculation field to a screen but do not have the proper fields on that screen to actually make it work.

The pop-up below only shows up because I am hovering my mouse over the error icon. But you can continue to work whereas in the past we prevented you from working. So we let you make mistakes but we'll tell you where they are. You'll also get an error icon on the screen outline so you know if there is an error on a screen for you to address.

Errors & Validation Screen Shot

Field Label Formatting

Lots and lots of customers wanted us to add this back to the new App Builder. This was functionality that existed in our Classic App Builder, but we did not initially include in the newer version.  

But you can now hit the “ENTER” key and various other keys to provide additional formatting to your field label. To use ENTER you'll need to type out your label then use your mouse to place the cursor where you want to break the line and then hit the “ENTER” key.

Field Label Formatting Screen Shot


We love your feedback! Please always, always tell us what you think by emailing us at We want to continue helping you streamline your business by changing how you get work done with GoCanvas!