Document Builder overview: Generate documents from row data

Applies to

Smartsheet
  • Business
  • Enterprise

Capabilities

Who can use this capability

Licensed users can use the document builder. Owners, Admins, and Editors can attach generated documents to rows in the sheet. Anyone with access to the sheet can generate documents and download the documents to their device.

 

 

To generate documents using row data, you will prepare your sheet, create a fillable PDF, and then map rows in your sheet to your fillable PDF.  Once you’ve created your mapping, you can use it any time to generate custom documents. 

Learn how to create a mapping

Use filters to find rows that are ready for document generation. See Create a Filter to Show or Hide Data for more information.

To generate documents:

  1. Select the rows you want to generate documents with. Each row is a single document.
  2. Right-click a highlighted row and then select Generate Documents… The document builder window will open in the same browser tab. Saved mappings appear on the right. 
  3. Drag your Filename column to the Output Document Name field at the top of the screen.  If you leave this field blank, your documents will inherit the name of the PDF template and it will be difficult to tell them apart. Learn how to generate custom filenames for your document builder documents.
  4. On any of the saved mappings, select the Generate dropdown list.
    If you're generating your documents from a sheet, you can select either Download or Attach to Rows; if you're generating from a report, select Download. 
  5. Review your documents to make sure the data appears as expected. You may need to edit the mapping if the data isn’t populated correctly. Select the Pencil icon next to the mapping to review and edit it as needed.

Additional information

Keep the following in mind when generating documents:

  • Didn’t get all the rows you wanted to use? Select Back to Sheet in the upper-left corner of the builder window, then complete the document builder process. 
  • If you generate a new document for a row using the same mapping that was used previously, the new document will be uploaded as a new version of the existing attachment. For more information, see Keep file attachments current over time for information about attachment versions.
  • The name of the generated PDF will inherit the name of the uploaded document, not the mapping name. You can generate a unique filename for each document
  • You can map images in cells to image fields in a PDF, but make sure the field on the PDF is an image field, otherwise you’ll get the image filename when you generate the document. 
  • You can generate documents for up to 100 rows at a time.
  • If your document has multiple fields that use the same data, link the fields in the PDF and map the first instance. The remaining fields will be filled out automatically when you generate the document. 
  • If possible, don’t restrict the data types in your PDF. For example, text fields allow people to enter dates in any format. If you restrict the field and someone enters their data in the wrong format, the data won’t sync between the PDF and Smartsheet.