Document Builder

The Smartsheet document builder saves you time and removes the error-prone steps needed to manually create customized documents with sheet data. Quickly build templates that can then be used at any time to generate documents for one or more rows -- all without ever leaving the Smartsheet platform.

Document Builder: Generate Documents with Your Row Data

Use the document builder to rapidly generate custom versions of a fillable PDF using row data in your sheet. You can then download the custom documents or attach them to your sheet.

Before you begin

To generate documents, you’ll need a mapping already created on the sheet. See Document Builder: Map Columns to Your Fillable PDF for more information about creating mappings.

Generate documents

You can use an existing mapping at any time to generate custom documents with your row data. To do this:

  1. Select the rows that have the data you wish to generate documents with. To quickly highlight multiple consecutive rows, select the first row, hold down the Shift key, then select the bottom row. You can choose multiple nonconsecutive rows by holding the Ctrl key (Windows) or Command key (Mac) while selecting the desired row numbers.
    TIP: You can use filters to easily display rows that are ready for document generation. See Create a Filter to Show or Hide Data for more information.
     
  2. Right-click a highlighted row number on the left and select Generate Documents... from the row menu.

    The document builder window will open in the same browser tab. Saved mappings will be displayed on the right.
     
  3. On any of the saved mappings, select the Generate dropdown list. You’ll have the option to select Download or Attach to Rows.

    Any collaborator can select Download to download a .zip file that contains a PDF for each row onto their device.

    Collaborators with Editor permissions or higher can select Attach to Rows to upload each PDF to its associated row in the sheet.

Each generated document will include row data based on the selected mapping. If it doesn’t appear as you expected, 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

  • To select additional rows from which to generate documents while in the document builder, select Back to Sheet in the upper-left corner of the builder window, then repeat the steps above to select the desired rows. 
  • 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 version.
  • The name of the generated PDF will inherit the name of the uploaded document, not the name of mapping.
  • Images in cells can also be mapped into Image fields in a PDF. Note: Images in cells mapped to a Text field in a PDF will result in filling in the image’s file name. The PDF field must be of an “Image” type in order to properly fill the image field.
  • You can generate documents for up to 100 rows at a time.

Document Builder: Map Columns to Your Fillable PDF

Create a mapping

Before you can generate documents, you first need to upload a fillable PDF and map your sheet columns to its fillable fields to create a mapping. To do this:

  1. Right-click any row containing data in your sheet to open the row menu, and select Generate Documents.

    The document builder opens. The columns in your sheet will be displayed as fields on the left of the document builder.
     
  2. Upload your fillable PDF by selecting the PDF icon (or use the drag-and-drop PDF Upload option).

    The PDF will appear on the right of the document builder.
     
  3. Drag and drop the Smartsheet fields from the left into the associated fillable PDF fields on the right to map fields.

    TIP: Type into any fillable field to enter a static value. The entered value will appear in the field for all generated documents.
     
  4. Once all of the fields are mapped, name your mapping and select Save or Generate.

Now that you’ve created your mapping, you can generate documents using your row data which will allow you to download the documents to your device in a .zip file or attach each document to its associated row in the sheet. See Document Generation: Generate Documents with Your Row Data for more information about generating documents with your mappings.

Additional information

Keep the following in mind when creating mappings

  • You must use a PDF with fillable fields to create a mapping. 
  • If you’re editing a mapping and decide to discard your changes, you can refresh the page or press the back button in your browser to do so.
  • By default, mappings are named after the file name of the fillable PDF you uploaded. To change the name of a mapping, select the pencil icon to open the mapping editor, and type the desired name into the Name box at the top of the page.