XML with PDF fill

Excel to Fillable PDF - Bulk Generation


We come across PDF forms while filing tax documents, banking, and insurance documents. Many organizations use fillable PDFs in their day-to-day operations. They are portable across a great way to collect data from customers and partners. They are also very useful for storing sensitive information that needs to be protected from unauthorized access. That makes them an ideal choice for contracts, agreements, and compliance documents.

Business users store the data that goes into these pdf forms in Microsoft Excel format. Manually inputting data from an Excel to a PDF form is hassle and error-prone. If Excel contains hundreds of records, manual data entry wastes a lot of productivity.

We'll see in this article ways to automate the filling of Excel to fillable PDF templates. The criteria for automation

  1. · Should produce two or more fillable PDFs in one go
  2. · The generated PDF should be non-flattened for further editing

We'll also cover the limitations of popular approaches and the best way to go about populating PDF forms with Excel data.

Popular Approach - Adobe Acrobat Excel to Fillable PDF

Consider these points when looking for top features in the software that can populate Excel to Fillable PDFs.

Suitable for all scenarios/situations: You will need flexible software that can work in all scenarios, especially with a broad client base with varied needs.

Takes on more volume: Usability at a large scale can be an asset when your chosen software can produce thousands of PDF forms.

Supports integration: Integration with other software works well to ensure you have systems that work in diverse work environments enabling prompt service, pushing for better user experience, and lower operational costs.

Adobe Acrobat Pro is the most popular tool for populating Excel to Fillable PDF. But it has severe limitations when it comes to scaling.

  1. Primarily, the Adobe tool works when you're populating a few Excel rows to fillable PDFs. However, to move a large volume of Excel data to fillable PDFs, you'll have to rely on scripting to get the work done. Thus, it’s not suitable, let’s say you have more than 10 records in your Excel.
  2. As long as the field names match those in the PDF, you can import the data.

How EDocGen Works to Populate from Excel to Fillable PDFs

It is the fastest system for bulk generation of fillable PDFs from Excel data. Business users can themselves automate the population of Excel data into the fillable PDF templates. It is an API-first product that supports the population of text fields, checkboxes and radio buttons, etc.

The system also takes it a bit further by allowing users to distribute generated PDFs through various channels – email, e-Signature, document archival to cloud storage, etc. The system compresses the generated PDFs for faster downloading. This improves customer experience if you’re looking to provide an option for your users to download filled-in PDFs from the browser.

Below is the sample fillable PDF template.

fillable PDF for demo

First, we upload this template. You can use your existing fillable PDF templates as-is. Click the upload button and make sure to set "flatten the template" radio button to false.

Excel to fillable PDF

The following steps describe how the system works.

Step 1: Upload Excel Data: Click the Generate button to select the option to populate through Excel data. Upload the relevant Excel file and choose your sheet and preferred orientation.

Excel population

Step 2: Map Fields: You can skip this step if the template’s field names match the Excel headers. This way, you don't have to map it during document creation, saving time.

Step 3: Fillable PDF Generation: Click the Generate button to generate fillable PDFs in bulk. For example, if Excel has 100 records, the system produces 100 PDF documents.

The system outputs them in zip format. You can prefix the individual documents with one of the dynamic fields, for easy identification.

Step 4: PDF File Distribution: This is an optional step. The system provides an option to distribute the generated PDFs through Email. If your Excel sheet has the email address fields, email messages will be sent via your business email address with individual file attachments. You also get to customize the message subject and body.

Similarly, you can also send them for e-Sign and cloud storage.

Final Thoughts

EDocGen can generate a high volume of fillable PDFs from your Excel data, making it easy to produce bulk PDFs quickly. Apart from Excel, it allows users to populate JSON and XML. You can also auto populate pdf form from databases.

Through REST API, you can also quickly integrate it into your IT ecosystem. Book a demo to check how it can help your business.

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