PDF documents are irreplaceable pieces of record for any organization. Almost every document starting from contracts to invoices are recorded for safekeeping in form of PDF or physical documents. For rapidly growing business it becomes important that these documents be generated on the fly so that the further processes can be taken care of.

In this article, we will walk through the complete process of designing the template with a placeholder and sending the auto-generated PDF as attachment over the email.

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PDF Template in SuiteCRM

SuiteCRM provides an advanced feature to create PDF templates within the CRM system. In the later stages of the business cycle, based on these templates, PDF documents can be created for the records, which can be downloaded or sent as an email attachment. Core PDF template module, however, allow only to generate PDF for Accounts, Contacts, Lead, Contracts, Quotes and Invoices.


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Enhanced PDF Template

Enhanced PDF Template is an extension of the existing PDF template module. Enhanced PDF Template extends the core and facilities to generate PDF for any module of SuiteCRM. And can be implemented the same way as the default PDF template.

Creating the PDF Template

Listed below are the steps to create a PDF template. By following the same, you can define the layout and the dynamic placeholders as per business needs. 

  •  In the module menu, select the option  ‘PDF Templates’ > “Create PDF Template”.

Screenshot of the PDF template module in SuiteCRM

  • Fields to create PDF Template:
    • In the edit form fill the following fields.

Screenshot of edit view of pdf module in SuiteCRM

Fields NameDescription
PDF TemplateName of the template being created
Assigned toName of the  Assigned-to user of the template.
TypeType of the document to be created based on this template. By default the system suggests creating the templates for the following documents :Quotes, Invoices, Contracts, Accounts, Contacts or a Lead.
Load SampleThe SuiteCRM provides a few ready to use templates to jump start the work.
Page size / OrientationIf necessary select the page size and orientation  of the template page. The default is A4 size and Portrait page for the orientation.
Insert fieldsThis option allows you to add required variable holding the data to the template, in the sugar acceptable format.
To insert a variable
  1. Select the module to get the information.
  2. Select the name of the  field of the selected module.
  3. In the Body of the template, specify the place where the selected variable is to be added and click the button insert.
  • Headers and Footers in PDF Template

Screenshot of headers and footers in PDF Template in SuiteCRM

  • Headers and Footer tools let you to insert the text, images and other PDF files to one or more pages in PDF document. You have full control over the position, size, capacity and other properties of your headers and footers and you can save them and reuse. You can also import and export header and footer profiles to share them with other people. 
  • Setting page parameters

Screenshot of setting page parameters in SuiteCRM

  • Under the header and the footer there are fields that allows to create margins and size of the page edges of the header and footer fields.
  • Save the record and the newly created template is ready to use.

Creating PDF for record using Template

Having understood how to create a PDF template, let us look at how you can generate a PDF from a record from the respective module.

  • When creating a PDF document for any record from the modules like Accounts, Contacts and Leads, the suggested method is to use the menu item ‘Print as PDF’  from the action menu of the record view in the corresponding module.

Creating PDF for a record using Template in SuiteCRM

  • When creating a PDF document for Quotes, Invoices or contracts, an additional option ‘Email PDF’ is available to use along with the regular option of ‘Print as PDF’ in the action menu of the module. And as the name suggests the CRM system generates the PDF and provides an email draft to send the document over the mail.

Screenshot of composing email in SuiteCRM

  • In the ‘Compose Email’ form of module fill the details to send the mail.

Video Demonstration

The above steps are also demonstrated in the video below.


Advantages of using PDF Template in SuiteCRM

Let us look at the advantages of using the PDF templates. They are listed below. 

  • Consistent Format: All the documents generated using template will be consistent in the look and details across all the CRM records and all CRM users.
  • Ease of Use: Generating documents for the records become easy, and comes in handy when working with records like Contract, Quotes and Invoices, which needs to be shared with the client in prints.
  • Expedite process: With system generating the document for user, time taken for the process of record to documents is greatly minimized
  • Less human intervention: With automated system taking care of the documents, people can engage in more important works.
  • Faster updates: New documents can be rapidly generated with the newly made updates in the system.
  • Centralized Template Updates: All the updates made to the template, almost immediately, will reflect in the new generated documents.

PDF Templates in CRM  is an effective way to create and send multiple documents and PDF  to customers, along with the functionality to add/remove attached documents with PDF templates before sending off.

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