Create customized, signed PDFs with Zapier Formatter

  • 11 February 2022
  • 2 replies

Userlevel 2

I’d never used the Zapier Formatter and just figured out how powerful it is!  I used it to take a record from Airtable to fill in personalized details on a certificate, request a signature, and send the signed certificate to the recipient.  Here is how I did it in case you’d like to do the same!


The key is using the Zapier Formatter to format a JSON payload (with data from an Airtable record) into a URL string.  The url string can then be used to create a unique Form UI URL for an Anvil Workflow, which will complete the PDFs and request signatures.  Pretty straight forward, but it did require two Zaps.


Zap 1: Pre-fill the Anvil Workflow with Airtable data and send to Signer

  1. Trigger = New Record in Airtable
  2. [Optional] Action = Find record in Airtable (this is to look up an email from related record)
  3. Action = Formatter / Text / URL Encode.  This is the “tricky” part (although I’m clearly not an engineer and figured it out!).  I grabbed the sample JSON payload from my Anvil Workflow (which can be found under the Workflow’s API Information) and then replaced the field type sample data with field aliases I created in the Workflow’s webform for each field to be filled in. (see Sample JSON Payload below for the format here).
  4. Action = Send Outbound Email.  Grabbed the Form UI URL from the Workflow’s API Info page in Anvil, inserted it into the body of the email, and appended ?d={Output from Step 3}.

Sample JSON Payload

  "anvilFieldAlias1": "{{data from step 1 or 2}}",
  "anvilFieldAlias2": "{{data from step 1 or 2}}",
  "anvilFieldAlias3": "{{data from step 1 or 2}}"

Zap 2: Send completed Certificate to recipient [Link to Zap]

  1. Trigger = Completed Workflow in Anvil
  2. Action = Send email in Gmail to email from Step 1


I made a couple Loom videos demoing what I did to make it easier to follow along:

2 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +11

Wow, this is awesome! Thanks so much for sharing this @Sophie B.:sparkles:

Userlevel 7
Badge +11

Hi @Sophie B.!

Thanks for sharing those videos with the community :) 

If you wouldn’t mind, we could actually embed them right into the post rather than make them external links (I think we’d have to edit the post to do so).

If you’d rather not, that’s totally fine. I just figured it would keep people here in the Community and be a bit easier to identify as a video ▶️