Vadim Tabakman

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Nintex Workflow/Forms to PDF

Thanks for reading (viewing) this post.  This is about taking a Nintex Forms instance that someone has filled in, and using Nintex Workflow to convert it to a PDF form.  Now this is a workaround and not an official Nintex Forms to PDF converter.  But hopefully, it will give you an idea of how to take your form data and make it into a PDF that you can store in a Document Library or email it etc.

This process works around two main piece of technology.

1. a Word document that has Content Controls on it

2. the Nintex Workflow Convert Document action, that uses Word Automation Services, to convert the word document to PDF

The Workflow itself is not very complex.  There are about 7 actions in it.  All it's doing, is creating a couple of text variable to store the temporary Word Document and also the PDF.  Then, since one of my controls on my form is not linked to any field on the list, I need a Query XML action to pull the value out of it.  Once we have that, we use the Update Document action to create an instance of our document template and we update all the Content Controls on that document.  This action will create the Word Document in our library.

The 2nd last action is the Convert Document action which will take the newly created Word document and convert it to PDF.

The final action is a Delete Item, which will delete the Word document, since we don't need it.

Here's what the workflow looks like :

Quite a simple workflow.  Potentially, your workflow could be more complex.  But if you're simply updating some controls on a document, that is all you'll need.

The Nintex Forms looks like this :

Granted, it's not the prettiest form.  But it was a quick one to show you how to convert this into a PDF.

Downloads

Nintex Workflow 2013 and Nintex Forms 2013

Download the Workflow  - Download and import into the Workflow Designer page

Download the List Template - Download and import into the Site Templates

Download the Nintex Form Design - Download and import it into the Nintex Form Designer page

Download the Word Document template

Download the PDF Result Example

Posted by Vadim Tabakman Thursday, November 20, 2014 12:10:00 PM Categories: Build Dynamic String Convert Document Nintex Forms Nintex Forms 2013 Nintex Workflow Nintex Workflow 2013 PDF Update Document
Copyright Vadim Tabakman
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Tuesday, November 25, 2014 10:31:25 AM
Andrey
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re: Nintex Workflow/Forms to PDF

Hi Vadim,

Thanks for your blog. It has helped me several times during the last couple days :) (I'm new in Nintex World).

I have a question about the document converting in the SP2013 Nintex Workflow.

I have the document library (DocxLibrary) with template to use as the basis for all new files. It contains several (up to 10) docx files. My workflow iterates the file names collection and convert each file to the pdf format using the "Convert Document" action with the next settings

Source URL * = Web URL/DocxLibrary/FileName.docx

File type = PDF (.pdf)

Output URL * = Web URL/PdfLibrary/FileName.docx

Overwrite existing item = Overwrite

The problem is that if InputCollection contains 10 files my workflow will work during the Random(0..15)+9*15 = 135..150 minutes. Looks like it depends from the timer job.
The MSDN topic (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj163073.aspx#was15CreateOnDemandConversion) describes new on demand file conversion feature. Do you now what I should make to use this feature in my workflow to increase it speed hope to several seconds?

Thanks, Andrey

Thursday, March 19, 2015 6:18:09 AM
Steve Wedge
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re: Nintex Workflow/Forms to PDF

Hi Vadim,

This looks like an interesting approach and will probably address my requirement. I'm pretty green as far as Nintex forms & workflow are concerned (I'm trialling this to try and prove to my client that this will satisfy their requirements). I have a travel request form which I need to be able to email to the booking company once its been approved.

Can you advise whether this is going to work where the form contains 1 or more repeating sections which in turn contain multiple fields? I'm assuming that the workflow would need to contain additional steps to extract each element and that there would need to be some iteration logic to step through each repeating group? How does this then map to the control elements in the Word document, can the use of those elements be repeated at all?

Tuesday, April 7, 2015 5:24:10 AM
Niet
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re: Nintex Workflow/Forms to PDF

Hi Vadim,

first of all let me tell you, that your videos and explanations are real great stuff.

As a Nintex beginner, it helps me so much in my daily work.

Maybe you can support me in a special case.

I tried to generate a Nintex Form as a PDF-File - as you described it - and it works with Text-Fields very well.

But if I’m using a checkbox, the parameter value will be displayed as boolean type as a text like TRUE or FALSE, but not in form of a graphic presentation like selected checkbox.

Do you have any idea, how to solve this?

Thx4Ainfo

Niet

 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015 7:17:56 AM

re: Nintex Workflow/Forms to PDF

Hi Niet,

I'm afraid I haven't worked with a check box to see how to update the content control on a Word document, before converting to PDF.

Instead of putting in your form field into the Update Document action, have you tried just typing in a value like True or 1 ?

cheers,

Vadim

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 5:05:25 AM
HK
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re: Nintex Workflow/Forms to PDF

Hi Vadim,

Thanks for this blog+video, very detailed and helpful.

While we do have Nintex in our environment, one of our requirements is to convert an InfoPath form into PDF and email it out.

Would a solution like yours work in that scenario? 

How is this solution restricted to usage of 'Nintex Forms" (if at all).

Many Thanks,

-HK

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 8:56:43 AM

re: Nintex Workflow/Forms to PDF

Hi HK,

the concept would work for IP to PDF also, with some tweaks to query the InfoPath form xml where controls are not promoted to fields.

cheers,

Vadim

Tuesday, June 2, 2015 9:52:30 AM
Chris
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re: Nintex Workflow/Forms to PDF

Hello Vadim,

 

I performed everything to the T as instructed, but I exclude the converting to PDF. I just need it to update a Word template(dotx) with several plain text controls. I'm succuessful in geting the workflow to create  a new temple with the actually item name, but the content within is unchanged. Can't seem to pull the information the is submit via nfopath form to a sharepoint library which starts the workflow to pull what's entered into a word document or a word template.

 

Chris

Tuesday, June 2, 2015 11:31:20 AM

re: Nintex Workflow/Forms to PDF

Hi Chris,

have you made sure that the data you extracted from the InfoPath form, actually contains valid data (you can use the Log in the History List action to store that for debugging), then check the workflow history.

cheers,

Vadim

Tuesday, June 2, 2015 1:48:03 PM
Chris
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re: Nintex Workflow/Forms to PDF

Hello Vadim

Yes, I used the History to Log  also capture it in variables. I used the Read Document to read the dotx and return the variables and it was blank. I've also save the template with text in the field to see if it updates it and ut cleared the text but did not update anything quite weird.

 

Chris

Tuesday, June 2, 2015 1:54:03 PM
Chris
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re: Nintex Workflow/Forms to PDF

Hello Vadim,

 

I just did another test and it just seem it just copy the template over to the repository lib and renaming it to the item in the list. Is there a way to share .nwf with you?

 

Chris

Tuesday, June 2, 2015 2:06:32 PM
Chris
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re: Nintex Workflow/Forms to PDF

  1. Build String -http://workspaces.costoso.com/ws/costoso/Check%20Request%20Word%20Documents/{Common:ContextItemDisplayName}.dotx (Stores it in textDOTXURL)
  2. History Log: Captures the New URL above and Variables from the List item. Successful
  3. Update Doument-  Source URL:http://workspaces.costoso.com/ws/costoso/Document%20Template/NewCheckWireACHRequestForm.dotx

Content control title: "Entity" (I manual type this in as it displays in the Word template w/o quotes)

Output: OutputURL

OutputURL: textDotxURL

  1.  Read document - Source URL http://workspaces.costoso.com/ws/costoso/Check%20Request%20Word%20Documents/Context Item Display Name.dotx

Content control title: Entity

Store in: ConfirmEntity

  1.  History Log: Looks at ConfirmEntity to see results (empty)

Chris

Tuesday, June 2, 2015 2:26:42 PM

re: Nintex Workflow/Forms to PDF

Hi Chris,

 

yeah send me the NWF to vadim@vadimtabakman.com

cheers,

Vadim

Monday, June 15, 2015 8:21:22 AM
how to do that with O365
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re: Nintex Workflow/Forms to PDF

Hello

Amazing tutorial

I tried but I own a O365 SharePoint and with O365 Nintex doesn't have the "Update Document" Action

Regards

Emmanuel

Monday, June 15, 2015 8:41:27 AM

re: Nintex Workflow/Forms to PDF

Hi Emmanuel,

this is not currently supported yet in O365, because as you have found, the Update Document is not there at the moment.

cheers,

Vadim

Friday, August 14, 2015 2:38:28 PM
Bruce Altner
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re: Nintex Workflow/Forms to PDF

Hi Vadim:

 

Would the downloaded workflow work in SharePoint 2010?  If not, would the same approach work so I could try to reproduce what you've done here?

 

Thanks

Bruce

Monday, August 17, 2015 3:40:04 PM

re: Nintex Workflow/Forms to PDF

Hi Bruce,

I haven't tried it in 2010.  It should work.  At least the concept should work.

cheers,

Vadim

Thursday, August 27, 2015 5:02:37 PM
Bruce Altner
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re: Nintex Workflow/Forms to PDF

Hi Vadim:

I've gotten this to work in SP 2010...almost. I had to enable the Word Automation service proxy and fix a few other things, but at this point everything works except that the conversion to PDF never completes (probably because the Word file that is created cannot be read by MS Word, which tells me that it is corrupted somehow).  Any suggestions?

This will be great if I can get it to work.

Thanks,

Bruce

Thursday, October 22, 2015 10:57:15 AM
MArgaret
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re: Nintex Workflow/Forms to PDF

Hi Vadim,

This is a great post, I have a bit different issue and am wondering if you would be able to help.  I have nintex workflow that converts to PDF a Library content type which if a form.  However it converts to a searchable pdf and I ned it in Vector PDF or Image-only PDF.  Any idea how to do that? 

Thursday, October 29, 2015 5:55:33 AM

re: Nintex Workflow/Forms to PDF

Hi Margaret,

I'm afraid I don't know enough about Word Automation Services to know if this is possible.

Vadim

Thursday, November 5, 2015 12:05:27 PM
Ron
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re: Nintex Workflow/Forms to PDF

Hello Vadim-

This is exactly what I need for a client of mine.  They are using Nintex Forms and Workflow 2013 on-prem.  I downloaded all the files successfully.  But when I try to import the workflow file I get this error:

This workflow contains an action not available in this environment.  Action title: 'Update document'.  Action type: 'Nintex.Workflow.Activities.NWUpdateDocumentAdapter'. Action assembly: 'Nintex.Workflow, Version=1.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=913f6bae0ca5ae12'.

Did I miss something? 

Thanks.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015 8:56:41 AM
Gavin
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re: Nintex Workflow/Forms to PDF

Hi Vadim

Great description but I'm wondering whether it would be possible to skip the creation of a temp word file and create a pdf straight from the form?

 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015 2:20:05 PM

re: Nintex Workflow/Forms to PDF

Not yet Gavin.

Friday, February 19, 2016 3:53:33 PM
Eric Halsey
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re: Nintex Workflow/Forms to PDF

Did anyone get this to work with SharePoint 2010?

Friday, March 4, 2016 4:48:03 PM

re: Nintex Workflow/Forms to PDF

Eric:

Yes, it works with no problem in SharePoint 2010.

 

Thanks,

Bruce

Sunday, June 5, 2016 4:58:03 PM
Sojan
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re: Nintex Workflow/Forms to PDF

Hi Vadim,

Is it possible to create a fillable pdf with the above method, I using the above method to create pdf. Is possible to make the form fillable. The idea is to send the form to the customer by and get it filled.

Please let me know,

Thanks,

Sojan 

Monday, June 6, 2016 11:33:29 AM

re: Nintex Workflow/Forms to PDF

Hi Sojan,

not likely.  Although Word Automation Services supports PDF/A, I don't think Nintex put the code it to utilize that functionality.

If you find there is a need for this, put this on http://nintex.uservoice.com

Vadim

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