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Ian's Insights Ep1: Automatically convert XLSX submission documents to PDF using Power Automate

  • 1.  Ian's Insights Ep1: Automatically convert XLSX submission documents to PDF using Power Automate

    Posted 12-02-2021 09:31
    Edited by Pat Cooney 02-17-2022 11:32

    The ability to use a custom excel template to output your form data is a very flexible and powerful feature that can be leveraged in ProntoForms. More info on creating it can be found here

    There are many cases where you would want this output to look exactly like your Excel spreadsheet but in PDF format instead so it cannot be changed. Using the magic of Power Automate, you can send your XLSX files to a OneDrive folder and automatically convert it to a PDF to give you the output that you need. 


    Creating a Power Automate Flow is very quick to do, is very flexible, and is a GREAT addition to the ProntoForms workflow. Information about creating a Power Automate Flow can be found here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-automate/get-started-logic-flow

    In this example, we are using a Cloud based flow, where it is triggered anytime there is a new file detected. This flow is made up of 1 trigger and 2 steps:
     

    In your trigger you would point this at the same folder that you have your OneDrive data destination configured to send your submission documents, in this case, your XLSX files. This is so that your flow can be on the lookout for new files that get dropped in there. 

    The Convert file step takes the File Identifier from the Trigger and uses it to identify which file to convert. For this we use the File Identifier from the Trigger. If multiple files drop in the folder at the same time, the flow would run for each of them individually.
     

    The last step is to write this converted file back into OneDrive. While you can customize the path and file name it is important to note that in this flow the XLSX file that we are looking to convert cannot have any special characters or spaces in the file name. 
      

    Using the File path, the name from the trigger action and the body from the convert step, we can create that PDF in the same place where the XLSX file came from. This will create a subfolder and put the PDF in there. While I feel this is the best way to do it, you could also redirect all PDFs to a folder that is different than where the XLSX files are going so that we don’t try to convert them again.

    Once you have the flow configured, you can now forget about it and let the flow do its thing. 

    Are you using Power Automate in your workflows? How about the custom excel document feature? I’d love to hear about your specific workflows for exporting data out of ProntoForms. 

    #PowerAutomate

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    Ian Chamberlain
    Implementation Specialist
    ProntoForms
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