How to create and email PDF files from Tally form responses with Zapier

There are several ways to create and auto-populate a PDF with Tally form responses and email it to your respondent. You can use our integration with Zapier or Make to connect with a wide variety of PDF automation tools.
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Most tools, however, are not available for free. They might have a free trial, but you will end up paying for the PDF generation at some point. If you're looking for a free alternative, you can use Zapier,  Google Docs, and Gmail to automatically generate a Google Document from your Tally form responses, that will be emailed as a PDF attachment to your respondents.
This tutorial will not show you how to create PDF documents of form submissions, it will create Google Documents that will be e-mailed as PDF attachments.
What you'll need:
  • A free Tally account
  • A Google account
  • A free Zapier account


Step 1: Create a Google Docs template

To get started create a template in Google Docs. You can use a pre-made template supplied by Google Docs, or you can create your own. If you need help getting started with templates, here's a quick tutorial.
In order to create a fillable template in Google Docs, any text that you want to replace with information from another app needs to be formatted like this: {{FieldName}}
Make sure you have the double brackets on both sides and that there are no spaces between words. Don't forget to save your document as a template.
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Step 2: Connect Tally to Google Docs

In this step, we are creating a zap in order to automatically create a new Google Document for every form submission.
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Create a zap

Log into your Zapier account (or create a new one) and click the Make a Zap button in the top right, or go use this premade template.

Choose app & event

Select Tally from the trigger app list and choose New Response as a trigger event. The trigger event is what needs to happen in order to start this workflow. In this example, a new Google document will be created for every new form response.
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Connect your account

Select the account you'd like to connect to. If you've never connected to this account before, you'll need to enter your credentials.

Set up and test trigger

Choose the Tally form from which you want to create a PDF document. Then continue to test the trigger. Make sure you have a submitted a form response in your Tally form that has all the information you might want to send to your document template. You'll use that response to test the step. Follow the instructions, and click Continue.

Add an action step

Click the plus sign, and select Action/Search.

Choose app & event

Select Google Docs as your action app and select Create Document from Template as the action. Then connect your Google Docs account to Zapier.

Map the information to your Google Docs template

First, select the Google Docs template you want to use from the dropdown menu.
Then, name the template. You can name it dynamically based on Tally form responses by clicking the plus sign next to the field and selecting the information.
If you're using a free version of Zapier, insert the variable Email Address as the name of your Document. This will be important to be able to email the document at a later stage. If you're a paying Zapier customer and you have access to multi-step zaps, you can enter any name you like
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Select the folder in which you want to save your autogenerated documents and complete the mapping for the rest of the fields. Our document includes the respondent's name, email address, and phone number, so we map that information from Tally into the document template.

Test your zap

Run the test and after a few seconds, you will see a completed template appear in the folder you selected earlier.
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Step 3: Connect Google Docs to Gmail

Now we are going to create a new zap in order to send an email every time a new Google document (and thus a new form submission) is created.
If you are a paying Zapier user you don't have to create a new zap, but you can add a step to the first zap we created (as a multi-step zap).
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Create a zap

Create a new zap to get started or use this premade template.

Create a trigger

  • Choose Google Docs  as trigger app and select the trigger event New Document in Folder.
  • Connect to your Google account and continue.
  • Choose the specific folder that needs to be searched for new documents and test your trigger.

Connect an action

  • Choose Gmail as the trigger app and select the trigger event Send Email.
  • Connect to your Gmail account and continue.
  • Map the fields from your Google document to Gmail. Select the document Title as the receiving email address. Fill out the other fields as you like.
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  • Choose Export Links Application/pdf as an attachment to include the PDF as an attachment in your email.
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  • Test and review your email, turn on your Zap and you're ready to automatically send PDF attachments with form submissions to your respondents.
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