All Collections
Features
Mail Merge
How to generate documents with Sheetgo?
How to generate documents with Sheetgo?

Learn about new Sheetgo features, create a template and use Sheetgo to generate Google Docs, PDFs, and send automated emails.

Eugenia Langen avatar
Written by Eugenia Langen
Updated this week


One of the features of Sheetgo is to generate documents such as Google Docs and PDFs from a Google Sheet. Sheetgo can automate these types of documents and automatically generate email distribution with Gmail integration.

To generate documents and emails with Sheetgo, you need to first prepare two files:

In this tutorial, we will generate contact letters for employees who have passed the first stage of the hiring process and are going for an interview. The content of the letters will mostly be identical. However, there are segments of the letters that will need dynamic adjustment as Sheetgo generates the documents.

Here’s how to prepare your Google Sheets file to generate documents.

Create a Google Sheets template

Your Google Sheets template should include all the dynamic data you want to include in your generated documents. It’s extremely important that each column of data has a header, as this header will become a smart tag.

What is a smart tag?

A smart tag is a placeholder added to your document template that represents your dynamic data. When you generate new documents, the smart tag will be replaced with the data in your spreadsheet.


In this example, there is a Google Sheets file named “Generate Contact” with configured columns, as seen in the image below. This includes all the data needed to create the contact letters.

gendoc3


Each column has a header that becomes a smart tag you will use in your document template. This allows Sheetgo to transfer dynamic data from your spreadsheet directly to your template.

Please note: Each row of data will generate a new document.

Now that the Google Sheets template is ready, let’s see what you need to prepare your Google Docs template.

Create a Google Docs template

The Google Docs template will be the foundation of your newly generated documents. It should include the following:

  • The basis of your content: this is the text you’d like to transfer to each new document.

  • The smart tags: these are the column headers contained in your Google Sheets template.

In this example, here is a Google Doc named “Contact List.” Configure the paragraphs and layout of the document. This will assure consistency in all the documents that Sheetgo will generate and send.

Add all of the content you wish to apply to all of your generated documents. Then, use the smart tags you created in your Google Sheets file and add these to the places you wish to replace with your dynamic data. To add smart tags, wrap the header title with double curly brackets, e.g. ##{{Name}}.

Please note: Your smart tags must be a replica of the headers in your Google Sheets file, including any capitalizations or spaces.

As you can see in the image below, the smart tags from the “Generate contact” Google Sheets are added to the document template.

gendoc1

The Third Party HR firm wants to print the Name, Location of the Interview, Start Date, and Name of the Project. For example, the smart tags will allow Sheetgo to adjust the name and start date because these need to be unique to each letter. The picture below shows how these items would be displayed (text formatting and paragraph alignment) on each generated letter.

gendoc2

Now that your Google Sheets template and Google Docs template are ready, let’s use Sheetgo to generate documents and emails.

Add source

Let's open Sheetgo, and select New workflow in My Workspace. Then, select the From new connection option to start connecting files by building your own workflow.

Select Single file, then select the Google Sheet created earlier (“Generate Contact”) and click on Settings.

chrome_DDPCVnn5SM

Under Settings; click on the Offset Header drop-down menu, and select First row.

chrome_0NPDC0OvxB

Optional step: Switch the Identify Data toggle on, and Sheetgo will create extra columns where you will be able to track links to generated documents, the date, and the time when these documents were generated. Adjust the date format by selecting the drop-down menu.

chrome_WiWBDERiKN

Generate Docs

Under the Generate section, select Documents, then add your Google Docs template (“Contact template”).

gendoc7

In the following section, you will see how Sheetgo can use smart tags to create the name of your automatically generated documents.

Customize document name

After adding the template, it’s time to choose how the generated document should be named. To customize the name of the document, open the drop-down menu to reveal the smart tags that you can use to create unique names for each newly generated document.

In the image below, you can see how we have used the ##{{Name}} tag to identify which employee the contact letter should be sent to.

gendoc8

Select the destination folder where you’d like your newly generated documents to be located.

Additional settings to generate documents

Before clicking Next step, there are some additional features you can add to your workflow.

Check Generated Documents

When turning on this option Sheetgo will add additional columns where timestamps and URLs of the generated documents will appear. When this toggle is activated, Sheetgo will only generate a document referring to the latest row (row 6 where Jan Collier is on strike 2 for example).

gendoc9

Prevent Undefined Tags

Sheetgo will stop document generation when there is an undefined variable.

Select the settings as desired and then click Next step.

Generate PDF

The next steps will show how to generate PDFs and share documents using Gmail integration. Converting your newly generated documents to PDF is a share-friendly way to send your documents to others.

Please note: You can directly send your newly generated Google Documents via Gmail as an access link. Alternatively, you can convert these documents as a PDF to send via Gmail as an attachment. Your preference may depend on the nature of the document and whether you want to allow certain permissions. Please see below for more information.

Under the Generate section, click PDF. Select the destination folder (new or existing folder), and create the folder name. Your generated documents will now also be converted to PDF and stored in your folder.

chrome_ppL2TMuq4K


If you generate multiple PDFs and want to send them as a single, multi-page file you need to click on Advanced Settings, then select the toggle and enable it.

chrome_poFY5aHWew



Now if your workflow generates multiple PDFs, you can send them as a single, multi-page file

Click Add new step to send your PDFs via Gmail.

Share the document as an attachment

The next steps are to automate email distribution using Gmail integration with Sheetgo.

First, choose how you want to send your document or PDF. You have the following options:

  1. Share files and send access links: Send access links for your Google Docs for recipients to access the online file. Edit their permission level as either a Viewer or Editor.

  2. Add files as attachments: Send PDFs as an attachment that recipients can download to access the file.

gendoc11

Now add the email addresses of your recipients. You can add them manually by selecting the Use custom recipients option.

Alternatively, transfer the email addresses located in your spreadsheet by selecting the Get dynamically from column option. In the dropdown menu, select the column where the email addresses are located.
You can also send the email to multiple addresses per line by adding multiple emails separated by a comma on each cell.

In this example, Sheetgo will get the addresses from column B in the “Generate Contact” Google Sheets file.

gendoc12

Finally, Sheetgo will use a standard subject line and email content but feel free to customize it. Here, you can also use the smart tags to personalize the email to recipients.

gendoc13

Click Finish and save to complete your workflow and start automating your document generation.

Your email should now look like this:

chrome_lHQOlqV2Ny

Need more help?

Contact us via chat, on our email ([email protected]), or send us a ticket!

Visit our Community for help, tips, tricks, and feedback for Sheetgo.

Did this answer your question?