Nintex Forms provides a quick and easy way to create surveys, questionnaires, etc to collect responses from different people. This works very well with Nintex Workflows.
Though this is useful, the completed Forms are not easily portable i.e. you cannot send this from one person to another person keeping the “Look and Feel” of the completed Form intact.
Using Power Automate (Flow) and Muhimbi PDF Converter, you can create a single PDF along with the responses and then write the generated PDF to SharePoint, You can then periodically copy a batch of converted PDF files from SharePoint to your local drive using a Library’s Actions / Open with Windows Explorer menu. Select the batch of PDF files in your local system, and right-click on the files and select the Print option and the selected documents will be printed in a batch. Repeat this in batches to print all the PDF documents you have.
In this guide, we will show you how to create a simple List containing a Nintex Form Online and then associate a Power Automate(Flow) to convert the form to PDF once the form is submitted. Then we will show how you can batch-print those documents.
How to create a Nintex form
You can create your sample Nintex Form by performing the following steps:
Navigate to your MS SharePoint Site Collection and create a new Custom List and name it ‘Nintex Forms Demo’.
Once the list has been created, add a few columns based on your requirements.
You can create the Name column as a Single line of text for our example.
Once the list has been configured, navigate to the list and click the Nintex Form icon.
Click OK button for the popup. The Nintex Form Demo opens in Nintex Forms.
Note: In the ‘Configure pages’ section ‘Submit’ and ‘Cancel’ buttons have been automatically added to the form, and these will work right out of the box.
Click Publish button and your Form is ready to be used in the MS SharePoint List.
Before we start building the workflow, ensure all prerequisites are in place.
- Muhimbi PDF Converter for Power Automate full or free trial subscription.
- Appropriate privileges to create Power Automate(Flow).
- Working knowledge of both Nintex Forms and Power Automate.
- Access to a high-speed printer to print large volumes of documents quickly.
Using Power Automate to Convert Nintex Forms to PDF
On a high level, the workflow will look as follows:
We can now start building our Flow.
Login to Microsoft Flow and select the My Flows tab. Navigate to New Flow \Automated cloud flow.
Enter a meaningful name for the Flow and select the ‘When an item is created’ MS SharePoint trigger and click Create button.
In the trigger, specify the path to the SharePoint Online list to monitor the new list item.
Add the Muhimbi ‘Convert HTML to PDF‘ action to the Flow Canvas and configure it with the details below.
In the ‘Source URL or HTML’ section, navigate to the ‘Add Dynamic Content’ line and choose ‘Link to item’ from the ‘Get file properties’ action.
In the ‘Page orientation’ field, select the appropriate option. Depending on the content and layout of the page ‘Portrait’ may work out best.
In the ‘Media type’ field, select the ‘Print’ option from the drop-down menu. This automatically helps to strip out most of the MS SharePoint User interface.
Select ‘SharePoint Online’ as the ‘Authentication type’ from the drop-down menu.
You will need to enter the correct ‘User name’ and ‘Password’ to get authenticated with the SharePoint Online authentication that you selected in the authentication field above.
In the ‘Conversion Delay’ field, enter a delay of 10000 (in milliseconds, so 10 seconds). This delay will give the page time to load before it is converted.
Note: To pass credentials directly in the Power Automate action and in plain text without disclosing the credentials, you can create a Secret in Azure and pass this secret as well (link).
- Add the MS SharePoint ‘Create File’ action to the Flow Canvas and configure it with the details below:
For the ‘Site Address’, choose the correct site address from the drop-down menu.
Select the correct ‘Folder Path’ where the converted PDF should be created.
Give a meaningful ‘File Name’ to the created PDF, but make sure you remember to add the extension ‘.pdf’ after the ‘File Name’ and to make the file name unique, or multiple runs of the flow will overwrite the same file.
Select the ‘Processed file content’ option, shown in the image below, to populate the ‘File Content’ field.
With everything in place, create a list item, and after a few seconds, a PDF rendition will be placed in the output folder.
Periodically copy a batch of converted PDF files from SharePoint to your local drive using the Library’s Actions / Open with Windows Explorer menu.
Select the batch of PDF files on your local system, right-click on one of the files, and select the ‘Print’ option.