How to transform CSV to PDF

When dealing with large databases full of many different types of information, a CSV file is often a go-to option for many. Although this ability to store huge amounts of data is its main strength, it also becomes its greatest weakness when it comes to wanting to share this data. Therefore, the best way to share your CSV data is to convert your CSV to PDF.

The PDF is arguably the most shareable format, due to the fact that it is universally compatible, and can be easily compressed. What’s more, by converting your files, you can alter the format to suit your objectives, such as an invoice, contract, or report.

The Sheetgo web app offers a solution where you can automatically transform your CSV into custom documents per row of data, generate these as a PDF, and send them directly to recipients in just a matter of minutes.

Let’s say I am part of the Sales department in my business, and I need to send out a subscription invoice to each customer for the month. I have a large database full of all the customer data, including their subscription plan, monthly bill amount, payment details, etc. I can’t share this CSV directly with these customers, as it contains extremely private information, and it wouldn’t be in the correct format. Using Sheetgo, I can transfer each row of customer data into a formatted invoice document, convert this to a PDF, and send it directly to the corresponding client–all automatically.

Let’s explore in more detail the benefits of using Sheetgo for CSV to PDF conversion, and go through a simple step-by-step on how to convert your files automatically using the Sheetgo web app.

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A CSV file is essentially plain text which stores tabular data separated by commas. Think Excel spreadsheets but without any formatting like colors or cell borders.

They allow users to store tabular information consisting of rows and columns, making them ideal for large datasets. However, when presenting this data in a professional setting, CSVs aren’t typically appealing or adaptable.

Enter PDF files – the universal standard for professionals. PDF (Portable Document Format) files are widely recognized as one of the most reliable ways of sharing documents. Users can share these files across platforms without losing their intended layout.

By converting your CSV to PDF format, you can preserve the structure of your data while adding aesthetics too. (For example, images, headers, footers, logos, and other customizable styling options.) You’ll be able to present your work to others in a clean, professional-looking way.

Transform CSV to PDF automatically with Sheetgo

Sheetgo not only allows you to create an automated workflow to handle the entire conversion process, but it also has some incredible features that take your CSV conversion to the next level.

Let’s explore these in more detail:

  • Automation from start to finish: Sheetgo automates your entire process from start to finish. As soon as you’ve set up your connections, it will automatically transfer your CSV data, generate your document and PDF, and then send them via Gmail.
  • Avoid human error: As this process is taken care of by Sheetgo, there’s no need to manually copy and paste your data. As a result, Sheetgo completely eliminates any room for human error.
  • Save hours of time: By creating an automated workflow, you can save hours upon hours of time, not to mention manual effort.
  • Protect confidential information: You have complete control over which data you transfer and convert as PDF. This allows you to avoid sharing entire spreadsheets containing sensitive information and instead, you can choose what data to share.
  • Customize your PDF: With Google Doc integration, you can create custom document templates to which you can transfer your dynamic data from your CSV file automatically.
  • Gmail integration: Gmail integration with the Sheetgo web app allows you to automatically send your PDF to recipients found in your CSV file.

Now that you understand the multiple benefits of using Sheetgo to automatically convert your files, let’s successfully transform your CSV files  by following a few simple steps.

How to convert you files automatically

Using the use case from above, let’s say I have a CSV database full of all of my customers’ data after they have purchased a subscription plan to our product:

CSV to PDF - csv file

I want to transfer this data into a subscription invoice to send to each customer. I want to convert this to a PDF for better compatibility, via Gmail.

Using the Sheetgo web app, I can automate this entire process from start to finish. Let’s take a look.

1. Sign up to Sheetgo

First, sign up for Sheetgo – it’s quick and simple. You can opt to sign in using your Google, Microsoft, or Dropbox account details.

2. Prepare your CSV file and document template

Before you get started, you need to prepare two files correctly. These are your CSV file and your document template.

CSV file

Your CSV file should contain all of the data you would like to transfer into your chosen document format. Name each column clearly, as these column titles will be used to create the smart tags in your document template. This is how data is transferred from your file to your document template automatically.

As you can see below, I have all of the data I need to create the subscription invoices, and I have clearly named each column.

CSV to PDF - csv file 1
Document template

This is the document where your CSV data will be transferred to, and what will be converted into a PDF. Create a Google Doc that contains all the foundational information you wish to include across all of your new documents. Then, you should include the smart tags within your document where you want your CSV data to be substituted. These smart tags should be formatted with double curly brackets, and the text should be exactly your column title – {{First name}}.

As you can see below, I have created an invoice template and added smart tags where I want the customer subscription data to be transferred. Remember that a new document will be created for each row of data in your CSV file.


Connect, merge, filter or split your spreadsheets

3. Upload your CSV file

Now that your CSV and document template are ready, it’s time to start creating your workflow.

Open the Sheetgo web app. On the homepage, click New workflow, then select Connect files. Make sure you name your new workflow in the top-left field.

In order to upload your CSV file, start by clicking on Single file.

CSV to PDF - source file

Then, click Select file. You can choose where to upload it from the list of cloud storage folders on the right-hand side.

Once you have chosen your folder, click on the Upload file button and search for your CSV.

CSV to PDF 3

Once you’ve located your CSV, select the file and click Open to upload it.

CSV to PDF 4

Now, select the CSV under the ‘File’ list back on the pop-up window.

Once finished, click Next.

CSV to PDF 5

4. Connect your CSV to your document template

Scroll down to the ‘Generate’ section and select Documents.

CSV to PDF 6

Search for and select your document template. You can rename the Sheetgo documents here. As you can see, I have used my {{First name}} smart tag so that each invoice file will contain the name of the customer the invoice is for. You can also rename the folder where your new documents will be saved, as well as the location of this folder.

Once you’re happy with your edits, click Next.

CSV to PDF 7

Connect your spreadsheets to your data sources

5. Convert to PDF

In order to convert your new documents, click on the PDF option as your next step.

CSV to PDF 8

Here, you can choose to create a new folder to store your PDF versions of the document, or you can also choose to add them to an existing file. You can rename your folder and change its root location if you wish.

Once finished, click Next.

CSV to PDF 9

6. Share your PDFs via Gmail (optional)

This next step is optional – if you would like to skip this step, then simply click the Finish and save button to complete your workflow.

However, if you would like to automatically send your new PDFs to their respective recipients, then follow these next steps.

For the final step of this workflow, click on Email.

CSV to PDF 10

To automatically send the new PDFs to the corresponding recipient email from your CSV file, click on the Get dynamically from column button. In the drop-down field, select the column where the email address data is located. In this example, I will select column D. Now, Sheetgo will send the correct PDF to its recipient automatically.

You can also edit other aspects of the email, such as adding PDF as an attachment or access link and renaming the subject line. Here, you can also make use of the smart tags.

Once finished, click Finish and save.

CSV to PDF 11

How do I convert a CSV file to a PDF?

And there you have it! Now that your workflow is complete, you should have a folder of all your custom PDFs containing the data from your CSV file!

Here’s one of the PDFs with specific customer data from my CSV file:

CSV to PDF 12

What’s more, your Sheetgo will send out these numerous PDFs directly to their recipients in a matter of minutes. Through the Sheetgo web app, you have automated your entire process from start to finish, saving hours upon hours of precious time and manual effort.

Looking to convert different types of spreadsheets into PDF? Check out our articles on How to convert Google Sheets to PDF automatically.

Alternatively, take a look at more related blog posts below!

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