PDF Overview
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    PDF Overview

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    Article Summary

    PDF Introduction

    The following sections describe the idea behind digitizing your PDF forms, how to perform a PDF specification process and implement its findings using the Builder platform. The article also describes the PDF screen and the PDF accessibility feature.

    If you want to skip to our How to Videos section and quickly learn about how to create a new PDF and about the structure of the PDF screen, click here.

    Digitizing your PDF Files

    Digital processes are an online experience with all the steps a customer needs to take to easily fill out, sign, and send important insurance, banking, or financial documents.

    Your Digital process is built from one or more Webflows. Webflows can be built from scratch, but in most cases, they will be built based on pre-existing PDF forms. Those PDF forms will be digitized using the Builder platform. To be able to perform the digitization efficiently, you must examine each PDF form by using a specification process.

    What is the Specification Process?

    The specification is a process that helps you fully understand your PDF forms and how to transform them from paper forms to digitized forms.

    How to Perform the Specification Process?

    To perform the specification process, there are different questions to ask and actions to take, and it is recommended to divide them into steps.

    Step 1 - Form Details

    In this step, ask yourself some high-level questions, for example:

    • What is the name of the form?
    • What is the background of the form?
    • What is the process flow (creating a diagram)?
      • Where does the process of filling in the form starts?
        • Agent interface?
        • Website?
    • What happens when the process ends?
      • Sending an email?
      • Sending an SMS?
      • Both?
      • Do I want it to integrate with one of my Core/CRM systems?
    • What are the main actions to perform?
      • Filling customer details?
      • Files uploading?
      • Digital signing?

    Step 2 - End-User

    In this step, ask yourself some questions focusing on the identity of the end user/s, for example:

    • Who can fill the form?
      • Agent?
      • Customer?
    • Are there any potential participants?
      • Authorized signatory?
      • Lawyer?
      • Guardian?
    • What are the use cases of the form?

    Step 3 - Business Perspective

    In this step, ask yourself some business-oriented questions, for example:

    • Why is this PDF form being digitized - Is the current process flow too complex for paper?
    • What is the goal for digitizing this form?
    • Will digitizing the form bring any value to the company?
    • Who is the target audience?
      • Insurers?
      • Bank customers?
      • Pension policyholders?

    Step 4 - PDF Specification

    In this step, go over the fields of the PDF you want to digitize so you can characterize and specify them. See Figure 1 and Table 1 for a detailed example:

    Figure 1: PDF Specification

    Table 1: PDF Specification






    Redundant Filed

    Specifies that the section/text/field is not relevant and should be removed


    New Field

    Indicates a new section/text/field that needs to be added



    Specifies different types of text to display:

    • Main title
    • Secondary title
    • Normal text
    • Tooltip
    • Comment



    Specifies if a field requires validation, for example:

    • Phone number
    • Email


    Optional Field

    Specifies if a field is considered optional



    Specifies if a field will be:

    • Visible/Not Visible
    • Editable/Disable

    according to conditions of a different trigger field:

    • Is
    • Is not
    • Less than/Greater than

    the value of the trigger field



    Specifies that a field is an array with the following information:

    • Default amount of lines
    • Maximum number of lines allowed
    • Minimum number of lines allowed



    Specifies if development is required (with code)



    Specifies another


    Process Flow/Workflow

    Specifies a step in a process/workflow regarding an end-user type, for example:

    • Agent
    • Customer
    • Other


    Open Issue

    Specifies an open issue



    Specifies if a field has different access permissions according to a role (indicates the name of the role as well):

    • Edit
    • Read-only

    Step 5 - Builder Implementation

    Now you will use the Builder platform to digitize the PDF form by implementing what you have learned about it when asking questions like those described in steps 1 to 3 and when performing the specification process described in step 4.

    Step 5.1 - High-Level Implementation

    In this step, perform a high-level implementation using the Builder platform features:

    • Process:
      • Webflow - add the required amount of Webflows for the process.
      • Model - configure according to what was learned during the specification process, for example:
        • Create data items.
        • Add validations.
        • Set conditions.
      • PDF - upload a PDF (for additional information, see the PDFs in the Builder section).
      • Workflow Manager:
        • Add steps and assign roles and Webflows.
        • Create automatic communication channels - for different stages of the process.
    • Theme - implement the look and feel of the Webflow.
    • Co-Browsing - decide if a remote assistant is required.
    Step 5.2 - Low-Level Implementation

    In this step, perform a low-level implementation using the Builder platform features:

    • Pages:
      • Visibility/editing conditions.
      • Roles and permissions.
      • Steps in a Webflow.
    • Text:
      • Titles.
      • Secondary titles.
      • Different instructions.
    • Fields - defining each field with the following information:
      • Component (data) type.
      • Required/optional.
      • Field name.
      • Field label.
      • Validation.
      • Visibility/editing conditions.
      • Comment.
      • Placeholder.
      • Roles.
      • Notes.
    • PDFs names.
    • Email and SMS Messages:
      • Tile.
      • Content.
      • Recipients.
    Step 5.3 - Complex Logic

    In this step, recognize areas where there is any sort of complexity in the flow:

    • End pages.
    • Gender microcopy (if applied).
    • Personalized emails and SMS messages.

    Using the following can help you better understand the complexity logic:

    • A diagram with flow mapping of all scenarios.
    • An outline describing conditioning junctions.
    • An outline describing the expected outcome at the end of each scenario.
    Step 5.4 - Email and SMS Messages

    In this step, specify emails and SMS messages:

    • Type - start or end.
    • Roles such as customer, agent, company.
    • Message title.
    • Message content.
    • Addons such as forms and attachments.
    • Complexity such as personalized text, dynamic data from the Webflow, and conditions.
    Step 5.5 - Development

    In this step, recognize where developer (or EasySend) involvement is required:

    • Theme (customized components).
    • Integrations.
    • Custom validations.
    • Arrays.
    • Co browsing and remote assistant.
    • Complex conditions.

    PDFs in the Builder

    The following sections describe how to navigate to the PDF screen, details how to create a PDF form, a description of the PDF screen, and a description of the relationship between a PDF, Webflow, and Model.

    The Flexible and Connectors options are not covered in this article. For additional information, please contact our support team.

    Navigating to the PDF Screen

    (See Figure 2)

    To navigate to the PDF screen, click the PDF tab(1):

    Figure 2: PDF Tab

    Creating a PDF Form

    (See Figure 3 and Figure 4)

    To create a PDF form, perform the following steps:

    Figure 3: + Create New Button

    1. Click the + Create New button (1).


    The Create a Pdf window appears:

    Figure 4: Create a Pdf Window

    The Pdf Name is limited to 100 characters.
    1. Enter a Pdf Name (2).
    2. Click the Ok button (3).


    The PDF form is created.

    To prevent any system performance issues, the recommended maximum number of PDF forms to create per digital process is 10.

    PDF  Screen Description

    The PDF screen is divided into different sections:

    • Tools - this section contains different tools that help to mark and define the uploaded PDF fields so they can display the output of information that was input by the end-users using the digital process.
    • Properties - this section contains editing options for the Tools section field types and it also displays page and field properties.
      Field properties will become visible only once a field type from the Tools section is used to mark and define PDF fields, for additional information see the PDF Pages, Webflow, and Model section.
    • Canvas - this section is where you will define the uploaded PDF pages fields using the field types from the Tools section and edit and connect to the Model using the Properties section.

    Figure 5 and Table 2 detail the structure of the PDF screen.

    Figure 5: PDF Screen

    Table 2: PDF Screen









    Additional Actions

    Enables to perform additional actions:
    • Switch between PDF forms
    • Create a new PDF form
    • Rename an existing PDF form 
    • Delete an existing PDF form

    Auto Tools

    Magic Wand

    Enables to automatically detect fields by clicking them


    • Detects and marks PDF titles, sections, and text fields Automatically
    • Creates a Model & Logic Webflow based on the ODF structure
    This feature is currently in a “beta” feature and is under development. For additional information, please contact our support team

    Detects and marks PDF fields automatically
    Field Types


    Enables to define a field as a text field

    Text Label

    Enables to define a field as a label


    Enables to add a title on the PDF


    Enables to define a field as an image

    O Mark

    Enables to define a field as a radio question option

    X Mark

    Enables to define a field as a checkbox option


    Enables to define a field as a signature field




    • Enables to define the uploaded PDF fields
    • Enables to use editing tools from the Properties section to edit the added field types



    + Add Pages

    Adds PDF pages to the form

    To prevent any system performance issues, the recommended maximum number of PDF pages to upload per PDF form is 30



    Top Alignment

    Aligns a group of selected field types to the top

    Bottom Alignment

    Aligns a group of selected field types to the bottom

    Left Alignment

    Aligns a group of selected field types to the left

    Right Alignment

    Aligns a group of selected field types to the right


    Enables to select field types

    Distribute Horizontally

    Distributes a group of selected field types horizontally

    Distribute Vertically

    Distributes a group of selected field types vertically

    Slice Vertically

    Slices a concatenation of one field vertically

    This editing option replaces the need to mark multiple fields. For example, mark the day, month, and year in a single text field

    Slice Horizontally

    Slices a concatenation of one field horizontally

    This editing option replaces the need to mark multiple fields. For example, mark the day, month, and year in a single text field


    Duplicates a selected field type or a group of field types



    Deletes a selected field type or a group of field types


    Textual PDF

    • When checked - keeps the original PDF text format
    • When not checked - generates the PDF as an image
    For additional information, see the PDF Accessibility section


    Enables to connect the PDF pages to the Model when it is required to display data from an array
    For additional information, see the Managing Arrays article

    PDF Pages, Webflow, and Model

    (See Figure 6)

    The PDF pages you are adding to your digital process represents the structure of the Webflow you created with the different components. The pages display the output of information that the end-users input while using the digital process. Each field of an added PDF page must be marked, defined and connected to the Model the same way Webflow components are connected.

    The connection to the Model is done through the Field Properties that appear under the Properties section, for example:

    Figure 6: Text Field Type Properties


    For additional information about defining PDF fields and connecting to the Model, see the Creating and defining a PDF article.

    PDF Screen - More Options

    (See Figure 7)

    The More Options icon (1) on the PDF screen displays the same options that appear when clicking it on the Webflow screen,  with an additional option (2) to downloads the PDF form. 

    Figure 7: More Options - Download PDF

    If there are no added pages to the PDF form, clicking the Download PDF option will download it, but it will not open.

    PDF Accessibility 

    The following sections describe the PDF accessibility feature.


    The PDF accessibility feature is available on environments with version 20.12.0 and above. 

    What is an Accessible PDF?

    A PDF document is considered accessible if it can be used/accessed by all users, including users with disabilities. For a PDF to be considered accessible, it should be compliant to different accessibility standards.

    PDF Characteristics 

    PDFs are typically created from a source document such as a Microsoft Word and are then exported into the PDF format. However, many PDF files are created by scanning hard copy documents and are simply images of text. Unfortunately, image-based PDFs are completely inaccessible as they are and require conversion into readable text using an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software before they become accessible.

    How to Create an Accessible PDF Using EasySend's Platform?

    (See Figure 8 to Figure 10)

    To create PDFs with accessible PDF-fillings, perform the following steps:

    1. Create markers for the Accessibly Tree that works with screen readers.

    Figure 8: Accessibility Tree

    1. Create input fields (AcroForms) that work together with the accessibility tree you created.

    Figure 9: Fields

    Each field must be defined with an appropriate type before the file is uploaded to EasySend's platform so it will be recognized by it correctly. The available types of fields are:
    • Text input
    • Checkbox
    • Figure (for an image)
    • signature
    • Radio button
    1. Upload the PDF to EasySend's platform. 

    Figure 10: Uploaded Accessible PDF

    The platform will recognize the combination of the markers and the input fields (from steps 1 and 2) and preserve them.
    The EasySend's platform also preserves fields' alternative text. When an alternative text is set for a field, before the file is uploaded to the platform, it will be the text read by a screen reader. This is relevant mostly for figures (images) and signatures field types but not just. For example, if the alterative text of a figure is "customer's ID attachment", this will be the text read by a screen reader.

    Uploaded Accessible PDF

    (See Figure 11 to Figure 13)

    When an accessible PDF was uploaded to the platform, the following message appears:

    Figure 11: Uploaded Accessible PDF Example

    After clicking Ok, to preserve the original PDF accessibility format, the Textual PDF (2) checkbox must be checked in PDF properties:

    Figure 12: Textual PDF

    The PDF will be displayed with marked fields with a dashed border (3). The Field Properties section will be locked for editing (4) except for the label (5) which is used internally for organizing the marked fields and the fieldName (6) which enables the marked fields to be connected to the Model.

    Figure 13: Uploaded Accessible PDF Example

    After connecting a field to the model, it is also possible to set a groupValue property in case of a radio question. For additional information about the groupValue property, see the Creating and Defining a PDF article.

    Combining Accessible and Inaccessible Fields

    A document with a combination of accessible and inaccessible fields that will not be read by a screen reader is allowed. When manually adding inaccessible fields, their border will be solid and not dashed. In addition, all the properties of an inaccessible field are editable.

    Accessible PDF Troubleshooting

    (See Figure 14)

    In some cases, an accessible PDF is uploaded to the platform and some of the fields are left unmarked (1): 

    Figure 14: Uploaded Accessible PDF Example

    To troubleshoot this issue, On the original PDF, verify that:

    1. Each field was defined with a field type supported by EasySend's platform:
      • Text input
      • Checkbox 
      • Figure (for an Image) 
      • Signature 
      • Radio button
    1. Each Input field has a unique name - no duplication is allowed.
    2. An input field name does not contain the following words:
      • undefined
      • null
      • none
    1. Upload the accessible PDF to the platform again.

    How to Videos

    To quickly learn about the structure of the PDF screen and about its features, watch the following videos.

    • Creating a PDF:

    • PDF Screen Overview:

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