Create PDF document fillable form with HTML

Prerequisites:

Sign Up and Obtain API Key: Visit DocuSeal API Console to obtain your API key.

1

HTML field tags

HTML is a universal tool for building dynamic PDF forms with ease. Using custom tags like <text-field>, <signature-field>, and other 9 field types. These tags, coupled with the style attribute, enable developers to precisely define the width and height of form fields. For instance, utilizing HTML tags within your HTML structure grants you granular control over each element's positioning and dimensions. This level of customization ensures that the final form aligns perfectly with your design requirements.

HTML field tags can contain the following attributes:

  • name: Name of the field in the template.
  • role: signer role name. Specify different names in case the document contains multiple signing parties with their own set of fields.
  • default: default field value to be used in the template.
  • required: set false to make the field optional and skipable. true by default.
  • readonly: set true to make it impossible for the signer to edit the pre-filled field value. false by default.
  • option: option value for multi-select and radio field types. Fields with the same name are grouped into radio and multi-select groups with passed option values.
  • options: comma separated list of options for select field type.
  • pattern: HTML field validation pattern string based on https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/HTML/Attributes/pattern specification.
  • format: date field format, MM/DD/YYYY is used by default.
  • font_size: font size of the text value. This attribute is optional, default font size will be calculated based on the the field height by default.
<text-field>
</text-field>
<signature-field>
</signature-field>
<date-field name="Date">
</date-field>
<image-field name="Photo">
</image-field>
<initials-field>
</initials-field>
<phone-field name="Phone">
</phone-field>
<stamp-field readonly="true">
</stamp-field>
<file-field name="Resume">
</file-field>
<checkbox-field>
</checkbox-field>
<radio-field
  options="opt1,opt2">
</radio-field>
<select-field
  options="opt1,opt2">
</select-field>
<multi-select-field
  options="opt1,opt2">
</multi-select-field>
2

Creating HTML layout

To begin crafting PDF document templates, start by creating a structured HTML, incorporating these custom field tags. Use Chrome print preview feature to get a real-time visualization of the document appearance as a PDF.

Custom CSS, whether embedded inline or linked externally, can be used to refine the visual design of the document.

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
  <head>
    <meta charset="UTF-8">
    <title>Rental Agreement</title>
  </head>
  <body>
    <div
      style="width: 80%; margin: 0 auto; padding: 20px; border: 1px solid #ccc;">
      <div style="text-align: center;  margin-bottom: 20px;">
        <h2>Rental Agreement</h2>
      </div>
      <p>This Rental Agreement (the "Agreement") is made and entered into by and
        between:</p>
      <p style="display: flex; align-items: center;">
        <span>Party A: </span>
        <text-field
          name="Full Name"
          role="Property Owner"
          style="width: 160px; height: 20px; display: inline-block;">
        </text-field>
      </p>
      <p>and</p>
      <p style="display: flex; align-items: center;">
        <span>Party B: </span>
        <text-field
          name="Full Name"
          role="Renter"
          style="width: 160px; height: 20px; display: inline-block;">
        </text-field>
      </p>
      <p>...</p>
      <div
        style="display: flex; justify-content: space-between; margin-top: 50px;">
        <div style="text-align: left;">
          <p style="display: flex; align-items: center;">
            <text-field
              name="Full Name"
              role="Property Owner"
              style="width: 160px; height: 20px; display: inline-block;">
            </text-field>
          </p>
          <p>Party A</p>
          <p style="display: flex; align-items: center;">
            <span>Date: </span>
            <date-field
              name="Date"
              role="Property Owner"
              style="width: 100px; height: 20px; display: inline-block;">
            </date-field>
          </p>
          <signature-field
            name="Property Owner's Signature"
            role="Property Owner"
            style="width: 160px; height: 80px; display: inline-block;">
          </signature-field>
        </div>
        <div style="text-align: left;">
          <p style="display: flex; align-items: center;">
            <text-field
              name="Full Name"
              role="Renter"
              style="width: 160px; height: 20px; display: inline-block;">
            </text-field>
          </p>
          <p>Party B (Renter)</p>
          <p style="display: flex; align-items: center;">
            <span>Date: </span>
            <date-field
              name="Date"
              role="Renter"
              style="width: 100px; height: 20px; display: inline-block;">
            </date-field>
          </p>
          <signature-field
            name="Renter's Signature"
            role="Renter"
            style="width: 160px; height: 80px; display: inline-block;">
          </signature-field>
        </div>
      </div>
    </div>
  </body>
</html>
3

Adding header and footer (optional)

Additionally, it's possible to add headers and footers to every page using the html_header and html_footer parameters.

Use special html tags to add page number and total pages in the header or footer: <span class="pageNumber"></span>, <span class="totalPages"></span>.

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
  <head>
    <style>
      body { margin: auto 10px; }
    </style>
  </head>
  <body>
    <p><span class="pageNumber"></span> of <span class="totalPages"></span></p>
  </body>
</html>
4

Send HTML to the API

Use POST https://api.docuseal.co/templates/html API to create interactive document form template from the given HTML.

API request body should contain JSON payload with "html": '...' string value.

Upon a successful request, you'll receive a "id" of the new template to be used in the signature request process.

Learn more:

REST API Reference

Style document page with CSS

const axios = require('axios');

const html = '<!DOCTYPE html>...';
const html_header = '<!DOCTYPE html>...';
const html_footer = '<!DOCTYPE html>...';

axios.post('https://api.docuseal.co/templates/html', {
  name: 'Rental Agreement',
  html: html,
  html_header: html_header.
  html_footer: html_footer.
  size: 'A4',
}, {
  headers: {
    'X-Auth-Token': 'YOUR_TOKEN',
    'Content-Type': 'application/json',
  },
}).then((response) => {
  console.log(response.data);
})
.catch((error) => {
  console.error('Error:', error);
});