Filling out w2

I’m trying to build an onboarding application for new employees, and I was thinking about using the data to populate PDF documents needed to work. So the example I’m using is the IRS W2. What is the best way to populate a PDF with appsheet? Right now I’m thinking Appsheet -> Zapier -> PDFiller.

Is there a better way to do this? I’m guessing I’m not the first one to ask a similar question, but I haven’t found it in the community, nor in help topics.


Have you checked into filing online/electronically? I just looked this up and so don’t know anything about it but it seems the Social Security Administration does provide a way to file W-2’s Online that is free. If you can tap into that, I would think it would be most ideal. Even if its just open the web page to allow entry of the data??

Thanks for the heads up, but the W-2 is one of many forms I need to have filled out in a PDF for new employees. I’d like to have them filled out and saved in my system so I can go back and look at them for audits. I saw your post of keeping PDFs and I’ll try doing that, but I think my problem is that your example has you generating the PDF from the workflow. I’d like to update an already existing PDF like a W2 with information captured by appsheet.
I’m trying to find a nice way to do it.

My understanding of the Online process for w-2’s is that you can save a copy of the submitted form for your records. You have up to 30 days to retrieve the copy.

Anyway, while I try to find the simplest way, I do understand they doesn’t mean it always works for others.

How important is it to use the actual PDF doc that already exists? What if you re-created that template as close as possible and then generated that from an AppSheet workflow saved as a PDF? Could you do that?

Ya, I was thinking that too, where I just recreate the document. I was actually hoping to avoid it just out of laziness, since I have several forms already in PDF. I figured I could recreate most of them in google docs, and then use workflow to save the document as a PDF and do something similar to what you did in a previous post. Like I said, I was just avoiding having to make all of those documents.

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It would be interesting to see if someone has a suggestion on if an existing editable PDF doc can be filled from AppSheet in some way?

@Aleksi @MultiTech_Visions @Fabian @Steve @Marc_Dillon @Bellave_Jayaram @LeventK

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It would be possible to generate an FDF file using a webhook POST to a script. See the top answer in this post -


Seems like generating an FDF and populating a PDF with that data would be a great new feature of appsheet. :slight_smile:

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So @WillowMobileSystems got me thinking. Looks like I can convert PDFs to word documents with adobe pro. Since I can convert it to word documents, that means I can pull it over to a google document. So maybe I can use that to fill in the information. I’ll play with it a bit and see how bad the formatting looks.


You will get the best experience in Google Doc when you use Tables, and even nested Tables.
The <<FL_Number>> and the <<Lieferdatum>> are in a separate Table INSIDE a Table-Cell.
This helps you to get an accurate position.
You can set the border width to 0 and the border color to white, so the border is invisible.


Great, thank you. I’ll see what I can do

Howdy Ya’ll! I am back!! Haha! Missed you!!
An app (if it were my app) populating an existing PDF, of someone else’s, using Zapier or another set of additional connections sounds complicated with way too many steps and too much margin for error for me.
I have basically done this same exact thing, only for all of the (massive) data onboarding capture needed to set up China/USA/International full container shipping including Customs and Brokerage documents, IFS Agent, Power of Attorney agreements, etc, etc… I found that the PDF documents and amature-hour spreadsheet forms provided (by one of the worlds leading international shippers, Yikes!) for me to fill out the same contact data & info over and over (that I had already given them to set up my account with them in the first place!) was a borderline insanity process, rife with opportunity for very costly errors! Very costly, indeed! Haha! Anyhoo, it was easy for me to recreate every document and form in Google Docs as a Template for my app to automatically fill out with a simple Workflow. @Fabian is correct, you will want to use Tables in your google Doc Template.
My App/this process a huge time-saver and error eliminator, Client data is entered once and app automatically generates all documents & agreements, including signatures (with Timestamp & GPS stamp at point of Signature) for each document & agreement.
In your case, the W-2, for example, looks like a super easy-as-pie thing to perfectly recreate using lots of Tables in a Google Doc. I’d think you should even be able to get it just the correct size.
I do like the FDF/PDF ideas that @MultiTech_Visions and others mentioned if it could make this simpler, but I still see lots of room for error if your are trying to automatically fill out someone else’s PDF. This whole onboarding Forms/Documents & Agreements requiring signatures should be huge for AS. It’s literally crazy to -have to deal with- see how much time, effort & money is wasted in the World by using a Haphazardly cobbled together minefield of data gathering mechanisms.


I think our definitions of easy are a bit different. :tired_face:

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I use a workflow to send a pdf gift voucher to clients, autofill a google doc for an email and there’s an option to include a pdf copy as an attachment, hope this helps


@Stephen_Mattison I see you have signatures listed as something you do with the sheet. How do you let the person read the document before signing it?
I think what I’ll do is have them fill out my app, then print all the documents for them to review, sign on paper, then sign on app. Is that what you are doing?

Yes, basically my App is gathering the Client data once, then automatically filling out and delivering/emailing the various documents for signatures. Some Documents/Agreements can be digitally signed to acknowledge receipt & understanding, while other legal contract type documents must be printed and signed and returned.

When you say it’s delivering/emailing for signatures, is that being performed in the email somehow or do they just go back into the app?

Currently my App just delivers PDF copies of the documents to whoever is set to recieve them. I have not set this up yet, but it should be possible to also have these PDFs, maybe even the Document, if you want, to also appear inside and accessible from within the app.

@Stephen_Mattison have you had a problem with the way that it looks as a PDF? I converted the W4 to google document, then formatted and added tables to clean it up, but when I used appsheet to make it into a PDF with a workflow, it looks like garbage. It really doesn’t look like the formatting from the google document. I’m a little frustrated right now.