A Serial number PDF is a unique sequence of numbers assigned to the completed PDF form for the purpose of identifying a specific form submission. When users submit a web form, a serial number will be assigned automatically to the appropriate PDF field. The serial number changes in increments of one each time a form is submitted (e.g., if starting serial number is 10000, the next form submission will have a serial number of 10001).

To setup a serial number PDF, you will need a fillable PDF form configured with a web form (see how to create fillable PDF forms). Additionally, you will need a serial number PDF field on the fillable PDF form.

  1. Create the web form and the fillable PDF with matching form components/PDF fields. On the web form, do not create a serial number form component.

    Web Form:

    Web Form example containing first name, last name, department, extension, and email form components.

    Fillable PDF form:

    Fillable PDF form example containing serial number, first name, last name, department, extension, and email PDF fields.

  2. Match the PDF fields with the form components (see how to create fillable PDF forms). This should leave the serial number PDF field unmatched.
    Except for serial number PDF field, all other PDF fields are matched with its form components.
  3. In the Edit PDF form page (My Workbench > Create/Manage Content > Web Form > Manage PDFs > Edit), select Edit link for the serial number PDF field.
  4. Under Value field, enter [submission:serial].
    Serial token entered in Value field.
  5. Click Update button.
    Update button.
  6. To change the starting serial number, go to: Webform tab > Form settings sub-tab.
  7. Under Next submission number field, enter the desired starting serial number (e.g., 10000).
    Next submission number field.
  8. Click Save configuration button.
    Save configuration button.
  9. Test the serial number PDF by completing/submitting the web form, and then download/open the completed PDF form.

    Completed web form:

    Web Form example with the form components completed. First name, Robert. Last name, Smith. Department, Zoology. Extension, 45678. Email, rsmith@uwaterloo.ca.

    Completed PDF form:

    PDF form with completed PDF fields identical to the web form. Serial number PDF field is 10000.