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PDF Document Automation

PDF Document Automation

Table of Contents

How to automate PDFs to save time, whether they're court or government forms or your own Adobe PDFs. Read this guide on the process and software to use.

Use Gavel to Automatically Generate PDF Forms Filled out With Your Client Data

In today's digital age, PDF forms are an indispensable tool for gathering and processing information efficiently. You may use PDFs to collect intake information, easily gather client data for contracts, or even collect information for payment processing. Whether they are Adobe-based court forms, government forms, or your own in-house documents, PDFs have revolutionized many previously manual processes, saving users time gathering, sharing, and reviewing data. 

PDFs aim to secure formatting to limit accidental edits like on a Word document. Fillable PDFs allow users to digitally enter the exact information requested, instead of having to print and manually fill out forms (and potentially scan or mail them back). 

However, despite their convenience, working with PDFs often presents challenges that can lead to frustration and errors. We’ve all experienced our own set of formatting challenges when attempting to fill out, print, or save a PDF. Data security concerns are top of mind as well. Fortunately, Gavel offers a seamless solution to these challenges, revolutionizing the way individuals interact with PDF documents.

Common Pitfalls When Manually Working with PDFs

PDFs were designed to simplify document management by preserving formatting and allowing for fillable fields. However, manually completing these forms can still be a daunting task. Users often encounter formatting issues when attempting to fit narrative responses into predefined spaces or find themselves spending hours ensuring accuracy and consistency as completing one part of the document may affect the formatting of the rest of the PDF.

Unfortunately, PDFs may often present many of the same pitfalls as other documents you may be filling out. This includes inaccuracies in the responses provided or inconsistent data when reentering the same information multiple times. In addition, not all PDFs can limit the number of characters allowed in a response or require the response in a certain format, for example, the format of month/date/year for a birth date or 9 characters for a social security number. 

For those on the receiving end of a completed PDF, reviewing and extracting data from the PDF can be just as tedious. Reviewers likely have to go through the entire PDF document and transfer responses to a CRM, Excel, or other data storage location. In the event that a field isn’t completed or is improperly formatted, the reviewer isn’t notified until they go through the document itself, requiring additional time to correspond with a customer or client to gather additional information. 

This manual approach also poses risks to data security, as information is stored locally on desktops, vulnerable to loss or unauthorized access. This also makes it difficult for collaboration, sharing, or retrieval by other team members, who may not have access to the PDF (or the most up-to-date version of it). Working off of old versions because of this difficulty may lead to additional inaccuracies in the PDF document. 

Leverage Gavel to Automate Perfect PDFs every time

Fortunately, Gavel’s form automation capabilities can help with many of these pitfalls. Forms are typically PDF or Microsoft Word documents with fields for all of the relevant client data. This could include a client intake for an estate planning questionnaire or one created by a car rental company to gather information about a customer renting a car. 

When automating a form with Gavel, you’re able to upload the relevant PDF to the platform and create a fillable template by adding logic, nested terms, lists, repeated items, and special formatting. You’re able to create a workflow that completes each form with precision once it obtains the relevant data. The workflow builder is easy to use, but for those who prefer to leave the form building up to the experts, Gavel has a team of freelancers (available for hire by the hour) to help build your form document. The platform also provides a robust Learning Center and unlimited live customer support to help answer any questions. 

Document automation can help reduce the administrative burden of manual data entry. Instead of having to go through the form document each and every time to input responses (that may be used multiple times throughout the document), you can create a workflow that seamlessly populates the form for you. Data entry is easy and can be accomplished in a couple of different ways - you can create an intake questionnaire in Gavel, which can be sent to the person filling out the form, where only the relevant questions are shown to the user. Alternatively, you’re also able to connect the Gavel platform to CRM databases, such as Clio to pull data points to populate the form. 

Through Gavel, you can also require certain formatting for the responses. Additionally, all edits are done via the Gavel workflow instead of in Adobe, preventing formatting errors like different font styles and sizes. Less time on data entry also means fewer errors and more consistency throughout the document. Each answer that’s provided through the data-gathering process will be spelled the same throughout the document, complex logic will be adhered to, and formatting will be consistent throughout your PDF. 

Through the intake questionnaire, you can automatically prompt users to upload or share relevant information and make immediate calculations, if required by the form. Gavel can also notify users of any fields not filled out prior to submission. For those on the receiving end of the completed PDF, reviewing the inputs (and the completed document) is easy - inputs are shared in a clean and concise format. They can also be stored within Gavel’s data manager or transferred to a separate CRM or data manager. 

Finally, with Gavel, sharing and collaboration are easy, and data security is top of mind. Gone are the days of locally storing and saving PDF documents to your desktop or local drive. Now, through a secure cloud solution, documents can be accessed by teammates (granted access) and on different devices.  

Gavel offers a game-changing solution to the challenges associated with manual PDF form completion. It elevates every aspect of the process, including form creation, data gathering and entry, and review. By automating data entry, ensuring accuracy and consistency, and enhancing security, Gavel empowers users to streamline their document management processes with ease. Say goodbye to the headaches of manual PDF handling and embrace the efficiency of Gavel for seamless form completion every time. To learn more about PDF automation with Gavel, click here.

Prefer to speak with someone? Schedule your personalized demo with Gavel’s customer team today.


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