Google Apps Script: Automated PDF Certificated Creator That Is Emailed to the Attendee

Google Apps Script: DriveApp, PropertiesService, SpreadsheetApp, GmailApp, SlidesApp. Google Slides, Google Sheets.

Have you ever wondered how people create certificates en mass and send them out automatically? You are in the right place.

In this tutorial, we are going to:

  1. Create Certificates of Attendance for multiple attendees using Google Slides and a list of attendees in Google Sheets.
  2. Send those certificates as an attached PDF to the attendees.

We’ll set it up so it is super user-friendly with a handy menu in your Google Slide template so that all you have to do is to update your Google Sheet of names each time you run the course and then click a few buttons.

Google Apps Script Menu Items in Google Slides

Also, we will run an example so you can see how it all works and what you need to do to set it up.

For the coders out there, I think I have documented the Google Apps Script code enough for you to figure out how to quickly implement your own project. However, I have also added a smalls discussion of some parts of the code at the end.

This is a standalone tutorial. However, it draws from two main tutorials if you want to explore those first (Though it is not essential):

Let’s get cracking.

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Create a Student Certificate of Attendance with Google Slides and Export it as a PDF or Print it

Google Slides – Beginners

I always enjoy finding new ways to create documents using the Google Suite. One project I have recently worked on has been to build a Certificate of Attendance template that I can update for non-grades courses or conferences.

Why do this using a GSuite package?

Well, 1, if you haven’t noticed, I’m kinda into Google stuff and, 2, I can automate quickly using Google Apps Script and a list of students in Google Sheets so that I can produce all my student’s certificates all at once and automatically convert them to PDF.

If you are new to Google Slides, no problem. We will keep this basic. If you are a pro, skim through for some hot tips and stay tuned for a more technical follow up.

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How to stop getting Google document requests to edit from users outside your organisation from publicly viewable files.

G Suite – Paid editions, Gmail, Google Sheets, Google Docs, Google Slides, Google Drive

Recently, I had updated all the course materials in a learning management system (Not Google Classroom. Sorry Google) to only use G Suite files like Docs, Sheets and Slides for students to access.

For me, this was a pretty logical step. It allowed course creators to update their files live when they had to correct errors or make minor changes quarter-to-quarter or year-to-year. Administratively, it meant that files did not have to be accounted for, deleted and updated every time a change was made.

The Problem

While time-consuming, the changeover went well as we changed all of the student resources into Google files. We set all the files to be accessible to anyone with the link can view (The organization does not have student accounts on the same domain as the staff).

Google sharing settings

However, in the back of my mind, there was a problem I knew I needed to address. The dreaded request for access to edit. With over 3,500 students on the program and hundreds of files for them to access, it would be a huge pain if some of these students clicked that view and requested edit access.

Google Docs View Only - Request Edit Access

There is no way to prevent users from not being able to do this within the document’s share options. Likewise, my organisation may want to allow requests inside the domain (for example name@yagisanatode.com is okay, but name@gmail.com is not).

The Solution – Gmail Filters

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Google Apps Script: Google Standard Color Palette Picker for Sidebar and Dialog Boxes in Google Sheets, Google Docs and Google Slides

Google Apps Script: Dev Tools, Color Picker, Side Bar, Custom Prompt, HtmlService, onOpen, Sidebar, Dialog Box

I wanted to update one of my free Google Add-on apps that works with colour. What I had is just the standard HTML color input element where the user selects from the palette and that hexadecimal colour code is returned to Google Apps Script to be used in the App. The problem is that it is really hard to get a good colour match between the palette and Google’s own colour range that is accessible from the fill or text colour buttons.

Take a look at the comparison between the HTML color input element and the Google Sheet background colour palette in the image below.

Color input vs google sheet palette colours

That’s not a user-friendly tool to match colours with the standard Google palette.

So in the back of my mind, I had always wanted to create a tool for a sidebar or dialogue box that would allow the user to easily access the standard colours or use the custom palette provided by the HTML color input.

After finding a bit of time in my recent summer break I came up with this.

Google Color array picker

And this is how it looks in action:

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Google Apps Script: Hexadecimal Color Codes for Google Docs, Sheets and Slides Standard Palette

Google Apps Script – GSuite Standard Color Palette

I am planning on updating a few Google Apps Script projects and updates soon. To accomplish them, I needed to get the full array of colours and their hexadecimal codes from the Google Sheets, Docs and Slides dropdown menus for the text and fill colours.

Google Sheets Color Palette

I wanted to be able to easily access the hexadecimal codes for each of the custom colours that Google has.

In this short post, I want to share a number of array and object formats along with a quick Logger.log example for each one.

However, first of all here is the Google Sheet with the colours along with their hexadecimal name and the name that Google gives the colour.

You can check out the file here:

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