Customizing documents

When you need a bit more control, you can download a standard template as a Word document and use our simple yet powerful merge syntax to completely customize your generated document.

Getting started

Editing a document template in Microsoft Word.

To build a custom document:

  1. Open the Manage Document Templates dialog, which is accessible from your form’s confirmation options, notification/confirmation emails, individual entries, and the share entry dialog.
  2. Find Template Type, and select Custom. You will be presented with the option to download your document template as a Word document.
  3. In Word, your form’s field names will appear as plain text, with field tokens next to them in brackets. You can adjust field names, rearrange fields, change font size/type/color, and much more. You can even write expressions in Cognito calculation syntax.
  4. When you’re finished customizing your template in Word, press the Upload button to upload your document. If it contains any errors that might prevent it from working correctly, you can download an annotated version of the template that points out each error.
  5. Set the output format as PDF file, or Word document. If your document contains a custom font, make sure to upload the font file as well. To upload a different document, simply select the trash icon to delete the existing one.
  6. After uploading your template, you can open/save your new custom document. By default, the billing mode for your template will be set to Test, meaning that your generated document will include a Cognito Forms watermark. Your organization is not charged for test documents. Once you’re finished testing your document template, change the billing mode to Live.


Each live document template costs a flat fee of $4 per form per month - no matter how many times the template is used to generate a document. Organizations on the Enterprise plan receive 10 free templates, and are charged $4/template/month for any additional templates. Because documents are priced on a per form basis, templates copied along with copied forms are considered new templates.

Individual Pro Team Enterprise
Live Document Templates N/A* $4/template/month $4/template/month 10 free templates + $4/template/month for additional templates

*Organizations on the Individual plan can only generate custom documents that include a Cognito Forms watermark.

Live templates

The Manage Document Templates dialog includes a billing mode for each custom document template. You can toggle between Test mode and Live mode:

  • Test: Custom templates set to Test mode will include a Cognito Forms watermark. Your organization will not be charged for test documents.
  • Live: Once you’re finished building your document template, set it to Live mode to remove the Cognito Forms watermark. You are charged at the end of the month per live template (including templates that were set to Live at any point during the month, and then changed back to Test).

You can review your document merge usage in the Plan section on your organization settings page.