Saving Reports, Receipts and Letters as PDF Files

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Saving Reports, Receipts and Letters as PDF Files

Some users may wish to save reports, individual standard receipts (which are also really reports), and letters or receipts created with the Letters menu options, to PDF files. DONATION allows you to do that, so that those documents can be emailed to others in your organization, or the receipts' donors, as attachments.


The Save PDF Options


To do this, for reports and individual standard receipts click the Save PDF button on the window, and for letters or receipts created with the Letters menu options, click the Save PDF toolbar icon (SavePdfIcon), or use File ⇒ Save PDF. This will bring up a "Save PDF File As" dialog, in which you can both select a directory and specify a filename to save the PDF file as. Once you do that and click Save, it will take a moment to save the PDF, then display that PDF file for you in your standard PDF viewing application (usually the Adobe Reader).


Reports can also be saved to PDF with the Save As button, which gives you some additional options like emailing the PDF version of the report to someone after it is created.


Appending Multiple PDFs of Reports Together


When you use Save PDF or an equivalent option and the file you select to save to already exists, you are given three options: Replace Existing File, Append to Existing File, or Cancel Save.


The Append to Existing File option is only available for reports, not for receipts or any letters created with Letters menu options. This will prevent a danger of accidentally appending a PDF of one donor's receipt or letter to an existing PDF of a different donor's receipt or letter, and sending them both to one of those donors!


If you pick Replace Existing File, the previous file with that name will be deleted, and your save will then just include the current report, letter or receipt.


If you pick Append to Existing File, the contents of your current report or letter will be added as new page(s) at the end of whatever is currently in that PDF file. That would most commonly be used to get multiple reports into one PDF file.


PDF Receipts are Encrypted


All PDF receipts (but not letters or reports) created by DONATION are securely encrypted, with a password that prevents them from being modified in any way unless you know that password, which we do not give out! (You don't need a password to view the PDF files.) If you plan to email receipts as PDF attachments, please read the Help section on that for further concerns. (That section describes a way to email a batch of receipts, each to the relevant donor, which is not done using the methods described on this page.)


The PDF Printer


The Save PDF options in various places in the program work in two different ways. For all reports, including the built-in (but not mail-merge) receipts, they are done by code internal to the program.


All mail-merge letters and receipts in versions other than the OnDemand version (which has its own internal way of doing this) instead use a "PDF Printer" that is installed with DONATION, called "novaPDF Pro v7 for DONATION". You can also select that printer to print to from other applications' Print dialog boxes (or even DONATION's normal Print dialog boxes). However, because the version installed with DONATION is only fully licensed for use with DONATION, it will print the following message at the bottom of every page, when you use it from other applications:


You created this PDF from an application that is not licensed to print to novaPDF printer (


This message should normally not appear if you use the Print button in DONATION to print reports, receipts or letters.


However, there is another option for saving PDFs from mail-merge letters and receipts, which is that the program can invisibly use the Chrome web browser to do so, if you have a reasonably up-to-date version of it installed on your computer. That will be enabled if you have the "Use Chrome if possible to create PDFs from mail-merge documents" checkbox checked in the Maintenance ⇒ Receipt Options window. (That checkbox is always checked in the OnDemand version, which does not have the novaPDF printer installed.)


The OnDemand version also has a printer called "Preview PDF (from COMPUTERNAME)", where COMPUTERNAME is replaced by the name of your local computer. We do not recommend using that, for reasons explained here.


Purchasing a PDF printer for use with other applications


If you are finding the ability to print to PDF files from other applications helpful, you can indeed go to that novaPDF web site and purchase a full license to the software, so that you can use it from all applications on your computer that can print. As of early 2016, it has versions costing from $29.95 to $49.95.


There are a number other PDF Printer software products on the market as well. Here are a couple of these programs that we are aware of, with their prices as of early 2016:


1.PDF995, from This has a free version, which however brings up an advertising page for the program in your web browser every time you use it, or an advertising-free version for only $9.95.

2.PDF-XChange, from This has a Lite version, for $24, and a Standard version, for $44, which has many more features, including stronger integration with Microsoft Office.


Uninstalling the novaPDF Printer Driver


If you have not purchased an individual license for the novaPDF printer driver, you may want to uninstall it, if you chose to uninstall DONATION. The DONATION uninstall program will prompt you as to whether to uninstall the novaPDF printer. If you answer No to that and still want to uninstall it later, you can do that via Control Panel's Add or Remove Programs (or Programs) tool, choosing to Uninstall "novaPDF Pro v7 for DONATION (novaPDF 7.1 printer)".


Fixing a Broken novaPDF Printer Driver


If you start getting error messages when you try to create PDFs of mail-merge letters or receipts from within the program, you can use the Tools ⇒ Fix novaPDF Problems menu option to try to fix that. It downloads and runs a program that uninstalls then reinstalls the novaPDF printer driver. You can also get that program directly from the following web address:


This topic was last edited on Apr 13, 2022