How to Create Custom Certificates for Learners



Absorb LMS uses the Portable Document Format (PDF) format for its certificates. Certificates can be created for Absorb clients as a part of our onboarding process, and we're also able to help with small changes to the designed certificates should you need them.

However, if you have access to Adobe Acrobat or another PDF form editor, this guide will outline how to build your own certificates that pull user data stored in the LMS.

Table of Contents

Creating a Certificate

While you will need to add form fields to your certificate later, you can create the certificate in a variety of other programs. The form fields will pull data from the LMS for the user that is viewing them, and creating your own auto-populating certificates is as easy as copying over the fields from the PDF (called Absorb Custom Certificates Client Info.pdf) available for download a the bottom of this article. To create your own certificate design you will want to ensure the following prior to adding the fields in a PDF editor like Adobe Acrobat:

  1. Create a certificate design in letter (paper) size: 8.5 x 11 inches (215.9 mm x 279.4 mm) 
  2. Leave the area that should be populated by the LMS (i.e. course name, learner name, etc.)

Making your Own Form Fields with Adobe Acrobat Pro

Important: You need the full version of Adobe Acrobat to complete these steps.  Adobe Reader will not work.

Step Action
1. Download the Absorb Custom Certificate Client Info PDF found at the bottom of this article.
2. Open the Absorb test certificate in Adobe Acrobat Pro and the certificate you will be editing.
3. From the Tools menu, select Prepare Form.
4. Ensure you are routed back to the Absorb test certificate and verify that the form fields are displayed.  All fields available on the form will be listed to the right.
5. Add a new field by selecting the form field on the Absorb test certificate (it will highlight blue), copy it Crtl + C and then paste it Crtl + V onto the new certificate.
6. To configure fields further, right-click and select Properties.  You can adjust the name, appearance, etc.

Custom Fields

Absorb LMS allows users to set up their own custom user fields to populate with custom user data. The data in these fields can also be passed to your PDF certificate using the following form field:


Where FieldNameNoSpaces will be the name that you have input for that custom field (with any spaces in that name stripped out of the form field). Please note that if changes are made in the LMS to that custom field name, your certificates will need to be updated to reflect them.

Date Format

Please note that the date format that appears on certificates will match that the same format as determined in your Portal Settings under the Defaults tab. You can select from YYYY-MM-DD, DD/MM/YYYY, or MM/DD/YYYY from the drop-down menu labeled Report Date Format. This will also update the date format within your reports, so please be sure you are comfortable with your changes prior to saving the new format.



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