Creating a Custom PDF Template

This article describes how to create a custom PDF template that allows for some common customizations.

If you have very specific needs then please have someone with HTML and CSS knowledge refer to our manual on making custom PDF modifications by hand.

Open preferences

  • On Mac: Clarify > Preferences
  • On Windows: Edit > Preferences
Open preferences

Create a custom template

Click on the + button to create a new custom template.

Create a custom template

Configure the General settings

From the General tab you can customize things such as the page size, orientation, image alignment, content flow, header, and footer.

For a list of variables that you can use in the Header and Footer text refer to this article.

Whenever you want to see how your template will look, click the Preview button.

Configure the Fonts & Colors

You can specify the font, color and size of text in the PDF document from the Fonts & Colors tab. If a font isn't set for a particular object, the Default Font will be used.

Customize CSS

The Customize CSS tab enables you to make adjustments to elements that aren't available in the user interface. Refer to the article on custom CSS recipes for some examples.


Peter Gilvarry

Is it possible to "export" a PDF template that I have created and have the other 12 users "import" that template. I see a folder C:\Program Files (x86)\Clarify 2 Beta\components\templates\user. Is it possible that the new PDF template I have created is stored there?
We are trying to comply with a corporate branding policy. Thanks

Trevor DeVore

Right-click on the template and there is an option to export, import, or reveal the template folder. Just export the template and then have the other users import the file you exported.

Trevor Drover

Is it possible to convert the standard templates page size from letter to A4?

Trevor DeVore

@Trevor - Yes, just select a different page size from the "Page Size" menu in the General tab.

Trevor Drover

Thanks Trevor, I can specify a different page size in new templates I create but not in existing documents I have created using the standard templates.

Trevor DeVore

@Trevor - You can't change the page size of existing PDF documents. If you want to change the page size for content you export in future you can create a PDF sharing account and set the paper size. See this article on creating sharing accounts:


Is there any way to change the background colour behind the step-titles? Is this something you might add in future?

Trevor DeVore

@Philippa Not directly but you can do so using CSS. Take a look at this article about adding custom CSS:

You are interested in the .step-title class. For example, the following CSS would put a light grey background behind step titles and add 20 pixels of padding round the step title text.

.step-title {
background-color: rgb(230,230,230);
padding: 20px;


Thanks. I'll try this.


I'm missing the possibility of adding a directory as first page. Would be great if the entries could be links to the anchors.

Tnx, Leo

Trevor DeVore

@Leo While we don't have a UI for adding a table of contents, PDF templates can be customized by hand to have one. We provide an example template that displays a table of contents in one of our how-to articles. Here is the link:

There is a link to download the template with the table of contents. Maybe that will help you out.


Is there a way to change to a custom template after you've already started a document?


Trevor DeVore

@Joseph - Custom templates are completely independent of Clarify documents. You can change them at any time and the changes will be used the next time you export the document to PDF.


I'm having trouble with accents on some letters when I use 'export as PDF', with my custom template. E.g. with the dutch word 'enquête'. In the PDF I see: 'enqu??ête'
Is there any way to solve this issue?

Trevor DeVore


Accented characters should work. Send an email to with a sample PDF, the version of Clarify you are using, and the operating system you are running Clarify on and we can take a look.

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