Exporting Data From Gravity Forms: The Ultimate Guide

"Exporting entries From Gravity Forms". The Gravity Forms logo next to an export icon

🚀

Explore all the different ways to export data from Gravity Forms for analysis, reporting, and more. Export entries to CSV, TSV, PDF, and Excel (.xlsx)!

Estimated reading time: 15 minutes

Gravity Forms is the most popular and well-respected form plugin for WordPress. 

Businesses use Gravity Forms to collect many kinds of important data: sales information, survey results, customer contact details, and more.

Data is a very valuable resource and can be used to inform important business decisions. In fact, according to MicroStrategy, 59% of companies use data analytics in some capacity.

But the data you collect using Gravity Forms isn’t that useful if it’s sitting unused in your WordPress database! 

What if you need to analyze Gravity Forms data using third-party tools, format it in a specific way, or send it to other team members or clients?

In this guide, we’re going to show you how to export your data from Gravity Forms. We’ll cover all the different ways to export your form entries, including exporting to different file formats, such as CSV, TSV, Excel, and PDF.

Why Export Data From Gravity Forms?

There are many reasons why you may need to export your data from Gravity Forms. Here are some of the most common ones.

Migrating Your Website

If you’re moving your website to a new hosting platform, it’s a good idea to back up all of your website data, including Gravity Forms entries. 

That way, if something goes wrong during the migration process, you haven’t lost everything! When you’re ready, you can simply import your Gravity Forms entries into your new website.

Conducting Data Analysis

Many companies hire data analysts and business analysts to drill down into their data and discover important trends and insights. This helps companies understand where their weak points are and how to improve their services moving forward.

For example, if you use Gravity Forms to collect customer information from your online store, you could analyze that data to see where most of your customers are from. This can help you refine your overall marketing strategy.

Businesses also use Gravity Forms to collect pre-sales questions, conduct post-purchase surveys or sell products. Extracting this data allows you to analyze it in-depth, rather than relying on the reports available inside Gravity Forms. 

By exporting your form entry data from Gravity Forms, you can analyze it using more powerful third-party tools such as Microsoft Excel, Tableau, or statistical programming languages like Python and R.

Reporting and Record-Keeping

Exporting data from Gravity Forms is also helpful for compiling reports and backing up important records. Exporting entry data as a CSV file allows you to format it in a way that’s easily readable by clients and team members. 

Keeping a full backup of your form entry data is also helpful in case your website gets hacked or your database goes down. This way, you won’t lose the hundreds, or thousands, of important records that you’ve accumulated.

Exporting Gravity Forms Entries to CSV

CSV stands for “Comma Separated Values”. CSV files are plain text files that contain raw data. CSV files often act as intermediaries, allowing you to exchange data between different applications.

CSV files contain lists of data separated by commas, although sometimes they use other delimiters, such as semicolons.

You can open CSV files using text editors or spreadsheet programs like Microsoft Excel.

Exporting Entries From Gravity Forms

Gravity Forms makes it easy to export your data as a CSV file from inside your WordPress Admin page.

All you need to do is log into your WordPress website, hover over Forms in the left-hand menu, and click on Import/Export.

Make sure you’re on the Export Entries tab and then select your form from the dropdown menu. After that, choose the fields you want to export.

Gravity Forms also allows you to export entries within a particular date range or export certain entries based on parameters that you set using conditional logic.

Highlighting the Export Entries tab on the Gravity Forms Import/Export page in the WordPress dashboard

When you’re done, click on the Download Export File button at the bottom of the page. Your entries will be exported as a CSV file with the same name as your form.

Downloads list in the browser showing a CSV file

As you can see, exporting directly from Gravity Forms is effective and straightforward. However, this method isn’t without its downsides.

First off, exporting form entries this way requires you to be logged into the backend of your WordPress site. Additionally, the user will need to have the role of Administrator.

Why is that a problem? Because handing out admin accounts to everyone who needs access to the data isn’t the best thing from a website security standpoint.

Exporting From GravityView

If you’re using the GravityView plugin to display entries on your WordPress website, then you can export entries from Views that you create.

The first step is to enable the export feature on your View. You can do this by clicking on the Permissions tab in the View Settings meta box and checking the box that says “Allow Export”.

Highlighting the "Allow Export Checkbox" in the Permissions panel under the View Settings in GravityView

GravityView allows you to export entries as either a CSV or TSV file. TSV stands for “Tab Separated Values”. It’s a text file format similar to CSV except that it uses a tab in between values as opposed to a comma.

To export entries from your View, simply add /tsv/ or /csv/ to the end of the View URL, like this:

https://website.com/view/guest-list/csv/

If you want to create a download link inside your View, simply add a Custom Content module to one of the widget areas and include an HTML link with the download URL, like this:

<a href=”https://website.com/view/guest-list/csv/”>Download CSV</a>

This gives you an easy way to export your Gravity Forms data right from the front end of your website!

Exporting Gravity Forms Entries to PDF

The PDF file format is one of the most popular text formats in use today. The main reason for this is that PDF files display consistently across different machines, operating systems, and software applications.

Creating PDF files is a great way to share documents that contain specific text styles and formatting. Many companies choose PDF as their main document format because they are secure, good-looking, and readable on almost any device.

Exporting your Gravity Forms entries as PDF files is a great way to ensure entry data cannot be edited when sent to clients, team members, or other third parties.

Exporting to PDF Using a Plugin

Gravity Forms doesn’t come with the ability to export form data as a PDF. So you’ll need to rely on a third-party plugin for this functionality.

Gravity PDF offers the most consistent and robust solution for PDF export and the best part is that their basic plugin is free!

The power of Gravity PDF lies in its ability to turn your Gravity Forms entries into professional, custom-branded PDF files. The plugin comes with four different layout templates and you can also add custom content to the header and footer areas.

After installing Gravity PDF, navigate to your Form and click on Form Settings. Here you’ll see a new tab called “PDF” which allows you to configure new PDF exports.

The Form Settings page in Gravity Forms  with an arrow pointing to the "PDF" tab on the left

There is a range of options for customizing the look and feel of your PDF files. You can also enable the PDF export based on parameters that you set using conditional logic.

When a user submits your form, the plugin generates a new PDF file for that entry. If you want, you can send the PDF as an email attachment to either the user, the admin, or both.

Gravity PDF also integrates with GravityView, allowing you to display PDF download links inside a View. This gives users an easy way to download PDFs from the front end of your website.

A user profile on the front end with a link that says "Download PDF".

The Gravity PDF paid plans come with additional templates and extensions to enhance your workflow.

Exporting Gravity Forms Entries to Excel

Microsoft Excel is one of the most popular software applications for data analysis and visualization. 

Exporting Gravity Forms entries to Excel allows you to extract important insights that can help to improve your business. 

There are two ways to export your data into Excel. You can either export a CSV file and open it in Excel, or you can export your entries directly as a .xlsx file using a free plugin.

Exporting a CSV and Importing it Into Excel

One way to convert your data into an Excel file is to export it as a CSV (using one of the methods described above) and then open it using Excel. There are different ways to do this.

If you have a CSV file, you can open it in Microsoft Excel by double-clicking the file or right-clicking and selecting “Open with” and then “Microsoft Excel”.

Alternatively, open Excel, click on the File tab, select Open and then Browse. Make sure it’s set to All Files (*.*), locate your CSV file, and double click on it.

The Microsoft Excel "Open" window when selecting a new CSV file to open

Excel will display your data according to your default data format settings. You may find this causes issues if your CSV file contains date formats or different delimiters. In this case, you should rather use Excel’s Import Text wizard.

Open Excel and click on the Data tab at the top, then click on From Text/CSV. Browse for the CSV file you want to import and double-click on it.

Excel spreadsheet with the "From Text/CSV" button highlighted under the "Data" tab

Excel will now open the Import Text Wizard, allowing you to configure how your data is presented in Excel. The Import Text Wizard converts your CSV to a .xlsx format and gives you more flexibility regarding how your data is displayed. 

Using the GF Entries in Excel Plugin

This handy plugin recently found a new home here at GravityView and we are so excited to offer it to the Gravity Forms community.

Gravity Forms Entries in Excel gives you a simple way to export your entry data to Excel via a direct download link that updates as new entries are added. 

Using GF Entries in Excel, you can configure an Excel export (.xlsx) without needing to log in or create a View. And the best part is, it only takes 2 minutes to set up!

Start by downloading the Gravity Forms Entries in Excel plugin from WordPress.org and install it on your website.

Next, navigate to your Form in Gravity Forms and click on Settings. You’ll see a new tab on the left called “Entries in Excel”, click on it and then click on the Enable download button to enable the direct download URL.

The Gravity Forms Form Settings page showing the "Entries in Excel" tab in the left

The plugin will now generate a unique download URL. By typing this into your browser, your Excel report will automatically download to your computer.

The Entries in Excel Feed Settings page in Gravity Forms with an arrow pointing to the Download URL

If you scroll down, you’ll see different options for configuring your export file. You can choose which fields to include in the report, specify a fixed date range, change download permissions, and more.

Exporting Gravity Forms Entries to Google Sheets

After exporting your Gravity Forms data as a CSV or Excel (.xslx) file, you can easily import it into Google Sheets for further analysis.

Start by creating a new, blank spreadsheet. You can do this by going to your Google Drive, clicking New in the top left, and selecting Google Sheets.

Next, click on File and then Open.

Clicking on "File" and then "Open" in Google Sheets

You’ll now see the “Open a file” window appear. Click on the Upload tab and click to select a file from your computer to upload.

The "Open a File" box in Google Sheets

Google Sheets allows you to import both CSV and Excel (.xlsx) files directly from your computer.

Exporting to All Formats Using GravityView’s DataTables Layout

GravityView is a WordPress plugin that allows you to display Gravity Forms entries on the front end of your website.

The GravityView Core + Extensions license and the All Access license both come with the DataTables extension. Start by downloading the plugin from your account page and installing it on your website.

GravityView’s DataTables layout allows you to browse, filter, and sort your entries with live updates. The DataTables layout also allows you to export your data from the front end in a variety of formats. This includes CSV, Excel (.xlsx), and PDF.

Start by creating a new View in GravityView. Link your new View to a form, give it a name and choose DataTables Table as the View Type.

The different GravityView View Layout with the DataTables layout highlighted

Next, you need to enable the export feature. You can do this by scrolling down to the View Settings meta box, selecting DataTables, and checking the box that says “Enable Buttons”. After that, select which download buttons to show on the front end.

The DataTables Settings panel with an arrow pointing to the "Enable Buttons" checkbox

On the front end, you’ll now see a selection of download buttons that allow you to download your View data as either a CSV, Excel, or PDF file.

The DataTables layout on the front end with buttons to export data as a CSV, Excel file or PDF file

The DataTables layout is perfect for data visualization and reporting. 

Exporting Forms From Gravity Forms

Along with entries, Gravity Forms also gives you the ability to export forms. This is helpful if you need to move a form from one website to another.

First, log into your WordPress website, then hover over Forms in the left-hand menu and click on Import/Export. Next, click on the Export Forms tab on the left, choose the form you want to export, and click on the Download Export File button.

The "Export Forms" tab on the Import/Export page in Gravity Forms

Your form will now download as a JSON file, containing all of your form settings. You can save it to your computer for easy access later.

Gravity Forms Export: Wrapping Up

Gravity Forms is a powerful plugin that allows you to add forms to your WordPress website and collect important data. But in order to process, format, analyze and share that data, you first need to export it from your WordPress database. 

In this guide, we showed you all the different ways to export your data from Gravity Forms. We also covered the most important file formats such as CSV, Excel, and PDF.

If you’re looking for a way to turn your form entries into professional PDFs, the Gravity PDF plugin is your best choice.

For basic CSV files with limited customization, you can use the default Gravity Forms exporter and If you want to export your data as an Excel (.xlsx) document you can use the free GF Entries in Excel plugin.