Data Studio makes it easy to share reports throughout your organization. There is no license to assign, no application to install, and no files to download. Your stakeholders can view their dashboards and interact with the data all online. This allows you take advantage of interactive functionality such as filtering, date selection, and live data refresh.
However, the business realities in many organizations require static, offline versions of reports and dashboards, most commonly in PDF form.
Data Studio’s PDF Download feature ensures that any online report can be easily converted to a static format when required.
When Should You Export to PDF?
Data Studio Developer Advocate Minhaz Kazi explores the use cases of exporting dashboards to PDF in his article Data Studio PDF export is here! (And when you should use it). Here are some of the key uses he describes:
1. Offline Exploration
Traveling by plane, train, or automobile? Wherever your journey takes you, the internet connection may not always be reliable. Having a downloaded copy of a dashboard is a useful alternative when working offline.
2. Create a Snapshot in Time
Reports are often created on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis. Depending on your data source, Data Studio may be constantly updating with real time data; in this case, a snapshot in time may be necessary for your business needs.
3. Customer, Customer, Customer
At the end of the day, making the customer happy always comes first. If you are creating Data Studio reports for clients, a PDF export may be a part of their requirements. These types of documents have become an industry standard, and it is not uncommon for clients to ask for a PDF copy.
How to Export to PDF in Data Studio
1. Click to Download Report
To export a report as a PDF, click the download button at the top right of the screen. This is available in both view and edit mode.
Note that the export will only show the report in its default state (i.e. any changes applied through date range or filter controls will be ignored).
2. Select Additional Options
Data Studio has several additional options available when exporting to a PDF:
a) Ignore Custom Background Color
If you have chosen a non-white background colour for your report, you may wish to ignore this during export. This will result in a transparent background on all pages. If you intend on printing the PDF, this may be a helpful option.
b) Link Back to Report
This feature allows you to add a bookmark to the original live dashboard in Data Studio. When recipients view the PDF, a bookmark will be available to open the online report. You can use this feature to encourage viewers to access the live dashboard and interact further with the data.
c) Password Protect
If you need an additional layer of security, Data Studio provides the option to create password-protected reports. Anyone that tries to view the PDF will have to enter the password.
d) Select Multiple Pages
For reports with multiple pages, you can select which pages you want to be included in the export. This is useful in cases where you may wish to export specific pages (e.g. an executive summary) or send different sections to different people. If needed, you can also click-and-drag to rearrange the pages in the export.
Though we prefer the interactive capabilities of viewing Data Studio reports online, PDF export proves useful in situations where static documents are needed.
Have any questions? Let us know in the comments below!
Complete list of posts in our 2018 edition 12 Days of Data Studio series:
1. ClickInsight Data Viz Gallery
2. Comparing Multiple GA Segments on a Chart in Data Studio
3. Exporting to PDF from Data Studio (this post)
4. Using Bookmarks Links in Data Studio
5. Keyboard Shortcuts for Data Studio
6. Creating Heat Maps in Google Data Studio
7. Using Charts as Interactive Filters in Data Studio
8. Creating Diverging Bar Charts in Data Studio
9. Creating Thumbnail Images of Data Studio Reports
10. Embedding URLs in Data Studio
11. Open Source Community Connectors for Data Studio
12. Create Custom Charts with Data Studio Community Visualizations