How to add placeholder fields to digital certificates

Custom fields behave like placeholders inside your digital certificates. The information displayed inside these fields is mapped by you, for each one of your recipients.

May 20, 2022
6 min
|      by
Giovanna Pergher
digital badges education

There are many different ways of creating your digital certificates, but one thing is certain: It must be customized for each recipient.  

This customization can be simple: You could change only the names of the recipients in each certificate that you issue.  

But the possibilities to customize the certificates are endless, and unique fields like {Date_of_Completion}, {Name_of_Course}, {Expiry_Date}, {Grade} are great ways of bringing unique recipient information into their certificates.  

In this article, we will show how to add and map custom fields inside the certificates that you are issuing with Virtualbadge.io. (If you are still not using our software to issue your verifiable digital certificates, you can get started with a 7-days free trial here).

So, hands on!

Part 1: Plan your custom fields

Here are some of the most used custom fields:

- Date of Completion
- ID Number: Each certificate issued with us will already be assigned a unique certificate ID. Still, you can choose to create a custom field for the ID number if you want to add another internal ID to the background of the certificates.
- Name of course: (in case you have multiple courses, but you would like to use just one certificate for them).
- Number of hours/points received: Interesting if you have participants joining your course for a different number of hours or receiving a different number of points/ different grades by the end of it.

The list goes on. And as I mentioned, anything can become a custom field.

Part 2: Add fields to the designer

Now that you have decided which information to show in the format of a custom field, it is time to add these fields to the background of your certificate.  

Just go to the first step “Designer” of the chosen certificates. You will see the option “Custom Field” as the third step.

Custom fields from Virtualbadge.io
Custom fields from Virtualbadge.io

Just choose “Add predefined custom fields” and name your field as you wish!

The name that you give this field is only important for you to recognize the in the mapping step. For our example, I'll name this field “Date of Completion”.

Custom fields from Virtualbadge.io
Custom fields from Virtualbadge.io

Now you can finish editing the background of your certificate and can save your changes.

Part 3: Map recipient information to those fields

The last step concerning your custom fields takes place in the tab “Recipients”. In the part, you must add the list of people who should receive this certificate from you.  

There are 3 ways how you can add recipients to your digital certificates: You can upload a CSV file, you can integrate with another software using Zapier, or you can build an integration using our API.

For our example, I'll upload a CSV file.  

When preparing your CSV file, you just need to remember to add a column with the custom field(s) that you added to the certificate. For our example, this is how the CSV file looks like:  

Example CSV file for recipients
Example CSV file for recipients

Remember: Recipient Name and Recipient Email are mandatory fields.

Now, when you upload your file to your Virtualbadge.io account, you will only have to map the information from your CSV file to the correct fields inside your certificate:

Mapping custom fields inside Virtualbadge.io
Mapping custom fields inside Virtualbadge.io

And that is it! Now the correct information of each recipient is mapped to your custom fields, and you can send all the certificates with one click!

Example certificate with custom field
Example certificate with custom field

* You can find the organisation ID in the URL when you access your LinkedIn Company page as an admin.

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