How to Create WooCommerce Invoices and All Related Documents
Creating an online store is a lot of fun and joy for sure, but it also requires us to think about all the practicalities that make shopping a smooth experience both for the seller and the customer. Therefore, we have to think about all these not so fun but necessary documents like invoices, packing slips, shipping labels, and similar that ensure there are no misunderstandings between the seller and the buyer and that every order gets to the right address, undamaged, and on time. Although WooCommerce doesn’t have the option to create and print invoices by default, there are plugins to create WooCommerce PDF Invoices that can perfectly do the work.
WooCommerce PDF Invoices, Packing Slips, Delivery Notes & Shipping Labels Plugin
We have tested the WooCommerce PDF Invoices, Packing Slips, Delivery Notes & Shipping Labels plugin for this purpose and found it perfectly satisfies all the administrative needs of an online store. It has excellent reviews for a good reason, it is easy to use and install and we recommend it for anyone wishing to streamline all the processes related to accepting and shipping orders in an online shop.
The WooCommerce PDF Invoice and Packing Slip is the free version of the plugin that has all the necessary functionalities needed to comply with the standard requirements of online selling like:
- Print Woocommerce PDF Invoices
- Print Woocommerce Packing Slips
- Print Woocommerce Shipping Labels
- Print Woocommerce Delivery Note
- Print Woocommerce Dispatch Labels
The premium version offers more advanced features:
- Print Woocommerce Address label
- Print Woocommerce Picklist
- Print Woocommerce Proforma Invoice
- Print Woocommerce Credit Note
In this article, you will find out all about:
An invoice is a document where a transaction between a buyer and a seller is recorded. It is a kind of proof that the transaction has happened and contains all the essential data like unit costs, payment terms, dates, and any other terms specified during the transaction. An e-invoice is the same document but in the electronic form that doesn’t require the use of paper. If necessary, you can always print an e-Invoice.
WooCommerce Packing Slip
A packing slip is a very important document that contains data like item name, SKU number, weight, dimension, and quantity. The purpose of this document is to record the physical items within a shipment. It is also used by customs for clearance and entry into foreign countries.
WooCommerce Shipping Labels
The Shipping Label is a document that includes the key information like date, postal code, country, package quantity, tracking number, as well as the weight, validation, street address, city, and state (area). This information is necessary for the carrier to transport a package from your warehouse to the customer’s hand. Each delivery requires a new label, you can not reuse old ones. In some cases, shipping labels can also contain info like the contents of the shipment or method of the shipment and similar.
WooCommerce Delivery Note
A delivery note’s main purpose is the confirmation of delivery. It usually lists all the items included in delivery as well as the number of goods but doesn’t contain any info regarding the price or similar values. It is included in the shipment, and a copy of the delivery note is returned to the seller so that he can have proof that the goods are received by the customer.
WooCommerce Dispatch Labels
A dispatch label is a document that contains all the important product-related info like payment type, total cost amount, billing address, product information, shipping address, and also return address in case the customer decided to return the product. It is dispatched with every shipment.
WooCommerce Address Label
Just as its name suggests, the address label contains only the shipment address. You can also create an address label for more than one order that will contain a list of addresses for all the orders.
This is a document that makes work easier for the packers of goods. Packers in your store can use it to get the entire list of products for chosen orders.
WooCommerce Proforma Invoice
A proforma invoice is a preliminary bill of sale that the seller sends to buyers in advance of a shipment or delivery of goods. This document typically describes the purchased items and provides other important information, such as the transport charges and shipping weight.
WooCommerce Credit Note
A credit note is used only for the refunded orders. It shows that some amount of money was returned as well as the reason why the money had to be returned.
Now, let’s see how this plugin can help us with all these documents.
WooCommerce PDF Invoices, Packing Slips, Delivery Notes & Shipping Labels plugin allows us to set the data that will be valid for each type of document that the plugin includes. Invoice / Packing is an option that appears on the admin dashboard after the plugin is installed, and from there we go to General Settings.
Depending on whether you are using the Free or Premium version, the following setup tabs are available:
For both versions
- Help Guide
- Cloud Print
First of all, you have the option to select the type of document you want to use. In case you don’t need them all, there is no need for orders to have options for printing them. Of course, even if you leave all types of documents available for printing, it does not interfere with the functioning of the site or the shop. But, why would you burden the backend with unnecessary functionalities?
Here you will decide which types of documents you want to use.
Of course, you can always change your decision and adjust this according to your needs at a given moment.
The Settings button on the document type itself takes you to a page that contains settings for only that document type.
As we mentioned, the Premium version has more documents available, so the Document tab will contain more document types.
When we talk about the general options of the plugin, as we have already mentioned, they include all the settings that apply to all types of documents of this plugin. Here is information about the shop itself. It includes the name of the store and the logo (whose preferred dimensions are 150px x 50px). You have the option to upload a custom logo or image of your company that you can use across all printable documents. In case you want an image for this purpose, the URL of the image can also be used. The logo will be placed on the top left corner across all documents by default.
Also, here you can add information about the physical location of your company. In addition to the fact that you can manually enter all the data, this plugin also offers you a convenient option to load data that you have already entered in the WooCommerce plugin (WooCommerce> Settings> General Tab).
In the general options of the free version, you can also choose whether you want to enable Preview before printing and whether you want Show taxes to be displayed. These settings are in the Advanced tab in the premium version.
Help Guide Tab
In the Help Guide tab, you have different filters (you can use filters to extend the functionality of the plugin in the required manner) and Help links that lead to documentation and support.
If you are using the premium version, the first thing you need to do after installing and activating the plugin is to add a license key.
The Advanced tab is only available in the premium version and apart from the exclusive premium options, it also contains some options that the free plugin has in the General tab (Preview before printing and Show tax). The premium version provides options for adding additional fields on the checkout page, like the transport terms field or the tracking number meta field, tracking number information field, and sale terms field. An interesting functionality is the Packaging Type option where you can choose how you want the goods to be packed.
Cloud Print Tab
Another great option in the Premium plugin. Enables printing from any device to a cloud-connected printer, makes printing a document much easier.
Documents operate on the principle of taking information from the order (information about the customer and the ordered products). There will never be a need to enter that information yourself. The various settings related to these documents are used to make the document better suited to your needs.
Depending on the version you are using, you will have options for setting each type of document. Of course, the premium version has much more detailed settings. This is obvious simply from looking at the options you have in the admin bar. Invoice and Shipping labels have their individual settings in the free version, while for other types of documents all settings are in one place.
Each document type includes certain settings. They are most commonly divided into General and Customization settings. The easiest way to learn is always to go through the plugin and test it, and we will help you with that.
The Customize tab in the settings affects the appearance of the document itself. In the premium version, all docs have this tab and the layout can be changed, in the free version only invoice and shipping label has it. The principle is the same in both cases. The document itself is shown on the right, while the customization options are on the left. The level of customization is higher in the premium version, while in the free version some customization features are not available.
What you can customize is label text, font size, metadata, and font style, as well as color.
Also, with the premium version, there are several layouts available for you to choose from, and you can save a once-arranged doc as a template and apply it later.
For those who have some coding knowledge, it is possible to change the appearance of documents using codes.
In addition to the Customize tab in the document settings, depending on the version you use, you can find the General tab. You can use it to organize the data as you see fit or to add some more data that are not initially found on the documents. Only the Invoice document has an Advanced tab with some of these additional options.
In order not to go through each type of document, and since these settings appear on different documents depending on the needs, we list the most important options.
Group by category: an option that is important to us when we want the ordered products to be grouped by categories on the document itself.
Group by order: an option that is only available to us for Picklist doc and serves to group the products ordered in it by orders.
Sort products by: sorting products by a given criterion, four options are available: name ascending, name descending, SKU ascending, SKU descending.
Generate invoice for order statuses / Enable print packing slip option for order status / Enable print packing slip option for order status / Enable print shipping label option for order status – this option is located on various types of documents and serves to determine which status of the shipment enables document printing. WooCommece has seven possible statuses: pending, failed, processing, completed, on hold, canceled, refunded.
Enable variation data – Variable WooCommerce product is a type of product that is often used in shops. A variable product is, for example, a dress where the customer chooses one of the offered sizes to buy the product – so each size is one variation. When this option is enabled, variation data appears in the document itself (in this example, the size of the dress). This is important information so it will most often be included in the information on the document.
Product meta fields – add additional information related to the products. For example, this option helps us if we want to include some information from the custom product field. It gives us the opportunity to show the essential characteristics of the product.
Product attribute – another option that allows adding important data to the document. It is used to display the desired attributes of the product itself as data.
Order meta fields – an option that you will find in almost all types of documents and serves to enable us to display some more metadata that are not included by default in the document. You can select between some of the offered options, and you can also add your own custom field.
In this case, for example, we have additionally included mail and phone fields.
Custom footer – although we had a field for entering footers in the general options, some documents can have their own custom footer.
Custom logo for invoice – if you want a special logo for this type of doc, different from the one you set in the general options, you can add it here.
Invoice Number Tab Options – Invoice number options are available only for invoice and proforma invoice documents, logically. Here are the options that help us generate an invoice number that is different for each order and we can choose its structure (specify the format in which the invoice has to be generated.)
Invoice number format – this is where we get to choose some of the offered formats:
You can choose the prefix and suffix yourself, you have fields for that. You can enter your value for them or choose a given format.
As for the number, you can use the order number (Use order date as invoice date – Yes) or you can set the number from which the calculation starts. For example, if you put a 6 as the invoice number, the first order number will be 6, the second will be 7, and so on…
Invoice number length is the length of the number itself if you have a prefix and a suffix that do not enter the total length. For example, if we put invoice number length 4, and set the number 1 as the initial number and the prefix VOLATI, the invoice number will be VOLATI0001. 0 is added for spaces in front of the number.
You will find this is the easiest part of the whole process – when we have all set up, the simplest way to do this is to go to the order and all the options we need for printing the document are there.
Again, depending on the version, free or premium, there will be more or fewer options available to you.
Another way to print documents (only the invoice can be downloaded like this) is from the order list, without entering the order itself. It is necessary to check the order for which we want a document or more of them and to select the document we want to print. After that click on the Apply button.
As for the customers, the download and print button will be on the checkout page if you have configured so in the document settings. Of course, not all documents are available to customers, there is simply no need for that.
The best way to avoid confusion and the daunting, repetitive administrative work, is to automate all the necessary procedures precisely as possible from the very start. Not only will you save a lot of time for yourself this way, but you will also provide your customers with a more satisfying, trouble-free shopping experience. Efficient and transparent ordering procedures show your customers that you are trustworthy, and they are more likely to spend money on your website when they feel safe. Not to mention that many of the above-mentioned documents are absolutely necessary if you want your shop to operate worldwide.
We hope that you found this article to be helpful. If you liked it, please feel free to check out some of these articles as well!