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SpreadsheetConverter lets your create advanced order forms in Excel. When you publish such a form on the web, you may want to use PayPal for payments. This tutorial describes how.

So you have a perfect SpreadsheetConverter order form and now you want to start managing the payments. You have made your order form and have included all the necessary calculations. The next step is determining how your customers are going to pay.

An easy solution is to use PayPal. All you need is a PayPal account which allows you to “sell online”, like an PayPal Premier account. PayPal will charge about 2.9%.

  • Step 1. Create the form in Excel. In the form create a link to PayPal in a hidden text field. The link needs to contain 3 things: the amount the customer needs to pay, your email address, and an extra paypal parameters.
  • Step 2. Convert the Excel spreadsheet to a web page using the HTML or SpreadsheetConverter.
  • Step 3. Publish the form to your site.
    sample spreadsheet

It will work like this:

  • The customer opens your form and he/she decides what to order.
  • The customer presses the “Submit button” that you can change the text to “Proceed” if you wish.
  • The user is redirected to PayPal and enters his/her address, credit card information etc, and presses Order. PayPal verifies the information.
  • You, the seller, will get 2 emails. First, you will get  one that SpreadsheetConverter generates where you see everything the customer ordered. Secondly, you will get a separate email from PayPal saying that the payment is processed.
  • It is that simple to start getting paid for your services.

Steps to configure paypal url in spreadsheet

Step 1
Set up a cell called xl_redirect_success with the url to PayPal

You build the paypal url in a cell in spreadsheet and apply “=” keycode at front of the url to turn it into formula. The url should contain at least 3 variables:  item_name, quantity and amount.

creating paypal url in spreadsheet

A minimul PayPal url is something like this:


However, there are many more separate fields you can send, for example “shipping”. For a complicated PayPal url, see paypal-sample.xls

Note: Paypal service only supports upto 2 place decimal number value in amount variable.

See paypal for more configuration information.

Step 2
Enter the email address

After you subscribe to the Advanced email feature go ito the ‘configure submit’ dialog and enter your email address in the email field with Advance radio selected.

configure submit dialog

Step 3
Name the Submit button Proceed or similar

Submit is not a good title for a order button so we can change it.

customize submit button title

Verifying that everything works

After SpreadsheetConverter generates the page verify that everything works properly.

paypal payment order form verify

Tip 1: Hide rows and columns with data you do not want the user to see

If there are values you do not want the user to see place them on worksheets you do not show or hide the rows or columns.



Tip 2: If you use the Advanced Submit Service, use the -quick.htm version

We generate two pages, one ending with .htm and one with the -quick.htm. The difference is that the non-quick contains information on how the email should look. This information only needs to be transferred once to our server. So, you should press submit at least from the non-quick version, and then use the -quick.htm version for your future needs.

Security and tampering

If you redirect like this to PayPal from an HTML-page the values can be manipulated. Therefore, when you get an order you can double-check that the total is correct and that the customer paid the correct amount.

If you want to have a 100% tamper-proof form use SpreadsheetConverter ASP.NET and use an ASP.NET page instead of an HTML page. However, even in this case you need to verify that the total in the order form and the total in the PayPal receipt is the same.

Get more out of PayPal

Click here for more parameters you can send to PayPal