Difference between revisions of "Certificate module"

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==See also==
==See also==
* [[mod/certificate/mod|Add/Edit Certificate]]
* [[mod/certificate/view|Viewing a Certificate]]
The links below will lead to the current download areas
The links below will lead to the current download areas

Revision as of 00:31, 21 July 2009

The Certificate module creates PDF certificates/diplomas for students of the course and is completely customizable. You can add borders, watermarks, seals and even show grade information. A contributed module, it was originally created by Hugo Salgado, July, 2004, updated by David T. Cannon, July, 2005 to use FPDF and include printing grades, updated and currently maintained by Chardelle Busch to include backup/restore, types, reporting, emailing, unicode support, etc.

There are different certificate modules for 1.6 and 1.7. They are not compatible. These instructions were written for 1.6. Chardelle Busch has made sure Certificate is updated for every version through 1.9. The 1.9 version has a few more printing features and has expanded the number of activities upon which the teacher can set conditions for issuing a certificate to a student.

Certificate companions

Certificate Site-wide Report

As of February 2008, there is a Certificate Site-wide Report which can be added in Moodle 1.9, as a supplement. This is an add-on to the certificate module--if installed, you will have an option when creating a certificate to send that certificate's info to the report. An optional block is included that provides a link to the report. Students will see a list of all received certificates. Administrators (or those who have the capability of viewing site reports) will see a link on the Certificate Report page to view/download a report of all students' received certificates. To install: Place the certificates folder in your root (main) moodle folder and upload to your server. Place the my_certificates block folder under your moodle/blocks folder, upload to your server and click on the Administration>>Notifications link to install.

Certificate Verification Block

A companion to the Certificate module for Moodle 1.9. This is a block with a form for entering a given certificate code for verification. The verification page shows the student name, course name, date received and grade (if a grade is printed on the certificate). The certificate code can be printed on a certificate.

This feature is useful when a Registrar, supervisor or administrator wishes to verify that the printed certificate is valid for that student. To install: Place the verify_certificate block folder under your moodle/blocks folder, upload to your server and click on the Administration>>Notifications link to install.


  1. Download and Unpack the Certificate zip file in a temporary area,
  2. Copy the "certificate" folder to your moodle mod folder located for example at yourhost\moodle\mod . This will include folders db, lang and all the subfolders located under pics.
  3. Note: It is not necessary to move the lang file into the Moodle lang folder, the certificate lang folder can stay in the mod/certificate folder.
  4. Go to your Moodle, and click on the Notifications link in the administation block. Moodle knows something has been added and it will proceed to install the certificate module.

See also: Installing_contributed_modules_or_plugins in MoodleDocs.


Help buttons give more information about each setting.

Tips & Tricks

Certificate icon location

If you are using your own theme you have to put the icon.gif inside a folder called certificate and put in your mod folder image. For example, if your theme uses custom icons, you must put a certificate folder with the certificate icon.gif in it under your theme/pix/mod folder.

Lesson dependency trick 1

The best trick to enable a conditional certificate is to upgrade to Moodle 1.9 and use the new Certificate version. The 1.9 Certificate allows the teacher to set a dependency on different activities.

Many Moodlers issue a certificate upon successful completion of a course. For those who use Questions in a Lesson to determine if a student can receive a certificate, here is one way to hide the certificate until the student passes. At the end of a lesson we will provide the student an option to select a link that will print a hidden certificate activity. The only non standard Moodle feature this uses is the Certificate module itself. Lesson dependency is available from 1.6 onward.

  • Create a Certificate activity. Hide it.
  • Create a lesson. We will call it "Certificate Qualification". This is the lesson that needs to be passed to get a certificate. We might add questions to this lesson as a means to automatically determine that student qualifies for a certificate.
  • Create another lesson. We will call it "Certificate Gateway". In lesson settings make it dependent upon the "Certificate Qualification". For example we might say a student must answer 80% of the questions correctly. Still in lesson setting go to the link to activity setting and link it to Certificate.

Student view of the above example. The student will see a course with 2 lessons. If they try to enter the Certificate Gateway Lesson, first, they will be told that they must pass the Certificate Qualification Lesson with a score of 80% or higher. When the student takes the Certificate Qualification Lesson and only scores 70%, they will not be able to take the Certificate Gateway Lesson. The only way they can get to the certificate is to qualify to take the Certificate Gateway Lesson.

Important Note: For this trick to work you must have Show Grades set to Yes in the Course settings page or this trick won't work (and you'll get very frustrated wondering why :) )


NOTE: Before doing any changes to code:

1. Try it on a local testing install first, if possible. 2. In Administration>>Server set debugging to maximum (to show any coding error messages). 3. After each change to the code (for example, after adding a new string to the certificate lang file), go to your course page and click on a certificate to test.

A Custom Type:

You can create your own custom certificate type to choose when adding a certificate to a course. This is a good idea so you won't lose your changes when upgrading.

1. Choose the certificate/type folder with the size/orientation you desire, copy and paste it and give it a new name, e.g. 'mycertificate'.

2. Open the certificate/lang/en_utf8/certificate.php file and add the name of your new type, e.g.:

$string['typemycertificate'] = 'My Certificate';

Now, when you add a certificate to a course, you can choose your new type.

Adding Images:

To add your own image, place it in the appropriate mod/certificate/pix folder and upload it to your site. NOTE: Images must be in either jpeg or PNG 8 formats only! Your image will now appear in the dropdown corresponding to its folder.

Getting Print Quality Images and/or to modify the location: If you place images of the same size and resolution as those in the certificate/pix/seals or certificate/pix/signatures folders they should fit in the existing places on the model certificates. This is an easy way to add your custom logo or signature files. However if you use a print quality (e.g. 300 dpi) image for either, it will show up as an enormous image on your certificate. You can move the location of the image by changing the numbers in the two lines of code shown below (the first for "seals" or logos; the second for the "signature" image). The first number in each line dictates the X (left/right) position on the page. The second number dictates the Y (up/down) position on the page. The numbers determine the upper left portion of the image; a larger number moves the image right or down. If you add a second set of numbers to each line (fill in where the paired apostrophes are after 425 or 440) you can control the size of the image. So the 3rd number in the set of four indicates the horizontal size while the 4th number in the set determines the vertical size. You will need to add the second set of numbers if you want to use print quality images.

In the certificate/type/’type your are using’/certificate.php file look for the following lines:

print_seal($certificate->printseal, $orientation, 590, 425, '', '');
print_signature($certificate->printsignature, $orientation, 130, 440, '', '');

Changing Printed Text:

There are different lang strings in the certificate/lang/en_utf8/certificate.php file for each certificate type, so be sure to change the correct one for the type you are using (or create your own custom type--see above). For example, if you want to customize the text for the landscape type, you can change these lines in the above mentioned lang file:


$string['titlelandscape'] = 'CERTIFICATE of ACHIEVEMENT';
$string['introlandscape'] = 'This is to certify that';
$string['statementlandscape'] = 'has completed the course';


$string['statementlandscape'] = 'has successfully passed the final exam';

Adding a New Line of Text:

1. Open the certificate/lang/en_utf8/certificate.php file and add your new lang string giving it a unique name, e.g.: $string['mynewtext'] = 'This is what I want to print on the certificate';

2. Open the file for your certificate type, e.g. certificate/type/landscape/certificate.php. At the bottom of the page below '// Add Text' is the code that prints--you guessed it--text on the certificate. Find the current line below which you would like your new text to be printed. For example, if you want your text to print below the course name, find the line:

cert_printtext(170, 330, 'C', 'Helvetica', , 20, utf8_decode($classname));

3. Add a new line below that to print your new text using the name you gave your new lang string like this:

cert_printtext(170, 350, 'C', 'Helvetica', , 20, utf8_decode(get_string('mynewtext', 'certificate')));

4. You can adjust the placement over from the left by increasing or decreasing the '170' number. You can adjust the placement down on the page by increasing or decreasing the '350' number. Changing 'C' to 'L' or 'R' will print on the left or right side. For different fonts, see the moodle/lib/fpdf font folder for non-unicode types, and the moodle/lib/tcpdf/fonts folder for unicode types, for available fonts. (NOTE: for unicode certificates, using more than one font is NOT recommended since the entire font gets embedded in the certificate--increasing the certificate file size.) In the after the font name, you can add 'B' for bold, 'I' for italic, or 'U' for underline. Changing the '10' number will change the font size.

Printing Info from a Profile Field:

You can easily add additional personal student information to print on a certificate.

1. Choose one of the user profile fields for your info, good choices are: ID Number, Institution or Department.

2. Same as step 2 from 'Adding a New Line of Text' above.

3. Add a new line below that to print your info like this:

cert_printtext(170, 350, 'C', 'Times', , 10, utf8_decode($USER->idnumber));

Or, change idnumber to institution, or department.

4. Same as step 4 from 'Adding a New Line of Text' above.

See also

The links below will lead to the current download areas