Course certificate

With SimplyLearn you can create custom course certificates. These certificates can be assigned to a course or a test. This article will walk you through the certificate creation process.

For some, this process can be a bit advanced. If this is you, contact us to set this up.  

With every SimplyLearn subscription, you get access to a standard SimplyLearn certificate. But you can also create a certificate designed to match the design of your site/business. 

How to create a custom certificate

In the video below you will learn how to setup a custom course certificate. Be aware, the “preview” functionality is no longer available. See the heading “Previewing Certificates”.

  1. Navigate first to SIMPLYLEARN > Certificates
  2. Click the “Add new” button. 

You’ll be directed to a new screen where you can start creating your certificate. Here’s an overview of each type of information that can be added to your certificate. 

  1. Title: The certificate title is only for internal use. Create a title that helps the administrator understand which certificate this represents. 
  2. Featured image. Adding a featured image is the way in which you apply a design, or style, to your certificate. You must use .jpg images, no more than 1MB in size. Think of the featured image as the background of the certificate. Below is an example of the featured image Simplylearn uses for a standard course certificate. We can help you create a custom certificate for a fixed price, contact us here. 
  1. Content. Your certificate content will mostly consist of dynamic fields that are generated for each individual user who is awarded a certificate. This dynamic fields will represent the user’s name, the course title, date of completion, etc. These types of fields are inserted via shortcodes.

The shortcodes that are used most frequently are: 

  • [usermeta field=”first_name”] – Displays a user’s first name
  • [usermeta field=”last_name”] – Displays a user’s last name
  • [courseinfo show=”course_title”] – Displays the course title
  • courseinfo show=”completed_on”] – Displays the date the course was completed

All other shortcodes that are related to course certificates are located in this article.


The following sections are advanced. We would not recommend you to perform these adjustments if you don’t have any experience with HTML. You can hire one of our consultants to do this. 

Vertical Spacing

You might want to insert the course title at the top of a certificate, the user’s name in the middle, maybe at a completion date at the bottom, etc. One of the best ways to control vertical spacing, and move content up or down on your certificate, is to use the line-height property.

Wherever you need to insert some blank vertical space, you can use the following code:


Horizontal Spacing (Indentation)

There are a few ways to go about horizontal spacing.

If you need to center your text in the middle of the certificate, you can use text-align:center;. Here’s an example of the user’s first name, centered horizontally:

<p>[usermeta field=”first_name”]</p>

By default, all text will be aligned to the left edge of the certificate (right edge for RTL languages). If you need to indent something, you can use the text-indent property. Here’s an example of the course completion date being pushed vertically towards the bottom of the page, then indented to move it to the far-right corner.


<p>[courseinfo show=”completed_on” format=”F j, Y”]</p>

You’ll need to adjust the 150px and 200px values to match up with your certificate image.

Font Size

You can also adjust the font size of any text. Let’s say you wanted your user’s first & last name to be quite large (30px), then a small vertical space (10px), and then the course title not quite as large as the name (20px), you could do this:

<p>[usermeta field=”first_name”] [usermeta field=”last_name”]</p>


<p>[courseinfo show=”course_title”]</p>

Font Family

Different computers come pre-installed with different fonts. Some users will have a font installed, and others might not. So there isn’t a ton of flexibility with using custom fonts in certificate creation. However, you can switch between serif and sans-serif fonts, as both should work for most of your users. Here’s an example using a generic serif font:



You can adjust the color of any text on your certificate. If your image has a dark background, you can use the color property to make your text white.


You can combine multiple properties at the same time. If you wanted to indent the user’s first & last name, adjust the font size, and change the color to red, it would look like this:

<p>[usermeta field=”first_name”] [usermeta field=”last_name”]</p>

Certificate Options

There are a few additional options you can set for your certificate.

Previewing Certificates

Before applying your certificate to a course or assignment, you’ll want to preview it so you can see how it looks. You can create a quick test quiz that is only used for previewing your certificate.

  1. Create your certificate, and make sure you Publish it
  2. Then, navigate to SIMPLYLEARN > ASSIGNMENT
  3. Click Add New to create a new assignment
  4. Give the assignment a title
  5. On the Settings tab, next to assignment certificate, choose the certificate that you want to preview.
  6. Add a single choice question to the assignment, with an obvious correct answer
  7. Publish the assignment
  8. Open the assignment in a new tab
  9. Choose the correct answer, and click Finish assignment
  10. Click the Print Your Certificate button

Alternatively, you could create a test course with only one lesson. Then you’d mark that lesson complete, and you’d be able to view your certificate that way.

This will open your certificate in a new tab so you can preview it. Keep this tab open, and each time you make a change to your certificate in the backend, simply refresh this page and the updated version of your certificate will be loaded.


Don’t forget to delete this assignment (or course) when you’re finished testing your certificate.

Assigning a certificate to a course

To assign a certificate to a course you need to first go to your selected course. Then click on settings –> Course certificate.

Certificate shortcodes

Certificate shortcodes are exclusively for creating SimplyLearn certificates. They allow you to display dynamic information about the user, as well as the course or quiz that you’re awarding the certificate for. You can insert the user’s name, course title, date of completion, quiz grade and much more.

There are 3 main shortcodes, and then each shortcode has a handful of parameters to output various information.

  • [usermeta] displays user info
  • [courseinfo] displays course info (only works with certificates assigned to a course)
  • [quizinfo] displays quiz info (only works with certificates assigned to a quiz)

All certificate shortcodes are also listed in the WordPress admin area under Simplylearn > CERTIFICATES. Click on the Shortcodes tab at the top.


The [usermeta] shortcode has a handful of options to display user information. Let’s take a look at each one.

  • [usermeta field=”first_name”] – Displays a user’s first name
  • [usermeta field=”last_name”] – Displays a user’s last name
  • [usermeta field=”display_name”] – Displays a user’s full display name, which is often a combination of {first_name} and {last_name}.
  • [usermeta field=”user_login”] – Displays a user’s username
  • [usermeta field=”nickname”] – Displays a user’s nickname (might not be captured upon user signup)
  • [usermeta field=”user_email”] – Displays a user’s email address
  • [usermeta field=”user_url”] – Displays a user’s website address (likely not captured upon user signup)
  • [usermeta field=”description”] – Displays a user’s bio (likely not captured upon user signup)
  • The most common [usermeta] shortcodes you’ll use are [usermeta field=”first_name”] and [usermeta field=”last_name”], as almost all certificates should include the student’s name.


The [courseinfo] shortcode should only be used for certificates assigned to a course. Let’s quickly define a few terms:

  • aggregate refers to the sum of all quizzes assigned to the course
  • cumulative refers to the average of all quizzes assigned to the course

Here are all the possible values:

  • [courseinfo show=”course_title”] – Displays the course title
  • [courseinfo show=”course_price”] – Displays the course price (only for one-time payment courses)
  • [courseinfo show=”course_price_type”] – Displays the Access Mode for the given course
  • [courseinfo show=”course_url”] – Displays the course URL
  • [courseinfo show=”course_points”] – Displays the total available points for the course
  • [courseinfo show=”user_course_points”] – Displays the number of points the user earned for the course
  • [courseinfo show=”enrolled_on”] – Displays the course enrollment date (this does not apply to OPEN courses)
  • [courseinfo show=”completed_on”] – Displays the date the course was completed
  • [courseinfo show=”user_course_time”] – Displays the total time spent on a course
  • [courseinfo show=”cumulative_score”] – Displays the average score for all graded parts of the course
  • [courseinfo show=”cumulative_points”] – Displays the average points earned
  • [courseinfo show=”cumulative_total_points”] – Displays the average points earned
  • [courseinfo show=”cumulative_percentage”] – Displays the average percentage of all quizzes taken in the course
  • [courseinfo show=”cumulative_timespent”] – Displays the average time spent on each part of the course
  • [courseinfo show=”aggregate_score”] – Displays the final score received for the course
  • [courseinfo show=”aggregate_points”] – Displays the total points earned for the course
  • [courseinfo show=”aggregate_total_points”] – Displays the total points earned for the course
  • [courseinfo show=”aggregate_percentage”] – Displays the total percentage score for all quizzes taken as part of the course
  • [courseinfo show=”aggregate_timespent”] – Displays the total time spent on quizzes for the course as a whole


The [quizinfo] shortcode should only be used for certificates assigned to a quiz. They will not work if used for a certificate assigned to a course.

Here’s a list of all available options to output quiz information on a quiz certificate:

  • [quizinfo show=”score”] –  Displays the score received for that quiz
  • [quizinfo show=”count”] – Displays the number of times the quiz was attempted
  • [quizinfo show=”pass”] – Displays the score required in order to pass the quiz
  • [quizinfo show=”timestamp”] – Displays the day/time when the quiz was completed
  • [quizinfo show=”points”] – Displays the points received by the user on the quiz
  • [quizinfo show=”total_points”] – Displays the total possible points that can be received for a given attempt
  • [quizinfo show=”percentage”] – Displays the percentage grade received by the user on the quiz
  • [quizinfo show=”quiz_title”] – Displays the name of the quiz
  • [quizinfo show=”course_title”] – Displays the name of the course that the quiz is associated with
  • [quizinfo show=”timespent”] – Displays the time spent taking the quiz
  • Again, you can customize the date format when using the timestamp option.

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