Win2PDF Pro and Command Line Enhancements Available Now

The latest release of Win2PDF 10.0.136 is now available on the Win2PDF Download site. The biggest feature additions are for Win2PDF Pro. You can now add PDF security and watermarks directly to an existing PDF file (without having to recreate it) in the Win2PDF Desktop App. In addition, there have been multiple enhancements to the Win2PDF command line options (based on customer feedback) and bug fixes.

Here is a summary of the enhancements in Win2PDF 10.0.136:

  • Customer reported bug fixes

This Win2PDF 10 update is a free upgrade for Win2PDF 7 and Win2PDF 10 users. If you would like to evaluate one of the new Win2PDF Pro features (PDF watermark, PDF security, batch-convert, auto-rename, or watch folder), contact us for a free 30 day trial of Win2PDF Pro.

Questions or comments? Contact at [email protected] or through the online Win2PDF HelpDesk.

Amazon S3 Upload Plug-In for Win2PDF

Win2PDF has a new Plug-In available to automatically upload PDF (or image) files to an Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) bucket. Amazon S3 is a scalable, cloud-based object storage service that is part of Amazon Web Services (AWS). While Win2PDF itself is not cloud-based, it can save files to cloud-based services like Amazon S3, Dropbox, Slack, etc. This S3 Plug-In is a free optional extension to Win2PDF and must be installed separately from the main Win2PDF software.

With the new Configure Amazon S3 Plug-in, users can upload PDF or image files directly to their Amazon S3 buckets after the file has been created without any additional steps. This can be useful for distributing PDFs, modifying on PDFs using cloud based software, or integrating with 3rd party software such as Zapier.com.

To use this new feature, download and install the free Plug-In from our web site here:

https://get.win2pdf.com/plug-in/Win2PDF-S3-Upload-PDF-Plug-In.exe

When you run the Configure Amazon S3 Plug-In setup program, you will be presented with the following configuration window:

Configure Amazon S3 Upload Settings

The configuration options available are:

  • PDF Upload: Allows you to either Move or Copy the PDF file to S3, depending on whether or not you wish to keep a local copy.
  • Access Key ID & Secret Access ID: Your access Key ID and Secret Access ID are part of Amazon’s security credentials to verify who you are and whether you have permission to access the resources that you are requesting. AWS uses the security credentials to authenticate and authorize your requests.
  • Bucket Name: A bucket is a container for objects stored in Amazon S3, and needs to exist in your Amazon S3 account.
  • Folder Name (Optional): If you wish to upload the PDF file to a specific folder in the bucket, it can be specified here.
  • AWS Region: Amazon Web Services (AWS) has the concept of a Region, which is a physical location around the world where data centers are clustered. This setting must match the location of the specified bucket.

Once the Configure Amazon S3 Plug-In has been installed, you’ll have the option to select Send to S3 on the main Win2PDF file save window.

Win2PDF file save window with S3 Plug-In enabled

When this option is checked, the file will automatically be uploaded to your S3 bucket (using your configuration settings and access keys) without any further user interaction. If unchecked, it will only create a local PDF file and will not upload the file to your S3 bucket.

If you need to change your configuration settings in the future, you can return the Configure Amazon S3 Plug-In setup screen by selecting it from the Win2PDF Windows Start program group. (Please note you will need to re-enter your security access keys when you return to this screen. This is for security reasons, as the access keys will not be visible once saved.)

Configure Win2PDF S3 Upload Plug-In in Windows Start Menu

Also, we’ve had several blog posts previously that covered the Win2PDF Plug-In capabilities and how it can be used to extend the functionality of Win2PDF to do customer specific tasks or interface with other applications and services. Other Win2PDF Plug-Ins are available on our GitHub repository here:

https://github.com/win2pdf/Win2PDF.Samples/tree/master/plug-in

Like many Win2PDF features, this feature started with a suggestion from a Win2PDF user. Any questions, comments, or suggestions? Let us know.

Creating and Converting PDF Files on Windows XP

It’s hard to believe, but Windows XP was released over 20 years ago in August of 2001. [Fun fact: the first release of Win2PDF was released 16 months earlier]. Even though Microsoft retired XP in 2009, ended extended support in 2014, and discontinued all security updates in 2019, we still find customers who are using this operating system, typically for older legacy software that cannot be updated.

Many of these legacy applications generate reports or forms, and there is still a need to save these files as PDF. While Adobe Acrobat officially ended their support of Windows XP in 2014, Win2PDF still supports Windows XP, even with our most current Win2PDF 10 software. This includes all of the features currently available, including the ability to auto-name PDF files.

Remember: If you do have an older Windows XP application and need PDF software, Win2PDF is still available.

New Split File Before Search Text Feature in Win2PDF

We recently had a hospital contact us with a request for Win2PDF. Due to new California regulations regarding how to provide notice for medical bills, they needed to modify their notification processes. One step was searching through a single large output PDF that had bills from hundreds of different patients, and then splitting the PDF into separate pages each time it encountered a “FINAL NOTICE” tag.

Win2PDF already had the ability to split a PDF file AFTER a search term, but in this case the search text appeared on the first page of the bill so the customer needed the file split BEFORE the “FINAL NOTICE” search term.

So, we added this to Win2PDF.

Win2PDF 10.0.133 supports a new “splitpagesbeforesearch” command line. It works the same as “splitpagesaftersearch“, but splits on the page before the search text. It can be used through the Win2PDF Desktop app or through the command line.

The second change needed to accomplish this customer’s issue is a new “getcontentsearches” command line. It works the same as “getcontentsearch“, but continues searching the entire PDF and outputs all matching text to standard output.

This is another example of adding or extending Win2PDF features based on customer requests. If you’re looking for a feature not supported by Win2PDF (or other PDF software), let us know! We may be able to adapt Win2PDF to meet your needs.

Win2PDF Pro Enhancements for Adding Watermarks and Security Changes to Existing PDFs

Our latest 10.0.132 update to Win2PDF Pro adds two new features to the Win2PDF Desktop app – the ability to modify an existing PDF file to either set (or change) security settings, and the ability to apply a background or watermark to an existing PDF.

Win2PDF Desktop File Menu Options
Win2PDF Desktop PDF Security & PDF Watermark File Menu Options

PDF Security…

The first added feature allows you to apply or change security options to an existing PDF file. Previously, if a user wanted to add encryption to a PDF file, set a password, or change security options to limit printing or copying text and images, they would have to re-print the PDF and make these changes in the Win2PDF Pro Options. Now, they can simply open the existing PDF file in Win2PDF Desktop and make these changes directly without having to reprint.

PDF Watermark…

The second added feature allows you to add a watermark or background to an existing PDF file. Again, instead of having to re-print the existing PDF, you can now just open the file in Win2PDF Desktop and apply the watermark or background directly to the existing file.

The Win2PDF Desktop interface and available options for setting security and watermarks are the same options that are available in the Win2PDF Pro printer options.

Both of these features are only available in the Win2PDF Pro version of the software. If you do not currently have Win2PDF Pro but would like to trial these features, please request a Win2PDF Pro trial license. (Make sure you specify you want the Win2PDF Pro trial license in your request).

Win2PDF Update Supports PNG and TIFF Background Transparency Formats

We recently had a specific customer request that started with,

“I need to convert a large number of PDF files into PNG image files. My original PDF files have transparent backgrounds. However, after using the Win2PDF Convert To Format command line, I get PNG files with white backgrounds. But I don’t want to change the background; I want the PNG files to have transparent background layers just like the PDF.

Could you please help me to solve that problem?”

It’s not uncommon to get some variation of this type of question. Frequently we can offer some advice or workaround that the customer may not be aware of.  In other cases, we can research the feature request and add it into our main Win2PDF software.  In this case we were able to implement this feature quickly and solve the customer’s problem.

The Win2PDF 10.0.129 update now includes support for the PNG and TIFF Background Transparency formats when converting from PDF files that have transparent backgrounds.  It can be accessed in a few different ways:

  1.  To convert a individual PDF file to a PNG or TIFF with a transparent background, you can open the PDF file in Win2PDF Desktop App and then Export as shown below.

  1. To convert a group of PDF files with transparent background layers, you can use the Win2PDF Convert To Format command line from a command window to convert the files to PNG or TIFF with transparency preserved.  This is documented in the WIn2PDF online help.
  1. And lastly it is available as new output options in the Win2PDF Pro Batch Convert feature.

One thing we urge customers to do is not assume that Win2PDF can’t do something if it’s not readily apparent.  Sometimes, just reaching out with your questions to [email protected] (or through our online support portal) will allow us to give you that “missing thing” you need for your PDF solution.

Win2PDF “Watch Folder” Feature Continuously Monitors and Converts Files

The latest Win2PDF automation tool is the new Watch Folder* feature. This feature allows you to select a local or shared folder to monitor or “watch”. Whenever a supported file type is added to this folder it will automatically be converted to an output file in a different format.

If the watch folder is a shared network folder, multiple users can convert files by copying files into the shared watch folder.

Note: This feature is only available in the Win2PDF Pro Terminal Server Edition (TSE) version.

For example, suppose you have fax software that allows you to save incoming faxes as .TIFF files. And what if you’d like to take all of your faxed image files and convert them into searchable PDF file

In this case, you’d simply set up a Watch Folder where you’d save your faxed .TIFF files, and whenever a .TIFF file appears in this folder it is automatically converted to a searchable PDF file.

There are two primary ways of setting up the Watch Folder.

The first way of starting the Watch Folder is through the Win2PDF Desktop App. When you start the Win2PDF Desktop App, a new menu named “Watch Folder and Convert…” appears in the File menu. (You can also launch this directly by running “Win2PDF Watch Folder and Convert” from the Windows start menu.)

When Watch Folder and Convert… is selected, you’ll be able to select the folder to watch, the folder to save your output files to, and an option to either move or delete the original files. You’ll also be able to choose the format of the converted files.

When the Watch button is selected, the Watch Folder actively monitors this folder for any new files that get added. You’ll know it’s active because the interface will be ‘grayed out’ and a ‘Watching…” indicator appears. If any files are added to the watch folder, they are automatically converted

You can turn off the Folder Watch feature by simply clicking on the Stop button.

The second way iis to open a command prompt and start the watch folder through the following command line.

win2pdfd.exe watchconvert "watchfolder" "completedfolder" "convertedfolder" destformat

This watches the folder specified by “watchfolder” and automatically converts all compatible files to the specified format, and saves the converted files using the same base filename to “convertedfolder“. Upon successful conversion, the source file is moved from the “watchfolder” to the folder specified by “completedfolder“. If the “completedfolder” is empty (“”), the source file is deleted after conversion.

Compatible file formats in the “watchfolder” can have the following file extensions:The “destformat” can be one of the following file types:
.PDF
.HTML
.HTM
.XPS
.TIF
.TIFF
.JPG
.JPEG
.JPE
.PNG
.BMP
.DIB
.GIF

(other file types will be ignored)
pdf
pdfimagemono
pdfimagegrayscale
pdfimagecolor
pdfcompressed
pdfsearchable
textformatted
textunformatted
jpggray
jpg
tiffmono
tiffgray
tiff
pnggray
png
ocrtextformatted
ocrtextunformatted

To stop the folder watching, simply enter CTRL-C in the command prompt window and it will stop watching the folder.

As noted earlier, this feature is only available in the Win2PDF Pro Terminal Server Edition (TSE) version of Win2PDF. If you want to try this feature, you can request a 30-day evaluation license.

Any questions or feedback? Let us know at [email protected]

A Better XPS Viewer for Windows 10 & Windows 11

Though Microsoft’s XPS Viewer is still available in Windows 10 and Windows 11, it is no longer enabled by default. Users who still need an XPS viewer, however, can now use the most recent update to the Win2PDF Desktop app which supports viewing (and manipulating) XPS files directly. You can even directly convert XPS to PDF for better long term archiving. This is more useful than having to install the Microsoft XPS Viewer manually (by adding it via the optional features in Windows settings) and be limited to only viewing XPS files.

By using Win2PDF Desktop as an XPS Viewer, You can open and view an XPS file, extract or split pages, and export to a different file format like PDF, text or image formats.

XPS Viewer support is included as a free update to our 10.0.124 Win2PDF download.

* For more details on the XPS (XML Paper Specification) file format definition, you can read the subject article on Wikipedia.

Win2PDF Pro Adds New Batch Convert Files Feature

Our latest update to Win2PDF Pro (V10.0.122) adds a new capability to batch convert certain types of files directly into PDF (or another image/text format). The types of files that can be converted are:

[Note: This feature is only available in the Win2PDF Pro version of the software. If you do not have Win2PDF Pro but would like to try this feature, you can request a 30-day trial license.]

Win2PDF Batch Convert can be accessed in 2 different ways. First, it can be accessed from the Windows Start menu under the Win2PDF program group.

Second, Batch convert… can be accessed from the File menu of the Win2PDF Desktop app, as shown below:

Once selected, the user will be able to select 3 options: 1) The input folder containing the files to convert, 2) the output folder where the converted files will be placed, and 3) the file type format for the converted files. The output folder must be different from the input folder.

The conversion process can be canceled if you have a large number of files and wish to abort the operation, or it will convert all files and notify the user when finished.

Only files with supported extensions will be converted (PDF, HTML, XPS, TIFF, JPG, PNG, BMP, GIF). Other file types will be ignored.

Here’s an example: Suppose you had a folder of logo samples in different image formats, and you wanted to convert all of them to grayscale PDF files. You could do so very easily by choosing the input and output folders and then choosing the output file format as “PDF Image Only (Grayscale)”.

You can read more at the Batch Convert section of our online user guide, or try it out for yourself. And finally, the Batch Convert feature can be accessed from a command line interface.

New Feature Preview – Win2PDF Auto Rename – UPDATE!

In a recent blog post, we introduced the Auto-Rename feature. Based on user feedback and internal testing, we’ve made some changes to the interface and improved the functionality of this feature. The latest update to this preview can be installed to existing Win2PDF Pro users by applying the 10.0.120 Win2PDF Pro Service Pack which is available at our support download page.

[Note: This feature is only available in the Win2PDF Pro version of the software. If you do not have Win2PDF Pro but would like to try this feature, you can request a 30-day trial license.]

Here’s a quick YouTube example of what this process looks like with the updated interface:

And here’s the process of using the feature broken down step-by-step.

To start using this feature, you’ll first open a PDF file by either by right-clicking a PDF file from Windows Explorer and choosing Open with -> Win2PDF Desktop, or by starting the Win2PDF Desktop App from the Windows Start menu and choosing File -> Open… to select a PDF file. The Auto-Rename feature will apply to all PDF files in this folder. Then select Auto-Rename… from the Auto-Name menu. You’ll see all of the PDF files in your folder appear in the Auto-Rename window along with several options.

Next, you’ll choose the rename options that you want to use for the renamed files. You can stack or add up to 5 options to Include for the new file name.

As you add options for the renamed file, you’ll see a preview of the file renaming in the lower part of the window. You can make changes to the options until you get the desired final file name.

As an example, let’s consider a folder of PDF invoices generated automatically with a generic name like “output(x).pdf”. If you want to rename these to something more meaningful, especially if there is textual information in the PDF file you want to include for the name, we can do that quite easily by selecting different options in the Auto-Rename window.

If we examine this example window (shown above), we’ll see that we were able to change the “Output(x).pdf” files to ones composed of:

  • A starting text of “Order
  • A separator character of [space] inserted before next option
  • A Content Search field that captured the invoice number in each PDF file*
  • A separator character of [space] inserted before next option
  • The current Month (Dec)

* Note: Defining the search term works the same as before, as was documented in the previous blog post.

Also note that there are a variety of separator characters that you can have inserted between the various rename options, or you can have “none”.

And finally, once you rename the files, it will also give you a chance to Undo the changes before leaving the Auto-Rename window.

More details on the Auto-Rename feature is in our online user guide: How to Rename PDF Files (win2pdf.com)

Initial feedback has been very positive with these changes, but we’re interested in any additional feedback or suggestions. Let us know by sending an email to [email protected].