Name or Rename PDF Files Based on Content Below a Search Term

In previous blog posts [see 1, 2], we showed how Win2PDF can name (or rename) PDF files based on data contained within a file. This feature has been especially useful for users needing to manipulate invoices, as this twitter user has noted:

Brainsweat. Lots of it. We’ve been talking with a lot of users that are spending a lot of time trying to sort through massive numbers of PDF invoices and renaming them based on content, attaching them to emails, splitting them apart, etc.

We now have a free update (Win2PDF 10.0.141) that expands on the capability to make this happen. Namely, it adds the capability to capture the search field below a search term. Previously it only allowed you to select text that followed after a search term. As many of you may know, it’s not uncommon for the invoice number to reside on a different line, so now both types of searches are possible, as shown below:

To use this feature, you’ll first need to open a sample PDF document in the Win2PDF Desktop App to define the Auto-Name Search Field.

Then, based on the example file shown above, you’d enter in the Content Search Word of “Invoice #”, choose the search direction to be “Search Below”, and it will show you what the found search field is:

After you have defined this search field, you can do a few things.

One, you can use this term to rename a batch of PDF files if they already exist. You simply need to select the Auto-Rename menu option from the Win2PDF Desktop App, and then choose your Auto-Name variables including the “Search Field 1” text as shown below.

Two, instead of renaming existing PDF files, you can set your current printing method to use this Auto-Name method for new PDF files. You’ll just need to go to the Configure Win2PDF Auto-Name Settings page to set up how you’d like the PDF files to be named.

And three, you can use this feature via the command line interface for more advanced users. Previously we used the command line command “getcontentsearch” to find search text that immediately follows the search word. Now we’ve added the “getcontentsearchbelow” command, which finds the search text that is directly below the search word.

Hopefully, this is one additional feature to reduce the amount of brainsweat required for managing your invoices.

New Win2PDF Plug-In Adds a Terms & Conditions Sheet to a PO

We recently created a new Win2PDF Plug-In for a customer and it’s useful enough to share with all Win2PDF users. The Win2PDF Append File Plug-In allows you to append a standard file to any new PDF created using Win2PDF. While this Plug-In can be used for a variety of situations, here’s what the customer wanted:

When members of their accounting team printed a new purchase order (PO), they wanted to easily attach a standard company-specific Terms and Conditions sheet to each PO, like this:

While the Win2PDF Append feature has always been available, the new Plug-In streamlines the process to just a simple check-box. When the Plug-In is installed, a check-box for Append PDF appears on the main Win2PDF File Save Window, as shown here:

By simply checking this Append PDF checkbox on the main screen, the customer can add their Terms and Conditions sheet to POs without having to go through any extra steps. When printing other types of documents that do not need this extra sheet, they just uncheck this box.

To activate this Plug-In, download the Win2PDF Append File Plug-In setup file. Then run the compiled setup program and choose your pre-set file to append (e.g., “Terms and Conditions.pdf”).

While this particular customer had a Terms and Conditions sheet they needed to add to POs, the same Plug-In could be used for a variety of other applications, like:

  • Add a customer contact sheet to certain documents,
  • Add instructions to a specific form that is generated for clients,
  • Add a tax-exemption form to purchase orders,
  • Add payment options, bank details, etc. to invoices, or
  • Add any type of legal certificate or contract or addendum that may be commonly attached.

Do you have something in your PDF workflow that could be improved? If so, let us know.

PDF Bookmarks, Import/Export Win2PDF Settings & More in Latest Win2PDF Update

If you have changed Win2PDF from the default settings and want to preserve them when you move to a new computer (or group of computers), there is a new feature in our most recent Win2PDF 10.0.140 release that will help. You can now export your Win2PDF settings to a file, and then import that file on a new machine once you have reinstalled Win2PDF.

Win2PDF Desktop Settings Export/Import

This is accomplished through the Win2PDF Desktop Application (shown above). It can also be used from the Win2PDF command line with the EXPORTSETTINGS and IMPORTSETTINGS commands.

The ability to export/import settings can be very useful if you use Win2PDF with multiple printers with different settings; this feature will export/import multiple Win2PDF printers if they are configured.

It is also useful if you have configured Win2PDF with the Auto-name feature, or have made numerous other changes to the standard Win2PDF settings. Once you’ve established your desired settings, you can use this feature to backup your configuration settings, or use it to copy to a group of other machines using Win2PDF (if you wanted all users to Auto-name files in the exact same way, for example).

Also included in this release is support for PDF bookmarks. Bookmarks are a quick and easy way to jump to a certain section of a PDF file with a single click from a bookmarked word or phrase. You can see an example of a PDF file with bookmarks in the following image (using Adobe Reader).

Bookmarks in PDF – Shown in Adobe Reader

You can now add or delete bookmarks using the following command line options:

  • The ADDBOOKMARK command line allows you to specify a title and page number to insert into a PDF file.
  • The ADDBOOKMARKAFTERSEARCH command line allows you to search through a PDF document for a keyword (like “Chapter” or “Invoice”, for example), and then add a bookmark to that section of the PDF file. This is probably the most useful bookmark command because it lets you add bookmarks without knowing what page the anchor text resides on. It makes it easy to create bookmarks on dynamically generated reports with anchor text that may vary when each report is generated.
  • The DELETEBOOKMARKS command line can be used to remove bookmarks from any PDF file.

Lastly, we added the ability to remove a trial license to the Win2PDF Desktop Application through the Help menu.

Win2PDF Desktop – Remove Win2PDF License

This makes it easy to enter a purchased license without having to uninstall and reinstall the software after the evaluation period.

If you would like to evaluate Win2PDF or Win2PDF Pro, contact us for a free 30 day trial.

This Win2PDF 10.0.140 update is a free upgrade for Win2PDF 7 and Win2PDF 10 users.

Creating A Custom Paper Size For PDF Files Using Win2PDF

Most paper printers can support a limited number of standard paper sizes. In the United States, the 8.5” x 11” letter paper size is used most commonly, while the 8.5” x 14” legal paper size is used less frequently. In Europe and other countries, a slightly different sized A4 (297 x 210 mm) paper size is used most commonly, along with other metric based sizes.

Even though they aren’t printing to paper, virtual printers like Win2PDF and Win2Image support a large number of standard paper sizes. In addition, Win2PDF and Win2Image also support custom paper sizes. Suppose you are printing a large spreadsheet and don’t want to “shrink” the table to fit on a standard paper size, and also don’t want to see the table spill over and get broken up onto multiple pages in the PDF file. This is easy to do using a custom paper size.

Here is a short video that shows how to create a custom paper size for Win2PDF.

How to Create A Custom Paper Size for Win2PDF

Custom paper sizes are available and work the same for all versions of Win2PDF and Win2Image.

Microsoft Print to PDF Missing in Windows 7

Many people have tried the limited “Microsoft PDF Printer” capability that Microsoft has made available in Windows 10 and have asked how to use the PDF writer in Windows 7.  The short answer is:  You can’t.  It’s not available in Windows 7.

A couple of months ago we posted that Win2PDF still supports the Windows XP operating system.  The same holds true for Windows 7: All of the features in Win2PDF 10 work the same in both Windows 7 and Windows 10 & 11.

Win2PDF is especially useful for XP and Windows 7 users who need a PDF writer, but what about Windows 10 and Windows 11 users?  If they already have access to “Microsoft Print to PDF”, why would they need Win2PDF?

Many reasons.  Here is a summary of features that are available in Win2PDF that are NOT available in the Microsoft Print to PDF printer.

If your organization uses a mix of different versions of Windows, standardizing on Win2PDF allows you to support all versions from Windows XP through Windows 11.

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).