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].

Win2PDF Not Affected by Log4j Remote Code Execution Vulnerability

Just a quick note since we’ve received several questions about the recent Log4j exploit and the alarm its causing in IT departments around the world.

Question:

The Apache Software Foundation has released a security advisory to address a remote code execution vulnerability (CVE-2021-44228) affecting Log4j versions 2.0-beta9 to 2.14.1.

A remote attacker could exploit this vulnerability to take control of an affected system. Log4j is an open-source, Java-based logging utility widely used by enterprise applications and cloud services.

Does win2PDF use this software? 

Answer:

No. Win2PDF does not use Java or Log4j.

Win2PDF is not vulnerable to CVE-2021-44228.

New Feature Preview – Win2PDF Auto Rename

Have you ever had this problem: You have a large number of PDF files that aren’t named descriptively, so you’d like to rename them in a batch process. And further, you want to rename the files based on a specific piece of data that is contained within the PDF file, like a customer name or an invoice/document number?

Well, now you can! We’re in the process of rolling out a new feature called Win2PDF Auto-Rename that will address this issue. The updated setup program for this version is currently available on our helpdesk download page.

Please note: For the moment, this preview feature is visible in all Win2PDF versions, but it will only work as a Win2PDF Pro feature. Standard edition users will see this feature in the preview, but will not be able to complete the rename function. If you would like a 30-day Win2PDF Pro Trial license, contact us.

Let’s look at an example. Suppose we have a reporting system that outputs invoice files with names like “file1.pdf”, “file2.pdf”, “file3.pdf”, etc. What we’d like to do is to search through each PDF file and find the invoice number, or the customer name, or some other field of data to use as the file name. Here’s a short screencast that shows how it works:

Win2PDF Auto-Rename Preview

Let’s also walk through this example step-by-step. Suppose our starting folder of files looks something non-informative like this:

In our example, the files are invoices, and what we really want to do is rename each invoice to the Invoice # that is found within each file. To do this, we first right-click on one of the PDF files and choose Open with -> Win2PDF Desktop to load the file in the Win2PDF Desktop App. For the time being, all the files you wish to rename must be located in this same folder.

Next, after the file has been opened in Win2PDF Desktop, we’ll need to define the search field in the PDF file.

When we select Define Auto-Name Search Field, Win2PDF will search for this text (in our case “Invoice “). Then, it will capture the next string of characters (which is the invoice number) to use for our rename operation. After the selection has been made, you’ll see a confirmation window showing the field data that was extracted.

Now that this has been defined, our last step is to go to the Auto-Name -> Auto-Rename screen to change the file name options.

And that’s exactly the output we want. You’ll see there are currently other options available as well, such as using a content field to find the data for the file name. And you can include a variety of user-defined terms as well if you want to include date and/or time stamps as well. More options may be included in future revisions based on user feedback.

When we select the Rename button, it will show us a confirm window and it gives us the opportunity to Undo the changes if we want to make any changes.

For now, this is a working preview of this feature and we’re looking for real-world examples to help us refine the interface and functionality.

Have a scenario we should consider? Let us know!

Microsoft’s Windows 11 has Arrived!

Earlier this week Microsoft announced the availability of their latest operating system — Windows 11 .

This is not a universal upgrade like Windows 10, however. Many PCs won’t be able to upgrade to Windows 11 due to hardware limitations. You can check if your PC can be upgraded using Microsoft’s PC Health Check app.

Win2PDF supports Windows 11, and continues to support older operating systems like Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, and even Windows XP.

While you may be using Windows 11 as the default OS if you purchase a new PC soon, we expect many organizations to continue with Windows 10 as most of the changes in Windows 11 are centered on the user interface and user experience.

If you do upgrade or get a new PC, make sure you are using the latest Win2PDF update for best results.

New Win2PDF 10 Update Now Available!

We have just released a significant new update (Win2PDF 10 build 116) to our Win2PDF download page. As with other recent updates, this is a FREE upgrade for all Win2PDF users using Win2PDF 7 or higher software.

While we’ve previewed several of these features in blog postings over the past several months, now they have all been collected into an official release with enhanced usability features, new and improved command line features to assist with automated PDF workflows, and bug fixes and performance enhancements. It includes:

Windows explorer ight-click context menu for Win2PDF
Right-click context menu in Windows explorer

1) Usability

  • Added support for directly converting image files and HTML files from a Windows Explorer Convert with Win2PDF context menu. To convert a JPG, PNG, TIFF, GIF, BMP, or HTML file to PDF, right click and choose “Convert with Win2PDF (see image above).
  • Added support for viewing PDF files from a Windows Explorer View with Win2PDF context menu. To view a PDF with Win2PDF Desktop, right click and choose “View with Win2PDF”.

2) Command Line Usage and Automation Enhancements

  •  Added support for using web addresses (URLs) for input files in most command line features.
  •  Added PDF/A output support to TIFF2PDFA, JPG2PDFA, PNG2PDFA, BMP2PDFA, GIF2PDFA, and Image2PDFA command lines.
  •  Added support for GETCONTENTSEARCH command line to return text after a search term in a PDF file. This can be used to rename PDF files based on the contents of the file in a Microsoft Power Automate Script.
  •  Added “Web Page To PDF” and HTML2PDF command line features.
  •  Added support for SPLITPAGESAFTERSEARCH command line to split pages based on a PDF search field.
  •  Added support for SIGN command line to sign a PDF using a digital certificate.

3) Bug Fixes and Performance Improvements

Please download this free update and let us know if you have any questions.

HTML to PDF command line option now available in Win2PDF

Win2PDF.com has offered a free online HTML to PDF converter for some time, but it has limitations. It only works with public web pages, not private pages on an intranet or local HTML files. It also can’t be automated.

If you try our latest free update — Win2PDF 10.0.114 — there’s a new feature to the Win2DPF Desktop App’s command line optionsHTML to PDF. With this option, you can convert a local HTML file or a web URL directly to a PDF file.

From a Command Prompt window, just issue the command:

win2pdfd.exe html2pdf "sourcehtml" "destpdf"

The “sourcehtml” can be a specific local HTML file or a web URL. If the file name or path contains spaces, make sure to include double quotes (“”) around the complete source file name or URL. The URL can be specified as “https://www.example.com” or “www.example.com”.

Using this option from the command line allows users to automate batch conversion of HTML files to PDF using custom scripts or Microsoft Power Automate Desktop flows. Combined with other Win2PDF command line features, developers can build powerful automated solutions based on HTML reports.