Using Auto-name to Save Reports to PDF

As the Coronavirus problem persists and more and more employees work from home, we’re getting questions from customers who are trying to adapt reporting applications to generate PDFs. Specifically, they are looking at ways of automatically saving these PDF reports without any user intervention.

The easiest way to do this is to enable our Auto-name Files feature. It can be found by clicking on the PDF Options… button on the main Win2PDF file save window as shown below.

Here are a few tips on using the Auto-name Files feature:

  • There are a variety of predefined options to use which allow you to include the document title, date, and time in the naming of the file. However, there is also a User Defined option which gives you much more flexibility. You can use any number of variables to make a customized file name based on document titles, as well as the time and date.
  • Not only can you use these User Defined variables to customize the file name, but you can also customize the folder(s) you are trying to save to. For example, if you used the following variables as the User Defined name:
%PDFYear%\%PDFMonth%\SalesReport-%PDFMonth%-%PDFDay%-%PDFYear%.pdf

You’d end up with the following results whenever you saved the PDF file.

[Default Save-to folder] \ [Current year] \ [Current Month] \ SalesReport-MM-DD-YYYY.pdf

In other words, folders will automatically be created (if they are not already present) for the year and month, and the appropriate sales report for the day will be placed in each location.

  • You can also create multiple Win2PDF printers and set auto-name for specific departments/people. For example, suppose you want to keep the normal Win2PDF printer for use with day-to-day PDF creation, but you want to make a copy named “Reports from Win2PDF” that will be used to generate PDF files from a specific application (without any user interaction). You’d simply need to
    1. Add a copy of the Win2PDF Printer and name it “ Reports to Win2PDF”
    2. Turn on the Auto-name feature (as discussed earlier in this post) for this new copy of Win2PDF
    3. You can repeat steps 1-2 to create any number of specialized Win2PDF printers that save PDF files automatically, with names and locations defined by an application, department, location, etc.
  • You can also apply Auto-Name settings to all users. To do this:
    1. Configure Auto-Name in PDF Options…
    2. Open the Win2PDF Admin Utility. The file name definition shows up on the File Name tab.

    1. Check Apply to all users
    2. Click Apply, and Auto-Name will apply to all users

The Auto-name feature is very powerful.  If you have reports you want generated on a regular basis, and you want to define your file names and eliminate any input from the user, use these tips and let us know if you have any questions.

Content-based File Naming with Win2PDF

*** NEW FEATURE ALERT ***

In our latest Win2PDF 10.0.58 update we added a new feature for content-based file naming. It allows a PDF file to be named based on a certain word or set of characters that reside inside of the document being printed.

Here is the customer situation that prompted the new feature:

A county sheriff’s department wanted to generate PDF files from a legacy AS/400 application. A secretary named the PDF files based on a document number that was listed in the original document, and because she did so manually it was time-consuming and error-prone.

An example transport order from the sheriff’s department looked like this:

sheriff1

With the content-based file naming feature in Win2PDF, however, this process is automated. It allows Win2PDF to search the text of a document being printed, find a target search word, and use the following word as the PDF file name. It requires that PDF files contain text with a common search word that exists in all PDF files. (*Note: The “word” can be numbers or any character string that has a space before and after the “word”).

In the sheriff’s example, the content search word is specified as “DOC #:” in the Win2PDF Admin Utility.

sheriff2

Then, in the Document section of the Win2PDF file save options, the “User Defined” field was enabled with “%PDFAutoNameContentSearch%.pdf” as the file name.

win2pdf-auto-name-content-based-naming

The result? When each file is printed, Win2PDF searches for the document number in the original file, and then automatically names the PDF file with this number. No possibility of manual errors or extra time involved.  In this case, the file was automatically named “118277.pdf” when the file was printed.

Again, this was a relatively simple modification that we were able to do for customer that had a particular need and had no ability to change the original AS/400 program printing the documents.

If you have a similar need, let us know and we may be able to help.

Win2PDF & Google Cloud Print

Another new feature in our latest Win2PDF 10.0.56 release is the ability to print to a Google Cloud Printer when you save a PDF file. If you’re not familiar with Google’s Cloud Printer, you can visit the Cloud Print product page for more information.

If you check the “Print file” option on the main Win2PDF file save window (shown below), and if you have Goggle Chrome installed, you’ll be notified that Google Cloud Print can be used.

cloudprint1

If you select “Yes” to “Use Google Cloud Print”, Win2PDF launches Chrome after the PDF (or other format) is created.

cloudprint_printersThe user can select a cloud printer, and the print job will be submitted to the cloud print queue. The Chrome printer selection also contains a “Save to Google Drive” option. This can be used to save the PDF directly to the cloud even if Google Drive is not installed on the PC.

If you select “No” to “Use Google Cloud Print”, Win2PDF will present you with list of local printers you can choose from, just as it has with earlier versions of Win2PDF.

While Google has a free “Google Cloud Printer” windows printer driver, it doesn’t allow saving to PDF or combining with other workflow options. Also, the “Google Cloud Printer” doesn’t support Windows Terminal Services, so Win2PDF Terminal Server Edition (TSE) may be the only option to print from an Windows native app to a Google Cloud Printer from a Citrix or Microsoft terminal server.

If you use Google Cloud Printers in your organization or home, this new feature gives you a great way to save a PDF and print in a single step.

Win2PDF 10.0.56 is available as a free update to registered Win2PDF 10 users.

Change the default file name when saving PDF files

The Win2PDF Auto-name feature makes it easy to customize the file name and automatically save a PDF without prompting, but what if you want the File Save window to appear so you can email, print, or manually change the file name?

We just released Win2PDF 10.0.56 (available as a free update to Win2PDF 10 users), and one of the new features is the ability to customize the default file name that is used to save PDF files in the Win2PDF File Save window. For example, in previous releases if you had a Word file named “Sales Report.docx” and you went to print it as a PDF file, the default name in the Win2PDF File Save window would be named “Sales Report.pdf”. You could always change this name, but there wasn’t a way to customize this name when you first entered the file save window.

This is now customizable. If go to the Document tab after clicking on the PDF Options… button, you see some new options.

NewSaveAsOptions

When the the Auto-name Files option is unchecked, the settings in this window apply to the name displayed in the Win2PDF File Save window. You can add a fixed file name start, a date stamp, or a timestamp. Advanced users can customize the order of these items using the user defined setting.

In the screen shot example listed above, the month-day-year was added to the default “Sales Report” file name. While this option is set, the date stamp will be applied to all file names when you print to Win2PDF. You can automate your PDF workflow by creating multiple Win2PDF printers, each with different customized default file names.

The customizable PDF file name feature can save time by eliminating the need to manually type date or time information to the file name.

Download the new Win2PDF 10.0.56 software at the download page of our web site.

Start Organizing Next Year’s Tax Documents – Part II

As a followup to last week’s post, one of our readers suggested another way of using Win2PDF to create a single tax-related archival PDF file.  Here’s what she suggested:

  1. Create a copy of the Win2PDF printer that is dedicated for saving tax-related documents.  Call it something like, “Win2PDF – Tax Archive
  2. Change the Auto-name settings on this printer with the following options.
    • Set the file name to something like “Tax Archive.pdf
    • Check the option to include date and set it to “Year Only
    • Check the append option
  3. Whenever you have a tax-related document you wish to preserve (like an email confirmation for an online donation, or a medical receipt), print this document to your “Win2PDF – Tax Archive” printer.

The document you print will automatically be appended to this 2019 Tax Archive.pdf file.  When the new year arrives, it will create and start writing to 2020 Tax Archive.pdf.  And that’s it.  You’ll have one single PDF file to review before you do next year’s taxes.

Video tutorial – Save PDF invoices electronically & print to a paper printer at the same time

One of our customers recently asked us how they could streamline the process of printing out invoices to their normal paper printer, and saving an electronic PDF file at the same time without any user prompting.  The paper invoice would be mailed to their customer, and the PDF file would be date and time stamped and saved in a directory that would be backed up nightly.

It just takes a few steps to set up a copy of the Win2PDF printer that will do all of this. We’ve posted a short video tutorial that walks you through this process, and this and more video examples can be found at our Win2PDF YouTube channel:

You could use this same process to create your own Win2PDF printer with your customized ‘Print and Save’ settings for any type of document.


	

New Auto-name features in Win2PDF 10

One of the most significant improvements to Win2PDF 10 is the enhanced Auto-name options.  The Auto-name feature allows you to save a PDF file without being prompted for the file name.  You can simply print any document and the file will automatically be saved in a location of your choosing, with a file name that you’ve customized.  This Win2PDF 10 update improves the user-defined options that are available to use for the file name.

Here is a brief video that shows how to use this new feature.

For a complete description of the Auto-name feature, visit the Win2PDF online support guide sections on How to Automatically Name PDF Files.