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.

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.

Windows XP is Dead, Long Live Windows XP!

Or, to paraphrase Mark Twain, “the reports of Windows XP’s death have been greatly exaggerated!”

While Microsoft officially stopped development of its Windows XP operating system in 2014, it’s still used on about 25 million computers. The reason is typically due to the fact that companies still run older (legacy) software programs that were discontinued, or no longer work in newer operating systems and can’t be updated.

So, XP lives on. And for organizations that continue to need PDF reports or output from these legacy programs, they might find themselves outpaced by their PDF solutions. Even customers wanting to purchase any of the current Adobe Acrobat products will find that it is no longer available for Windows XP.

Fortunately, Win2PDF still actively supports XP as a platform with all of our latest feature enhancements and bug fixes.

If you find yourself with such a need, download the free Win2PDF for XP trial version from our web site (make sure to use the Win2PDF for Windows XP download button). Also, while many Windows XP computers are offline for security, the Win2PDF for Windows XP setup program does not require an internet connection.

To further blaspheme the wisdom of Mark Twain:

“Good friends, good PDFs, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.”

Mark Twain