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A command line tool to convert Microsoft Office documents to PDFs
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README.md

OfficeToPDF

Giving back to the community

Cognidox would not exist without the help of many open source projects. Perl, Apache and Solr are just a few of the excellent open source packages that help make CogniDox a leading document management system. So, to show our appreciation, we've released a couple of open source projects such as OfficeToPDF to help others.


OfficeToPDF - what does it do?

OfficeToPDF is a command line utility that converts Microsoft Office 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016 documents from their native format into PDF using Office's in-built PDF export features.

Most Office to PDF converter tools are intended as single-user desktop applications. OfficeToPDF is useful (and unique) if you want to automatically create PDF files on a server-wide basis and free individual users from an extra step of using the "Save as..." command on their Office files. These PDF files can then be stored and managed on a separate server. This can be useful if, for example, a department has a policy of only distributing PDF versions of documents to people outside the department.

There are some technical requirements that must be met before you can use it:

  • .NET Framework 4
  • Office 2016, 2013, 2010 or Office 2007

If you are using Office 2007, you will also need:

  • Visual Studio 2010 Tools for Office Runtime [Download]
  • 2007 Microsoft Office Add-in: Microsoft Save as PDF or XPS [Download]

It is distributed under the Apache 2.0 license.


Supported File Types

The following file types can be converted:

  • Word (.doc, .dot,  .docx, .dotx, .docm, .dotm, .rtf, .wpd)
  • Excel  (.xls, .xlsx, .xlsm, .xlsb, .xlt, .xltx, .xltm, .csv)
  • Powerpoint (.ppt, .pptx, .pptm, .pps, .ppsx, .ppsm, .pot, .potx, .potm)
  • Visio (.vsd, .vsdx, .vsdm, .svg) [Requires >= Visio 2013 for .svg, .vsdx and .vsdm support]
  • Publisher (.pub)
  • Outlook (.msg, .vcf, .ics)
  • Project (.mpp) [Requires Project >= 2010 for .mpp support]
  • OpenOffice (.odt, .odp, .ods)

Conversion of Visio, Publisher and Project files require that the Visio, Publisher and Project applications are installed. These are not included in the Office standard package.


Instructions

In order to use the tool, download the officetopdf.exe file and, from the command line, run officetopdf.exe with two arguments - the source Office document and the destination PDF document. e.g.

Microsoft Windows [Version 6.1.7601]
Copyright (c) 2009 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

C:\Users\test> officetopdf.exe somefile.docx somefile.pdf

Command line switches

The following optional switches can be used:

Switch Description
/bookmarks create bookmarks in the PDF when they are supported by the Office application
/readonly attempts to open the source document in read-only mode
/print create high-quality PDFs optimised for print
/hidden attempts to minimise the Office application when converting
/template template use a .dot, .dotx or .dotm template when converting with Word
/markup show document markup when creating PDFs with Word
/pdfa produce ISO 19005-1 (PDF/A) compliant PDFs
/noquit do not exit running Office applications
/excludeprops do not include properties in generated PDF
/excludetags do not include tags in generated PDF
/password password provide a read password to open the file with
/writepassword password provide a read/write password to open the file with
/merge when using a template, create a new file from the template and merge the text from the document to convert into the new file
/excel_show_formulas show formulas in Excel
/excel_show_headings shows column and row headings
/excel_max_rows rows allow a limit on the number of rows to convert
/excel_active_sheet only convert the currently active worksheet in a spreadsheet
/excel_worksheet num only convert worksheet num in the workbook. First sheet is 1
/excel_auto_macros run Auto_Open macros in Excel files before conversion
/excel_no_link_update do not update links when opening Excel files
/excel_no_recalculate skip automatic re-calculation of formulas in the workbook
/word_header_dist pts the distance (in points) from the header to the top of the page
/word_footer_dist pts the distance (in points) from the footer to the bottom of the page
/word_field_quick_update perform a fast update of fields in Word before conversion
/word_fix_table_columns update table column widths to match table heading column widths
/word_keep_history do not clear Word's recent files list
/word_max_pages pages do not attempt conversion of a Word document if it has more than this number of pages
/word_no_field_update do not update fields when creating the PDF
/word_ref_fonts when fonts are not available, a reference to the font is used in the generated PDF rather than a bitmapped version. The default is for a bitmap of the text to be used
/word_show_comments show comments when /markup is used
/word_show_revs_comments show revisions and comments when /markup is used
/word_show_format_changes show format changes when /markup is used
/word_show_ink_annot show ink annotations when /markup is used
/word_show_ins_del show all markup when /markup is used
/word_show_all_markup show all markup content when /markup is used
/word_markup_balloon show balloon style markup messages rather than inline ones
/fallback_printer print the document to postscript printer for conversion when the main conversion routine fails. Requires Ghostscript to be installed
/printer print the document to postscript printer for conversion. Requires Ghostscript to be installed
/pdf_clean_meta type allows for some meta-data to be removed from the generated PDF
type can be:
  • basic - removes author, keywords, creator and subject
  • full - removes all that basic removes and also the title
/pdf_layout layout controls how the pages layout in Acrobat Reader
layout can be one of the following values:
  • onecol - show pages as a single scrolling column
  • single - show pages one at a time
  • twocolleft - show pages in two columns, with odd-numbered pages on the left
  • twocolright - show pages in two columns, with odd-numbered pages on the right
  • twopageleft - show pages two at a time, with odd-numbered pages on the left
  • twopageright - show pages two at a time, with odd-numbered pages on the right
/pdf_page_mode mode controls how the PDF will open with Acrobat Reader
mode can be one of the following values:
  • full - the PDF will open in fullscreen mode
  • bookmarks - the PDF will open with the bookmarks visible
  • thumbs - the PDF will open with the thumbnail view visible
  • none - the PDF will open without the navigation bar visible
/pdf_append append the generated PDF to the end of the PDF destination
/pdf_prepend prepend the generated PDF to the start of the PDF destination
/pdf_owner_pass pass set the owner password on the PDF. Needed to make modifications to the PDF
/pdf_user_pass pass set the user password on the PDF. Needed to open the PDF
/pdf_restrict_accessibility_extraction Prevent all content extraction without the owner password
/pdf_restrict_annotation prevent annotations on the PDF without the owner password
/pdf_restrict_assembly prevent rotation, removal or insertion of pages without the owner password
/pdf_restrict_extraction prevent content extraction without the owner password
/pdf_restrict_forms prevent form entry without the owner password
/pdf_restrict_full_quality prevent full quality printing without the owner password
/pdf_restrict_modify prevent modification without the owner password
/pdf_restrict_print prevent printing without the owner password
/verbose print out messages as it runs
/version print out the version of OfficeToPDF and exit
/working_dir path a path to copy the input file into temporarily when running the conversion

Error Codes

The following error codes are returned by OfficeToPDF. Note that multiple errors are returned as a bitmask, so bitwise operations can test for multiple errors.

0 - Success
1 - Failure
2 - Unknown Error
4 - File protected by password
8 - Invalid arguments
16 - Unable to open the source file
32 - Unsupported file format
64 - Source file not found
128 - Output directory not found
256 - The requested worksheet was not found
512 - Unable to use an empty worksheet
1024 - Unable to modify or open a protected PDF
2048 - Raised when there is a problem calling an Office application
4096 - There are no printers installed, so Office conversion can not proceed

About CogniDox

CogniDox is a web-based, document management software tool aimed primarily at supporting high-tech product development. It enables better product lifecycle management and knowledge transfer from developers to partners, clients and customers.

We provide highly-integrated support for system engineering workflows and the product lifecycle. Plug-ins are provided for CMS products, software SCM tools, EDA tools, CRM systems, CAD tools and Help Desk applications. Our "Xtranet" solution enables companies to add a secure self-service customer portal onto their public web sites.

Based in Cambridge, UK since its formation in 2008, CogniDox has an impressive portfolio of blue chip users – see examples at https://www.cognidox.com/customers

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