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How It Works
The world most popular email client - Microsoft Outlook , is still devoid for support of PDF and XPS and other popular document formats, unlike other applications in the Microsoft Office. So, as usual, most of us has to either rely on Adobe Acrobat plug-in (which means, you will have to buy it and yes, it costs a lot too) or, make use of a PDF printer driver, or crudely, one can just simply copy-paste the content of the web page to Microsoft Word and convert to PDF/XPS. Email to PDF add-in is designed to bridge this gap by bringing the PDF/XPS supports in Microsoft Outlook, by leveraging your existing investment in Microsoft Office.
 

Internally, Email to PDF add-in makes use of Microsoft Office application such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc. to perform the processing/export and hence, you are able to save emails to PDF and XPS plus other popular formats such as DOC, DOCX, RTF, ODT, MHT and filtered web friendly HTML.

bullet Generating PDF from an email
bullet Generating PDF files in batch from multiple emails
bullet Generating a merged single PDF file from multiple emails and attachments
bullet Adding emails and attachments to an existing PDF file
bullet Converting attachments to PDF
bullet Embedding PDF version of attachments to emails
bullet Automatic embedding of PDF version of attachments back to emails
bullet Automatic export of PDF from incoming emails
bullet How to maintain a single PDF file for the automatic export for a folder/mailbox
bullet Add Watermark (logo or brand) to PDF
bullet Add PDF security options - Create User Password and permissions
bullet Output settings for generated PDF and other documents

 

Generating a PDF from an Email
  The easiest way to generate a PDF is to simply select an Outlook item, either from the Explorer window or by opening the Outlook item in its inspector window, and clicking the PDF 'Export As' button.
 



 If you want more options on the export, click the drop down menu to export the email and attachments individually as PDF or merge all of them to a single PDF file.

 

In Outlook 2016, these menu items are available under the context menu (i.e., popup menu you get when you right-click the selected items)

Context menu when a single item is selected:


And you can then export the selected Outlook item to a PDF or other support document format. In the 'Save As' dialog, the file name of the document to be generated is pre-filled with metadata information of the selected Outlook item. For example, below in the screenshot, the file name is in the format Subject + Underscore (_) + Received Time + Underscore (_) + Sender Name.  This way you don't even need to input and key in the name of the document.



You can of course customize what metadata information is used from the Outlook item to name the generated document from Outlook > Email to PDF toolbar/ribbon > Settings. You can customize the default naming scheme for different type of Outlook items such as mails, appointments or tasks separately.

When you generate a single merged PDF document (with email and attachments), the add-in will use the default windows file sorting algorithm (i.e., alphabetically) while merging your attachments to the single PDF. If you do want to alter or re-order the sequence of the attachments, you can use the advanced merging mode as shown below:



And from the customize files order window, you can change or sort the order or sequence of the files in the way you want them to appear in the merged PDF file. Use the up and down arrow buttons to change the sequence or, you can also drag and drop files using your mouse in the order you want. If you have some unwanted attachments that you don't want in the PDF document, you can simply uncheck them for exclusion. You can further overwrite the default watermark, security, page layout or orientation for this particular action only.

NOTE: If the attachment is a zip or MSG or EML file, this advanced mode will scan through the composite file and show you the intrinsic file components and these files can be too re-arranged in the sequence or excluded to give you finer control on the composition of the final PDF document. The add-in can will recursively scan upto 3 levels on a composite attachment file (such as zip, MSG or EML file).

 

Generating PDF files in batch from multiple emails
  When you select multiple emails, the drop down options under the 'Export As' menu will change to reflect the varied way of batch processing the items and export to a document format. One of these options is to generate individual PDF or document format from each of the selected Outlook item in batch.

 

This 'Batch Export' dialog enables you to specify the destination folder where all the document files would be saved. You also have the option to choose what file title the generated documents would take - either a defined generic name or use metadata information extracted from the Outlook item, such as Subject, Sendername, ReceivedTime etc.

 

Generating a merged single PDF file from multiple emails
  When you select multiple emails, the drop down options under the 'Export As' menu will change to reflect the varied way of batch converting the emails to document formats. One of these options is to generate a single PDF file from multiple emails and their attachments.


You will be prompted to specify a filename and the folder location to save the document.


Furthermore, when emails and attachments are merged to generate a single PDF file, the add-in automatically adds bookmarks, page number and even custom footer information such as your company name in the PDF structure tree for easy navigation to the individual email and attachment in the PDF.

 

 

Adding emails and attachments to an existing PDF file
  Email to PDF add-in supports appending emails and their attachments to an existing PDF file. The emails and their attachments will be converted to PDF format and would be appended at the start or end of the specified existing PDF file (depending on the settings).

 

 

Converting attachments to PDF in outgoing emails
  Before sending emails to recipients, Email to PDF add-in provides you an option to convert any attachments (that you might have added) to PDF. You can choose to convert and embed the PDF versions of the attachments, in either separate PDF file for each attachment, or a single merged all-in-one PDF file containing all the attachments. Whether the attachments are Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Web, images, multi-page TIFF or simply plain text documents, the add-in would automatically convert to PDF.

Here is a demonstration of this feature. Below is a reply that is made to an existing email. And 2 attachments of different types (eg. Word and Excel documents) are added as attachments.

 

Before pressing the 'Send' button, click the 'Embed PDF version of attachments' option available under the 'Email to PDF' ribbon toolbar (just adjacent to the ribbon group that contains the 'Attach file' Outlook button).

Pressing one of the PDF embed option would result in converting the attachments to their PDF equivalents and the PDF files would be added to the email. For instance, below shows when the embed output to individual PDF is chosen.



And below show a single PDF being added, when the embed option for merging all attachments to a single PDF file is chosen


You can then choose to remove the non-PDF attachments that were added already before you press the 'Send' button.

 

Embed PDF version of the attachments back to email
  If you have an iPad, iPhone or other tablet devices, you would have probably experience the inability to view various attachment file formats from within your email. PDF format support, is however built-in natively in most of these devices and you can easily preview the PDF attachment within the email. Keeping this limitation in mind, Email to PDF add-in now supports embedding the PDF version of the attachments back to the email, so that you can easily preview all the non-PDF attachments in your hand-held device. You can choose to merge all attachments to a single PDF, or to separate PDF files, and embed to the original email.

PDF Embedding options under Output Settings


 

Email before embedding the PDF version of the attachments:

 

Email after embedding a single PDF version, merged of all the attachments:

 

 

Email after embedding separate PDF version of each non-PDF attachment:

 

 

Automatic embedding of PDF version of attachments back to the Outlook items
  You can also automate this embedding of PDF version of the attachments to incoming emails without requiring your action, from under Email to PDF toolbar/ribbon > 'Automations' drop down > 'Automatic Embedding of PDF version of the attachments'.

 

 

 

Automatic export of PDF from incoming emails
  A major feature of Email to PDF add-in is the real-time monitoring of any number of Outlook folders. This will automatically process incoming mails or newly added appointment and task items and generate PDF or other documents based on the user chosen format, without any intervention from the user. This automatic conversion of Outlook items to PDF or XPS documents requires no input and intervention from the user. Now, you can easily maintain a parallel copy or backup of your current Outlook items.


Automatic export works by allowing Email to PDF add-in to monitor user specified Outlook folders, such that, when new emails are received or new appointments or tasks are added, the add-in automatically processes those items in real time and generate document files as per the user pre-settings for that particular Outlook folder or mailbox.

 

To add a new Outlook folder, for automatic export



When you press the ‘Select Folder...’ button, you will be prompted to choose an Outlook folder, that would be monitored by the add-in for automatic export. You can select a Mail/Post items folder ( ), or an appointment folder ( ), or a task folder ( ). This folder can be a public folder or a shared mailbox folder also.


 

How to maintain a single PDF file for the automatic export for a folder/mailbox
  With the PDF option, you can opt to output a separate PDF file for each Outlook item received or added (just like for other format such as DOC, XPS), or you can opt to maintain a single PDF file, on which, every new Outlook item received or added will be appended over this single PDF file, just like an e-book.
The entire appending of new Outlook items to this particular PDF file is seamless to the user, and if you have checked the option for saving attachments to subfolder in Setttings, all the attachment files from the appended items will be outputted to the PDF_Attachments subfolder. (Eg. Sales Report_Attachments)

 

 

Add watermark (logo or brand) to your PDF output
  Adding watermark is a simple way to secure your PDF content. A watermark easily lets viewers identify the status of your PDF content, for instance, as a visual warning to designate your document as confidential or for internal use only. More importantly, watermarking each page of your PDF helps protect your intellectual property from being passed off as someone else’s work when it is shared with others. Adding a watermark of your company logo or brand on publication material not only adds a professional touch but also helps to identify ownership without completely locking the PDF down.
 

To add a watermark image or text annotation to your PDF files, you will need to create a profile under Outlook > Email to PDF toolbar > Output Settings > Watermark tab.

Click the ‘New’ button to create a watermark profile. You’ll get the following dialog box where you can choose the type, position of your watermark. You have two options on how to create a watermark:

 

Text as watermark - Click on the 'Text as watermark' radio option. Type in your text (such as your company name or brand etc.). Customize the Font, Size, and Color of your text watermark. You can adjust the opacity of the watermark to allow text from behind to show through. You can also adjust the angle and rotation at which you want the watermark.


And this how the converted PDF file appears like when viewed in PDF viewer - with the custom text (e.g., company name embossed in each of the page)

 

Image as watermark - Click on the 'Image as watermark' radio option. To insert an existing image as a watermark, click on the Image button located at the extreme right corner and browse the open dialog box and select your image from your computer.

 

And this is what the converted PDF file looks like (in PDF reader software) - with the image embedded in the middle of each page of the PDF.


NOTE: It is possible to define multiple watermark profiles. However, you will have to choose only one default profile that would be applied to the PDF generated by the add-in in Outlook. And you do that from the drop-down field.

Or, even simpler, you can choose or switch to the desired watermark profile from the PDF toolbar in your Outlook.

And doing this will apply the chosen watermark to PDF outputs by default. If you don’t want to watermark your PDF files from Outlook, just don’t choose any default profile i.e., specify default profile as empty.

 

Add PDF security options - Create User Password and permissions
  A PDF file on its own is not as secure as you may think. Despite the versatility of PDF (as a universal file format) that preserves the look and feel of your original document regardless of platform or device, without security settings on your PDF publication, there is no way to prevent malicious users from tampering the file and taking credit for your content.

 

With Email to PDF add-in, you can lock down the PDF files generated by setting password encryption and limited file permissions. To enable this, you will first have to define a security profile under Outlook > Email to PDF toolbar > Output Settings > Security tab.

Click the ‘New’ button to create a new profile. The security panel option shows up and has two sections - Document Open and Permissions.

Check the option 'Require a password to open the document' under Document Open section (1) to set a password that will be required by your intended recipients for opening and viewing your PDF content. And type the password in the box. This is the simplest way to filter out your intended recipients from malicious users. With a password, your PDF content is locked and act as a first security layer to secure your information at the most basic level.

Check the option 'Restrict Editing and printing of PDF' under Permissions section (2) to add another level of security to your PDF content should your file be accidentally accessed. While people may be able to view it, ensure that viewing is all they can do with it. For instance, you can restrict activities from printing content to copying text. You can also set a master password so that in case you want your team members to perform unrestricted activities on the PDF material, they can do so by entering this master password.


Once done, save the profile. It is possible to define multiple security profiles. However, you will have to choose only one default profile that would be applied to the PDF generated by the add-in in Outlook. And you do that from the drop-down field.


Or, even simpler, you can choose or switch to the desired security profile quickly from the PDF toolbar in your Outlook.

And doing this will apply the chosen security to PDF outputs by default. If you don’t want this, specify default profile as empty.

Checking the PDF’s Properties > Security dialog in any PDF viewer, users can see what permissions are given to the file, if any.

 

Control over the PDF output
  You have complete control over the PDF/XPS document generation. You can customize the default file naming scheme by choosing your own metadata fields, specify the attachments output behavior, choose single or multiple PDF merge options and modify the page setup and layout etc.

To launch the settings panel, press the 'Output Settings' button from the 'Email to PDF' ribbon.


There are 6 sections in the Settings Panel:



SECTION 1: Attachments to PDF



The conversion of attachments to PDF files works for all scenarios i.e., single or multiple mails export, merging multiple mails, forwarding single or merged emails etc.

The PDF output can be controlled in three ways:

  • Output to individual PDF - Each attachment can be converted into individual PDF file. The PDF files will be placed under a subfolder (eg. 'documentName_Attachments_PDF' assuming the PDF document of the email was saved as 'documentName.pdf').
     
  • Merge all attachments to a single PDF - All attachments can be merged to a single PDF. This single PDF file will be placed under a subfolder (eg. 'documentName_Attachments_PDF' assuming the PDF document of the email was saved as 'documentName.pdf'. The single PDF file that has all the merged attachments will have a name like 'Documents_mergedAttachments.pdf').

    When multiple mails or appointments are merged, and exported, all the attachments of each of the mail or appointment item would be converted and saved to the same subfolder (eg. 'MergedDocumentName_Attachments_PDF' assuming the document was saved as 'MergeDocumentName.pdf').
     
  • Append all attachments to the email PDF - All attachments can be appended to the PDF document of the mail item. This result PDF file will contain the email and all the attachment files as well.

If multiple mails or appointments are selected for a single merged PDF document, all the attachments of each of the mail or appointment item would also be merged to the PDF document.

Only attachments having the following extensions are supported for converting to PDF format.
docx, docm, doc, htm, html, mht, mhtml, dotx, dotm, dot, rtf, txt, odt, wpd, wps, xl, xlsx, xlsm, xlsb, xlam, xltx, xltm, xls, xlt, xla, xlm, xlw, odc, uxdc, ods, csv, prn, pptx, ppt, pptm, ppsx, pps, ppsm, potx, pot, potm, odp, bmp, cut, dcx, dds, ico, gif, jpg, jpeg, lbm, lif, mdl, pcd, pcx, pic, png, pnm, psd, psp, sgi, raw, tga, tif, tiff, act, pal, wal

If the attachment is a PDF file, then it is directly outputted or merged along with the other attachment formats.
Additionally, you can exclude PDF attachments from being included when a PDF email is forwarded.

 

SECTION 2: Embed PDF


 

For embedding PDF version of the attachments back to the email, the PDF output can be controlled in three ways:

  • Convert each attachment to separate PDF - Each attachment can be converted into individual PDF file and embedded to the email.
     
  • Merge all attachments to a single PDF - All attachments will be merged to a single PDF and embedded to the email with the 'Documents_mergedAttachments.pdf'.
     
  • Append all attachments to the email PDF - All attachments and the email itself will be merged to a single PDF file and is embedded to the email.

If multiple mails or appointments are selected for a single merged PDF document, all the attachments of each of the mail or appointment item would also be merged to the PDF document.

Only attachments having the following extensions are supported for converting to PDF format.
docx, docm, doc, htm, html, mht, mhtml, dotx, dotm, dot, rtf, txt, odt, wpd, wps, xl, xlsx, xlsm, xlsb, xlam, xltx, xltm, xls, xlt, xla, xlm, xlw, odc, uxdc, ods, csv, prn, pptx, ppt, pptm, ppsx, pps, ppsm, potx, pot, potm, odp, bmp, cut, dcx, dds, ico, gif, jpg, jpeg, lbm, lif, mdl, pcd, pcx, pic, png, pnm, psd, psp, sgi, raw, tga, tif, tiff, act, pal, wal
 

 

SECTION 3: File Naming for PDF

Default file naming scheme based on metadata information - You can customize the default naming scheme of the generated documents for different type of Outlook items such as mails, appointments or tasks separately. There are 3 drop downs from which you can choose 3 metadata fields, and these 3 portions would be concatenated by the chosen symbol of the separator drop down. The availability of the fields would depend on the Outlook item type. For example, for appointment, you will have fields specific to that Outlook type, such as Start time, End time, Organizer etc.

So, when you choose to export an email and its attachments to a PDF file, the ‘Save As’ dialog box will propose the name of the PDF file to be saved, by deriving the name from the metadata information of the email (as set in this settings section).


 

SECTION 4: Automation

Emails that were automatically processed to export or embed PDF files (from monitored folders) can be marked with Outlook confirmation tags such as Completed (tick) so that you know which were already processed.

 

 

SECTION 5: User Interface

You can customize how the Email to PDF add-in toolbars/ribbons are placed in Outlook. For instance, maybe you prefer showing the add-in toolbar integrated within the default Outlook Home ribbon tab, such that you have access to buttons of the add-in as well as that of Outlook.


If you want to see the add-in toolbar in a dedicated tab, check the option ‘Use a dedicated tab’ under the Explorer section.


And restart Outlook. You will see that, a new dedicated tab with the title ‘Email to PDF’ is seen just before or after the Outlook default tabs.


Likewise, you can opt your preference for the add-in toolbar location in inspector window accordingly.

‘Email to PDF’ add-in is available in 16 major languages.
1. English
2. Chinese (Traditional)
3. Danish
4. Dutch
5. Finnish
6. French
7. German
8. Greek
9. Italian
10. Japanese
11. Korean
12. Malay
13. Portuguese
14. Spanish
15. Swedish
16. Turkish

To set your own language, select one from the drop down


After saving the settings, restart Outlook to apply the language to the add-in.

 

 

SECTION 6: Others


 

PDF optimization
Here, you can specify the optimization for published PDF files. If you use the first option 'Optimize for Quality', the output file will be larger, but will be in high quality. This is useful for printing purposes. On the other hand, the second option 'Optimize for Publishing' gives you a minimum size of the PDF file, by compromising in the quality a bit. This is ideal for sharing over the internet, email etc.


Append PDF options
You can now append selected Outlook items to an existing PDF file. You can choose if to output the final document file (containing the appended pages) as a new PDF file, or to overwrite the existing (original) PDF file.
 

Output Attachments in original state to a subfolder
Export Attachments
to a subfolder when saving a mail, appointment or task item to a document format. If you enable this option, and when you save an email to a document, it would also export all the available attachments of the item, to a subfolder (eg. 'documentName_Attachments' assuming the document was saved as 'documentName.pdf'). You can also optionally exclude inline image and hidden attachments from exporting.

If multiple mails or appointments are merged and exported as a single document, then, all the attachments of each of the mail or appointment item would be saved to the same subfolder (eg. 'MergedDocumentName_Attachments' assuming the document was saved as 'MergeDocumentName.pdf').
 

Page Setup
You can define the orientation - landscape or portrait, as well as choose between the following paper size for the generated documents:

bullet Letter
bullet Tabloid
bullet Ledger
bullet Legal
bullet Executive
bullet A3
bullet A4
bullet 11 x 17
bullet 10 x 14

 

 
 
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