Create Instant PDF from files or folders in Windows Explorer in a Click

PDF document –  love it, loathe it

We all love PDF for its versatility – it’s portable, smaller, searchable, easier to view, print, store and share. But when it comes to producing them, we don’t fancy it. Why? Because most PDF tools end up being a cluttered user interface as developers pack features on features, just to be at par with the competitions, while overlooking or forgetting the heuristics and usability aspect of even the basic workflow of a typical user. For instance, for a simple task such as producing a PDF from a document, one needs to start the PDF app, choose the file from disk, define the page size, set security options or restrictions, choose the destination folder, and specify a file name or type in manually – too many steps and effort kind of spoils the experience.

And more importantly, even sophisticated and expensive suite like Adobe Acrobat DC and Foxit Phantom PDF lack support for producing PDF from different document types or formats. In a situation like this, one can rely on ‘PDF printer driver’ where you open that particular document with its associated software application and print it with the ‘PDF driver’. With one or few files, it may do the trick. When you have many of them, multiple steps and more overhead with less productivity. Needless to say, not only the process is time consuming, you will need to have the different software apps installed to work with different document types.

Wouldn’t it be much simpler and easier, if you could just select your files or folder in your Windows Explorer and in a click, produce PDFs without making much fuss on the file formats or types (e.g., images, camera RAWs, office documents, faxes, emails, archived ZIP)?

Instant PDF

So when developing our PDF app, the core focus has been instant PDF production from almost any document type or format with no or very little inputs from the user. In File to PDF, you don’t open the app at all to produce PDF documents. Instead, from the comfort of your Windows Explorer, you right-click the files or folder and click the instant PDF from the context menu. This will produce the PDF documents right in same location, with the same name but with the .pdf extension – without showing any windows or requiring any further input from you.

Create instant PDF from a file in Window Explorer

Did I hear you ask what about Zip file? In other PDF tools, you will have to first extract the files of a Zip file to a folder before processing them. In Contrast, with File to PDF, it will go inside the Zip and produce PDF document from each of the file (contained in the Zip) or for that matter, can even combine all the files of the Zip to one PDF document. It will produce also PDFs from that zip file located within another zip file, which itself could be located in another zip and so on e.g., C.zip located under B.zip, which in turn is located under the parent A.zip. Nicely done!

What about a multi-page TIFF? File to PDF would take into account all the pages inside that single TIFF file and produce a PDF that contains all the pages of the TIFF unlike other tools that only produce PDF from the first page. Have a lot of RAW photo files from your recent expedition and need to produce a portfolio document or preview? With File to PDF, you can produce PDFs directly from these RAW files and skip the time-consuming steps of pre-processing the Photo RAW files to JPEGs (which is one would usually do) – all these irrespective of the vendors (Nikon, Canon, Leica etc) and RAW types (CR2, NEF, PEF, SR2…)

Have a folder with lots of documents, perhaps on a project that you have to submit? With File to PDF, just right-click that folder and click Instant PDF menu in your Windows Explorer and it will produce PDF from each file, with the same filename but with a .pdf extension in the same folder. Get smart and utilize your valuable time and effort to do something productive, rather than processing one file at a time. Hold on, did you mention you have to submit all these via email? No sweat, just right-click the unprocessed files or folder and click ‘Email As PDF’ menu and File to PDF will process all these documents to PDF (if not already) before attaching them as attachments to a new email.
Email files or folder as PDF

A note though, as of now, this works if Microsoft Outlook is installed in your system and configured with an email account.

So just a click is what all File to PDF need to produce PDFs from your files and folder or email them as PDFs. It can’t get any easier or simpler!

File types and formats

With File to PDF, you simply disregard your concern of file formats or types. It can produce PDF documents from more than 120 file types, including popular office documents such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OpenDocuments, RTF, various types of bitmaps and images, FAX or scanned documents, RAW camera files and even compressed ZIP etc. The complete file types and formats supported are listed here.

Convert or Combine just about any files or folder to PDF

If you have stored emails as MSG or EML files in your disk, to produce PDFs from these files, with most PDF tools, the first step (but not the last) will be to open your email MSG or EML file in its Email Application (such as Microsoft Outlook) that created it. And only then, there might be a possibility to create PDFs from the email message. Even then, most of these PDF tools may be unable to convert the attachments (if any) to PDF. In such case, you will be forced to save the attachments to your disk to further process it. Just consider if you have to do it again for tens or hundreds of email files? The time, effort and steps required to accomplish the goal would probably overwhelm any one.
Convert MSG or EML files to PDF

Unlike other PDF tools, File to PDF can take MSG or EML files from your Windows folder and convert to PDF along with its attachments (if any) for easy sharing or archiving. You don’t even need to open the MSG or EML in Microsoft Outlook. What if there is an attachment that is in ZIP format? No, you don’t need to extract the contents at all from the ZIP attachment. No matter how if there are inner ZIP files within the ZIP attachment (e.g., C.zip located under B.zip, which in turn is located under the parent A.zip attachment), File to PDF app will automatically take into account all the files stored in its inner ZIP files (if any) when producing PDF documents from any ZIP attachment. In short, this whole process is seamless to the user and the user can concentrate on what to do with the PDF documents produced.

Combining files to one PDF

Imagine a situation, where your scanner produced individual pages of a document while scanning, or you have multiple documents (not necessarily of the same type or format) that would just work better as a single file. In fact, in typical workplace or business environment, multiple documents naturally belong together, such as quotation, sales order and invoice, or an email and its attachments. Combining such documents to one together makes it easy to see their relationship. File to PDF makes it possible to combine multiple files to one PDF document while forgetting what their types or formats are.

Combine files to One PDF document

Security features

As with any professional PDF authoring tool, File to PDF also offers security features such as watermark, password protection and permission restrictions to your PDF documents. 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. Adding a watermark of your name or brand on publication material not only adds a professional touch but also helps to identify ownership without completely locking the PDF down. 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.

Watermark PDF with your logo or brand

You can produce PDF document that requires a user to type in a password to open it in PDF reader software. This is usually known as ‘Document Open Password‘ or ‘User Password’. Additionally, with File to PDF, you can lock down your PDF content by setting a permissions password (also known as a master password) and restrict printing, editing and copying content in the PDF. Your intended recipients don’t need a password to open the document (unless a ‘Document Open Password’ or ‘User Password’ is enforced on that PDF). They do need this permissions password (master password) to change the restrictions you have set.

Password protect PDF

So those were few tricks on its sleeve that can make PDF content production and sharing much easier and your life freer with File to PDF for Windows. And it makes better sense, much easier and simpler too, to produce PDF documents from files and folders from the comfort and ease of Windows Explorer. To learn more, refer to video demonstrations at my YouTube channel.


Create Instant PDF from files or folders in Windows Explorer in a Click

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