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PDF Converter for SharePoint 8.0 - New InfoPath Converter, Workflow Manager, QR Code

Posted at: 10:24 AM on 28 October 2015 by Muhimbi


Today is a big milestone for Muhimbi, it is the day that we are releasing version 8.0 of the PDF Converter for SharePoint, the biggest release in our 8 year history.

The number of new features and changes is almost too large to list, but highlights include a completely overhauled InfoPath converter, a new setup experience, support for the new workflow engine introduced in SharePoint 2013, Support for SharePoint Online / Office 365 and much much more. 

The following blog posts provide more detail:

When upgrading from an older (pre 8.0) release, read this Knowledge Base article first.

For those not familiar with the product, the PDF Converter for SharePoint is a lightweight solution that allows end-users to merge, split, watermark, secure, OCR and convert common document types - including InfoPath, AutoCAD, MSG (email) MS-Office, HTML and images - to PDF as well as other formats from within SharePoint using a friendly user interface, workflows or a web service call without the need to install any client side software or Adobe Acrobat. It integrates at a deep level with SharePoint and leverages facilities such as the Audit log, Nintex Workflow, K2 blackpearl, localisation, security and tracing. It runs on SharePoint 2007, 2010, 2013 & SharePoint Online and is available in English, German, Dutch, French, Traditional Chinese and Japanese. For detailed information check out the product page.

  Before & AfterNew InfoPath converter on the right (old on the left), no more rendering inconsistencies.

In addition to the changes listed above, some of the main changes and additions in the new version are as follows:

1715 Excel New Strip DIPs from Excel files to reduce problem during conversion.
2519 HTML Fix Hang when converting HTML to PDF.
2376 InfoPath Fix Non-negative number required when converting InfoPath forms on some systems.
1207 InfoPath Improvement Improve quality of Images embedded in InfoPath forms.
1829 InfoPath Improvement InfoPath conversions have grey border.
1495 InfoPath Improvement InfoPath Conversion – Externally referenced images don't always finish loading.
668 InfoPath Improvement InfoPath Conversion - Character spacing is inconsistent.
2349 InfoPath Improvement InfoPath Temp file names need to be made more unique.
2291 K2 Fix K2 - Bugs in Merging SmartObject Method.
2361 K2 New K2 - Add support for the new QR code watermark activity.
2286 K2 New K2 - SharePoint Converter: Extract OCR text raises exception Error Marshalling.
2499 Merging Fix Pages are repeated when merging certain documents.
2350 Merging Fix PDF Attachment not recognised in some cases.
2332 Merging Fix Error generating TOC for PDF file that has internal attachments.
1824 Merging New Feature Request - Force new documents to start on odd pages during a merge.
2194 Meta-data New Add ability to copy 'Modified' and 'Created' meta-data.
1950 MSG Fix MSG - Some formatting is incorrect when HTML email contains inline images.
1951 MSG Fix MSG - Converter does not handle RTF containing binary data.
2504 MSG Fix MSG - Compressed-RTF data size mismatch.
2372 MSG Fix MSG - Email text alignment has changed between product released
2333 MSG Fix MSG - System.ArgumentOutOfRangeException: Index and count must refer to a location within the string.
2195 MSG Fix EML - Email converted with 7.2 does not look as good as in 7.0.
1962 MSG Improvement MSG - Conversion of Office shapes.
1949 MSG Improvement EML - Improve handling of RTF content in EML messages.
2539 MSG Improvement MSG - Incorrect Sent Date in some edge cases.
2358 MSG Improvement MSG - Display text when sent date is empty.
2271 MSG Improvement MSG – Bookmark names of converted email / attachments don’t match Outlook.
2571 Nintex Fix Nintex workflow merging problem with files contain apostrophe in name.
2537 OCR Fix PDF Syntax errors after carrying out OCR on some documents.
2498 OCR Fix OCR using German Locale - Input string not in a correct format.
2373 OCR Fix Some files are not OCRed at all.
2346 OCR Fix OCR Not carried out properly on certain complex files.
2180 OCR Fix OCR text action throws exception 'There were no results returned.'
2020 OCR Improvement JPEG2000 encoded PDFs not supported by OCR.
2181 OCR Improvement OCR Text activity - return meaningful error message if license validation fails.
2360 Other Fix System.InvalidOperationException: Collection was modified; enumeration operation may not execute.
2316 Other Fix Deadlock while saving watermarked files in parallel.
2317 Other Fix Collection was modified; enumeration operation may not execute in Save method under load.
2318 Other Fix Object reference not set to an instance of an object. FontDictionaryBeginSave in Save method under load
2319 Other Fix System.Collections.Generic.KeyNotFoundException: The given key was not present in the dictionary. in PdfTrueTypeFont.CreateFontInternal method under load.
2320 Other Fix Object reference not set to an instance of an object in PdfCacheCollection. GetGroup under load
2298 Other Fix PdfUriAnnotation disappears.
2235 Other Fix '+' character is allowed in SharePoint file names, but not in the PDF Converter.
2033 Other New Carry out default printer check during each conversion.
1380 Postscript New Add support for converting .PS & .EPS files
1813 Setup Improvement Service installer does not run on systems with only .net 4.5 installed.
2134 Setup Improvement Deployment issues on certain Win2K12R2 systems.
2040 Setup New Detect Machine Name of Conversion Server and automatically change config file.
2028 Setup New Carry out Office Activation Check.
2029 Setup New Check for Office User Profiles for Conversion Service Account.
2031 Setup New Add .Net v3.5 Runtime Availability Check.
2034 Setup New Deploy SharePoint Solution as part of main installer.
2035 Setup New Automatically deploy license file during installation.
2036 Setup New Carry out Firewall Check and open appropriate port.
2037 Setup New Launch Central Administration Muhimbi Settings Url on Installation.
2021 Setup New Check user privileges during installation.
2023 Setup New Carry out privilege check for SharePoint deployment access during installation.
2024 Setup New Carry out Office version check during installation.
2104 Setup New Digitally sign installer
2157 Watermarking Fix Ellipse watermark action - incorrect PageOrientation value.
1491 Watermarking Improvement Display and validate filter data in the automatic watermarking screens based on data type and regional settings.
1452 Watermarking New Add watermark field codes for user information e.g. email address (USER_EMAIL).
2301 Watermarking New Add support for QR Code watermarking.
1948 Workflow New Add support for the SharePoint 2013 Workflow Manager.

For more information check out the following resources:

As always, feel free to contact us using Twitter, our Blog, regular email or subscribe to our newsletter.

Download your free trial here (61MB). .


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Using the SharePoint 2013 Workflow Manager to Convert documents to PDF

Posted at: 1:06 PM on 07 September 2015 by Muhimbi

Workflow Manager LogoIt is no secret that the real power of the Muhimbi PDF Converter for SharePoint comes from the ability to automate processes using workflows, it takes the human error factor out of the equation. Automatically convert, watermark and secure a file and write it to the Record Center when it changes? No problem, all fully automatic, nice, easy, repeatable, just what you need.

When the product was originally released customers were quick to request workflow support. First for SharePoint Designer Workflows, then Nintex Workflow followed by Visual Studio Workflows, K2 workflows and even in SharePoint Online. We were pretty pleased with ourselves, we support the whole lot across all SharePoint versions, well done to us…..

Then Microsoft introduced SharePoint 2013, which – in addition to the legacy workflow engine that we already support – comes with the optional Workflow Manager. You know… because things were just not complicated enough. This Workflow Manager only works on some SharePoint editions (not on SharePoint Foundation), must be deployed manually and uses a completely different architecture, who is going to use that? Well, it turns out that some people actually use it and – as we hate to say ‘no’ to our customers – we went back to the drawing board and hammered out support for Workflow Manager Workflows. 

So, how does this work? Well pretty much the way you expect it to. When deploying the Muhimbi PDF Converter for SharePoint on SharePoint 2013, Central Admin’s Farm Solutions screen will show that a new Solution named ‘muhimbi.pdfconverter.workflow
’ has been deployed automatically. On systems that do not have the Workflow Manager installed this Solution is ignored, but those lucky enough to be running the Workflow Manager will see a range of new Workflow Activities in SharePoint Designer when selecting ‘SharePoint 2013 workflow’ as the Platform Type when creating a new workflow.

Create New Workflow


Workflows using the SharePoint 2013 Workflow Platform Type now show the same range of PDF related workflow actions that are present for workflows using the SharePoint 2010 Workflow type. The only difference is that the legacy Convert to PDF workflow action is no longer present as this has been replaced by the more flexible Convert Document action.

Workflow Actions


Building a workflow is a matter of selecting the appropriate action and filling in the blanks. All actions are self-describing and do pretty much what you expect them to do. Links to the documentation for the SharePoint 2010 equivalents can be found below:

It is possible to ‘chain’ multiple operations together by capturing the List Item ID of the output of one operation and use that to lookup an item, by its ID, in a follow up action. This way you can convert a document to PDF and then watermark or secure the generated PDF, all in a single workflow.

Multiple ActionsLookup Item


Most workflow actions require input or output files to be specified. For details about specifying file names and paths see this Knowledge Base Article.

SharePoint 2013 Workflow Manager workflows allow more complex scenarios than SharePoint 2010 workflows. For example it is possible to iterate over multiple files and convert them to individual PDFs, or build a list of file paths to feed into our Merge Documents into PDF action.


Pretty cool stuff. If you have any questions then please leave a comment below or contact our friendly support desk, we love to help.


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How to add QR Codes to SharePoint documents using the Muhimbi PDF Converter

Posted at: 4:25 PM on 26 August 2015 by Muhimbi

Who Rocks?
Anyone who has ever looked at product packaging is familiar with basic barcodes, those black and white vertical stripes that have made such a positive impact on cash registers. (I am old enough to remember pre-barcode days, oh the horror). Although first introduced in in 1997, QR Codes - a variation on the traditional barcode - have become really popular in the last few years as they allow much more data to be stored, with a very high level of error correction.

A popular use for QR codes is to embed them in documents. They can store all kind of information (almost 3KB at the time of writing) including meta-data such as a Document ID, last update time, author, anything really. However, to create these codes and add them to your documents, that is tricky, especially in SharePoint, what to do….. what to do!

Here is what to do, download the latest version of the Muhimbi PDF Converter for SharePoint or Muhimbi PDF Converter Services and use a workflow (SharePoint Designer, Nintex, K2, Visual Studio), the SharePoint User interface or our API to add QR codes to documents. It just works!


Have a look at the examples below. The various facilities are largely self-describing so there is no need to go into too much detail. For more information and examples related to watermarking in general, see the Watermarking hub in our Knowledge Base.


Regardless of the method used to apply the QR watermark, you always need to specify the following information:

  • Content: The content to embed in the QR code. This will need to match the specified input mode.
  • Version: Over the years many different QR versions have been introduced. Select the one appropriate to your needs, either Auto or Version01 – Version40.
  • Input mode: Specify the appropriate mode for your content:
    - Binary: Any value including text, URLs etc.
    - AlphaNumeric: Numbers, (Upper case) characters and SPACE, $, %, *, +, -, ., /, :
    - Numeric: Numbers only
  • Error correction level: Select the appropriate level for your needs: Low, Medium, Quartile, High


SharePoint Designer workflows

Adding a QR Code using a SharePoint Designer workflow is similar to adding any of our other watermarking workflow actions.

QR Code in SharePoint Designer


Nintex Workflow

When using Nintex Workflow there is only a single Watermark PDF workflow action. In the action’s configuration screen select QR Code as the Watermark Type and fill in the blanks. For details about adding watermarks using Nintex Workflow see this blog post.

Nintex QR Code


Muhimbi’s real-time watermarking facilities

The PDF Converter for SharePoint comes with this cool facility to add a watermark the moment a PDF is opened. If the information embedded in the QR Code is user-specific or time sensitive (e.g. the name of the user who opened the PDF, or the current date / time) then you may want to consider using this facility instead of a workflow. QR codes can be added using our XML based watermarking syntax.

QR Code Watermark on-open


K2 Workflows

Adding a QR code using K2 blackpearl is easy as well. For details about how to integrate the Muhimbi PDF Converter with K2, as well as some examples, see this article.

K2 QR Code


Muhimbi’s Web Services based API

QR codes can also be added using our flexible web services based API, regardless of platform (C#, Java, PHP, Ruby etc). The associated class and enumerations can be found below. For an example of how to create watermarks from code see this blog post.

Web Service API QR


Any questions or comments? Leave an update below or contact our friendly support desk, we love to talk to our customers!


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Using the Muhimbi PDF Converter to generate FDA / eCTD valid documents

Posted at: 11:53 AM on 27 July 2015 by Muhimbi

FDAOur popular PDF Converter for SharePoint and PDF Converter Services (for Java, C#, PHP, Ruby), as well as the PDF Converter for SharePoint Online / Office 365 is used in almost any imaginable industry. Local and federal government, financial industry, retail, engineering, space exploration etc. Some of these industries have pretty strict requirements when it comes to submitting or archiving documents.

One of the industries that specify such requirements is the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In their specifications for Providing Regulatory Submissions in Electronic Format — Certain Human Pharmaceutical Product Applications and Related Submissions Using the eCTD Specifications they list the following requirements. 

  • PDF versions 1.4 through 1.7, PDF/A-1 and PDF/A-2: We support all these versions, and more, and can even convert existing PDF files to PDF 1.1 – 1.7 as well as PDF/A1b & A2b for long term archiving.
  • Do not activate security settings or password protection: Although we support a range of PDF Security, Restriction and encryption facilities. The FDA’s recommendation is to not apply any security to the generated documents.
  • Fully embed all non-standard fonts:  Embedding or stripping of embedded fonts is fully supported by our software. Even better, just use PDF/A output which automatically takes care of most requirements.
  • Avoid image-based PDF files whenever possible: Image based content can be hard to read on screen and – even worse – is not searchable. As a result people cannot copy its contents or find it using whatever search engine they happen to use. When dealing with image based content such as scans and faxes, use our Optical Character Recognition (OCR) abilities to automatically recognise all text and include it in the PDF file.
  • Optimize the PDF for fast web view: Many PDF files are accessed via the internet. To prevent long downloads, PDF files can be Linearized / Optimised for fast web view. This reduces the loading time of the initial pages considerably.
  • Table of contents (TOC): The ability to merge multiple files is probably the second most used feature provided by our software. However, the result of a merge operation may result in a document that is hundreds of pages long, which can make navigation a bit difficult. Our software automatically adds PDF bookmarks to ease navigation, but even better can automatically generate a full featured Table Of Contents.
  • Initial View Settings: Making sure that the PDF is displayed in the most optimal manner when the document is opened removes the effort from the end user and reduces the need for training. Naturally we fully support this
  • Page Numbering: Especially in large documents, page numbering is extremely important. Most documents already contain page numbers, but when merging multiple documents together these page numbers do not reflect the reality. Use our extensive watermarking facilities to automatically calculate and display page numbers

If you have any questions then please leave a comment below or contact our friendly support desk, we love to talk to our customers.


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Introducing the new High-Fidelity InfoPath converter

Posted at: 6:21 PM on 16 July 2015 by Muhimbi

infopath_L1We like to throw in a wildcard every once in a while, functionality that no-one has asked for, but we think our customers will really like. This tends to work out very well, for example the time we decided to provide a lot of flexibility around copying of SharePoint meta-data. Another one of those crazy wild-cards was support for the conversion of InfoPath forms to PDF, XLS, HTML and DOC. InfoPath is pretty obscure, right? Microsoft has even retired it, who needs a converter, who even cares? EVERYONE! A surprising number of people want to convert and archive InfoPath files, and for great reasons as well.

Over the years we have added many popular facilities to the InfoPath converter including the ability to convert InfoPath attachments and the ability to dynamically control which InfoPath view to use for PDF conversion. There was only one problem though, as Microsoft stopped caring about InfoPath, they slowly but surely crippled its PDF output abilities. It all started with the introduction of Internet Explorer 9 and was made worse with the introduction of Windows Server 2012 and InfoPath 2013. Out of the box, and completely unrelated to our software, InfoPath doesn’t even include content of checkboxes in a PDF, and that is just one of the smaller problems.

Our support desk is always happy to assist those customers who, for reasons beyond their control, cannot downgrade Internet Explorer or switch Windows versions. More often than not this resulted in solutions that worked well enough, but…. ughhh… horrible hacks, loads of support hours wasted, non-intuitive solutions, this has to stop…. and, as of today, it has!


Version 8.0 of the PDF Converter for SharePoint, PDF Converter Services (for Java, C#, PHP, Ruby) as well as our PDF Converter for SharePoint Online comes with a brand new InfoPath converter. It still supports all the cool features of the previous converter, but the generated PDF files look much, MUCH, better, they basically look identical to what comes out of the printer.

The key improvements are:

  • ‘Printer like’ output.
  • Images & logos are displayed in high resolution.
  • Border colors and thickness are correct.
  • ‘Phantom’ grey borders are a thing of the past.
  • Page size can be controlled in detail.
  • Page orientation can be controlled in detail.

The last 2 options are particular important for forms that have been designed with SharePoint’s Forms Services in mind. Although those forms are created in InfoPath as well, and can be converted using our software just fine, these forms typically don’t specify a page size or orientation. The new PDF Converter automatically picks up these settings when they ARE defined in the form, but when the information is missing it will try to substitute it. These settings can be overridden globally or at the individual conversion level.


Before & AfterBefore (left) and after (right). Click to zoom in and look at those horrible borders and image quality in detail.


Although the default values suffice for most situations, the following entries can be controlled via the conversion service’s configuration file. For details about how to edit this file see this article..

  • InfoPathConverterFullFidelity.UseNativePrintEngine: This setting controls which InfoPath converter is used, the legacy one (false) or the new high-fidelity one (true). This setting is automatically populated with the option selected during installation.
  • InfoPathConverterFullFidelity.DefaultPaperSize: The output paper size to use for InfoPath views without a specified printer / paper size. This does not change the paper size for views where that information IS specified. Leave this setting empty to take the value from the default printer or specify a named format such as 'A4' or 'Letter' (Full list of accepted paper sizes). PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS VALUE IS CASE SENSITIVE.
  • InfoPathConverterFullFidelity.ForcePaperSize: Force the paper size, regardless of the printer / paper size being present in the definition of the InfoPath view.
  • InfoPathConverterFullFidelity.DefaultPageOrientation: The Page orientation for InfoPath views that don't explicitly specify a printer / paper size. Either 'Portrait' or 'Landscape'. Leave empty to let InfoPath decide.
  • InfoPathConverterFullFidelity.ForcePageOrientation: Force the page orientation regardless of the printer / paper size being present in the definition of the InfoPath view


The easiest way to enable the new InfoPath converter is to do so during the setup process, for details see this blog post.

In order to use the new InfoPath converter on 64 bit systems, please install the 64 bit version of Office / InfoPath. 32 bit Windows versions work fine with the 32 bit version of Office / InfoPath.

If you are still on Windows Server 2003 then we don’t judge you, but you will need to contact our support desk to request assistance with the deployment of the new InfoPath converter as after 12 years… well… things have moved on a bit.


Any questions or feedback? Leave a comment below or contact us, we love talking to our customers.


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Muhimbi PDF Converter - New Setup experience

Posted at: 3:29 PM on 06 July 2015 by Muhimbi

At the time of writing our range of Server Side PDF Conversion and Automation based products, including the Muhimbi PDF Converter for SharePoint and the Muhimbi PDF Converter Services (for Java, .NET, PHP, Ruby) have been in the market for over 7 years. Although our setup experience has always been fine, it has never been excellent. Being excellent is something we strive for so we have dug through our historical support desk tickets to determine the worst pain points and address them as part of the new installation ‘experience’.

Carrying out a full deployment still requires some work and preparation – the entire product is a bit ‘enterprisey’ - getting the proper Windows account in place, granting privileges and installing some prerequisites, these steps are explained in detail in Chapter 2 of our comprehensive Administration Guide. Do yourself, and our support desk, a monumental favour and read that chapter in full. You will save yourself a lot of time and frustration.


Let’s walk through a typical deployment and highlight some of the decision points. The screenshots and process below is based on the PDF Converter for SharePoint. Being less complex, the PDF Converter Services setup process is largely the same, it just lacks some of the SharePoint specific screens (and that installer uses a yellow background colour so it is immediately clear which product you are installing).

Naturally the first step is to download the free trial version. Once downloaded run setup.exe, resulting in the following screen. This screen allows for the Administration Guide to be opened in your PDF Reader, open it and start reading at chapter 2. We know you don’t want to read manuals, but it will save you time later.



Click Next to continue, read the boring but essential license agreement and accept the terms to continue. You can even print it and use it as wallpaper, everyone is a winner.



The following screen only applies to the PDF Converter for SharePoint and provides the following three options. Please read our blog post about typical deployment scenarios to learn more about how highly scalable products like the Muhimbi PDF Converter are typically deployed. When executing the installer on a machine that is not part of a SharePoint farm then the SharePoint related options will be disabled.

  1. Install the Conversion Service on this system and the SharePoint front-end on the entire farm: This is the recommended option for most installations providing the installer is being executed on a single server SharePoint farm or on one of the App servers. This option deploys the conversion service (a Windows service that does all the heavy processing work) on the current server and pushes the SharePoint ‘WSP’ file out to all SharePoint servers.
  2. Install only the Conversion Service on this computer: Use this option to install only the conversion service on the current system, and skip the deployment of the SharePoint WSP files. This is a good option when installing the conversion service on a system that is not part of a SharePoint farm, or if you are not yet ready to deploy the SharePoint front-end software.
  3. Install the SharePoint front-end on the entire farm: This option must be executed on only one of the SharePoint servers. It automatically pushes the SharePoint WSP to all servers in the farm. When selecting this option you will be asked to specify the name of the server that will host (or already hosts) the conversion service. Doing so will automatically update the location of the conversion service in our Central Administration screen.




If the conversion service is being deployed as part of the current installation then use the following screen to specify the path to deploy it to. It is recommended to accept the default path, or just change the drive letter. It will work fine in other locations, but it may make troubleshooting more difficult.



Providing the conversion service is being deployed as part of the current installation process, you will be asked to specify the name of the Windows account the conversion service will run under. This may be a local machine account (in that case leave the domain name empty) or a domain account (please enter the domain in the separate field). This account must be a member of the local Administrators group and does not require any other special settings. Unless specified otherwise, the account will be granted ‘Log on as a Service’ rights automatically.



Now, this is where it (finally) gets interesting. As mentioned previously, there are some prerequisites you must get in place, as described in Chapter 2 of the Administration Guide. The installer will check that all these prerequisites are indeed in place and highlight any problem areas with a red X. If any warnings are displayed then you may continue with the installation process and address, or ignore, them after the installation completes. However, for the best experience you should close the installer, address any issues, restart the installer and check that the problems have been resolved.



Depending on your exact needs, and providing you are deploying the conversion service, you may want to change the following settings in the next screen:

  1. Open TCP Port 41734 on the Windows Firewall: In a multi-server farm it is essential that the front end servers can communicate with the conversion server. The installer can open the correct port automatically, but please take into account that this only works for a basic Windows Firewall installation. When deploying the software in an environment with a different firewall or when the firewall is automatically configured and locked down, you may need to open this port manually.
  2. Disable the Loopback Check: In certain cases a security feature in Windows makes it difficult to connect to a server by machine name, this is known as the Loopback Check. Providing this option is enabled (the default option in Windows) you can use the installer to disable this check. If this option is already disabled (perhaps by an administrator or another process) then you will not be able to change it using the Muhimbi installer. This prevents interoperability problems with other software. If you wish to change this setting by hand then see this blog post.
  3. Download and install Ghostscript: Some functionality provided by the Muhimbi PDF Converter leverages a technology known as Ghostscript. If you expect to carry out conversions to PDF/A, conversions between different PDF versions or use the recently introduced high fidelity InfoPath converter then you should select this option. The installer will download and install Ghostscript automatically, but if the server you are deploying the conversion service on does not have internet connectivity, which is quite common in data centres, then you have the option to download and install Ghostscript manually. Providing it is installed in the default path (on any of the system’s drives) the PDF Converter will automatically detect it.




Our range of PDF Converters provide support for some less than common file formats including Microsoft InfoPath. (Microsoft has discontinued support so start archiving to PDF). Microsoft has slowly crippled InfoPath PDF support over the past few years so if you are running a Windows version newer than Windows Server 2008R2 or an Internet Explorer version newer than version 9, you will find that InfoPath PDF output does not work very well. On those systems, as well as other systems, it is highly recommend to enable our new converter. The only reason to use the ‘Legacy Converter’ is if you already use the Muhimbi PDF Converter in your environment to convert InfoPath to PDF and everything is working well. If it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it.

Please note that the new InfoPath converter requires Ghostscript to be installed on the system running the conversion service (see the previous screen). In order to use the new InfoPath converter on 64 bit systems, please install the 64 bit version of Office / InfoPath. 32 bit Windows versions work fine with the 32 bit version of Office / InfoPath.



If you already have a license key then specify its location in the following screen. To install the trial version there is no need to specify a license file. If you have a license for the PDF Converter Professional add-on license then please copy that license file to the path the conversion service is being deployed to. Once the conversion service has been deployed you will find a handy shortcut to this folder in the Windows Start Menu.



That is it, the installer will now deploy the selected components and configure the local system in line with the specified settings. This may take a couple of minutes.



If all went well you will see the following screen. Congratulations, you have done it, woohooooo!



Providing you are installing the SharePoint front-end as part of the current installation process, our Central Administration screen will be opened automatically. Use this screen to configure the system further or execute a validation test to check that everything is indeed working as expected. If you encounter any problems with the validation process then please see this Knowledge Base article.



We recommend using Central Admin’s Solution Management screen to verify that the SharePoint WSP files were deployed without errors or warnings. The following WSP files are typically deployed.

  1. muhimbi.pdfconverter.*.wsp:  This WSP contains the main PDF Converter facilities.
  2. muhimbi.licensing.*.wsp:  The Muhimbi License Manager.
  3. muhimbi.pdfconverter.workflowmanager.*.wsp:  Deployed on SharePoint 2013 (and newer) systems only. This WSP file contains the workflow actions for the new ‘Workflow Manager’ based workflows.




Once it has been confirmed that everything is installed correctly, you may want to enable or disable various SharePoint Features related to the Muhimbi PDF Converter. A full list of all SharePoint Features can be found in the SharePoint Administration Guide, but some of the key ones are:

  1. Muhimbi PDF Converter: Enable the main PDF Converter user interface and activate the workflow activities for SharePoint Designer and SharePoint 2010 workflows. This Feature is enabled by default.
  2. Muhimbi PDF Converter – Automatic PDF Processing User Interface: Enable the user interface for the real-time watermarking and security facility. Please enable Muhimbi PDF Converter – Automated PDF Processor before enabling this Feature.
  3. Muhimbi PDF Converter – Automated PDF Processor: Enable the module that controls real-time processing.
  4. Muhimbi PDF Converter – Nintex Workflow Integration: Enable Nintex Workflow integration.





Upgrading from a pre-8.0 version.

If you currently have a version of the Muhimbi PDF Converter installed, a version older than 8.0, then please uninstall that version manually before installing version 8.0. Before starting the uninstallation process have a look at the Upgrading section in the Administration Guide to make sure you don’t lose any changes that may have been made by manually adjusting various files.

  1. Uninstall SharePoint Front-End: Manually retract and remove the WSP files from Central Administration or run the uninstall.cmd scripts that ship alongside the version of the PDF Converter that is currently installed. Please make sure that both the PDF Converter and License Manager WSPs are uninstalled.
  2. Uninstall Conversion Service: Use Windows’ Add or Remove Programs facility to uninstall the conversion service.


Leave questions or comments below, or contact our friendly support desk, we love to help.


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Automatically padding documents for merging double sided documents

Posted at: 3:14 PM on 30 June 2015 by Muhimbi

DoublesidedWow, what a title for a blog post ‘Automatically padding documents for merging double sided documents’, what does that even mean? Well, let me try and explain.

One of the more popular features in our range of server side PDF Conversion products is the ability to merge multiple documents (e.g. a couple of MS-Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Image files) into a single PDF. Works great! However, up until now we did a straight merge, each document was merged directly after the previous one. Although most of the time that is the desired behaviour, some merged documents are really intended for printing, more specifically, double-sided printing. When printing double sided you typically want each new document to start on the right-hand (or Odd) page.

As of version 8.0 we make it possible to automatically inject blank pages for situations like the one described above.

This behaviour can be controlled in a number of ways.


Conversion Service configuration file

It can be controlled globally, for all merge operations regardless of how they are carried out, by editing the following setting in the conversion service’s configuration file:

  <!-- Control merge behaviour. Leave empty to use the setting specified in the web service call.
        * Next - When merging, start each document on the next page.
        * Odd  - When merging, start each document on an odd page.
        * Even - When merging, start each document on the next even page. –>
  <add key="Merging.ForceDocumentStartPage" value=""/>


Request by request basis

If you do not wish to apply this new behaviour to all merge operations then it is possible to control it on a request-by-request basis by passing a value into MergeSettings.DocumentStartPage as part of a web service call.



Pretty useful. Any questions or comments, leave a message below or contact our friendly support desk.


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The PDF Converter for SharePoint Online and Office 365 has Arrived!

Posted at: 12:16 PM on 04 June 2015 by David Radford


Yes, you heard that right!  The popular Muhimbi PDF Converter for SharePoint is now available for SharePoint Online and Office 365.  What does this mean for you?  Well, if you’re using SharePoint Online / Office 365 or are looking to move to it, you can now access the Converter’s functionality from any SharePoint Online Site Collection, available directly from the SharePoint App Store!

SharePoint Online is an increasingly popular way for companies, large and small, to leverage the advantages of SharePoint, without the server and maintenance overhead of on-premise installations.  It also makes it easy to grow when usage increases, just like the Muhimbi PDF Converter for SharePoint Online.  Our new subscription model allows you to easily add features and capacity as your environment and needs grow, without the need to carry out complex software deployments on your own servers.  From large to small- we convert them all!

To start, you can find an overview of the available features and various subscription tiers in the brochure attached to this Knowledge Base Article.

We’ve worked hard to provide our SharePoint Online customers the same experience our on-site customers have come to expect.  This means, baring some minor limitations due to the SharePoint Online model, you’ll get the same full featured, robust application we’ve long provided for SharePoint on-premise.  

With many more features, including our popular real-time (‘on open’) watermarking facility, and support for Nintex Workflow for Office 365 to come.


Handy ribbon menu convert icon for the User Interface?  Right here and in the dropdown context menu:


Convert and merge multiple file types from the User Interface including meta-data?  At your service from the same button:


Create custom SharePoint Online workflows using our workflow actions?  Well, of course!:


The Muhimbi PDF Converter for SharePoint Online supports all our standard file formats.  Yes, including InfoPath- and not just standard InfoPath forms, but the browser enabled ones your users have been filling out in SharePoint Online!  The Converter for SharePoint Online also uses our brand new InfoPath conversion engine, which eliminates many of the formatting issues that have begun to crop-up when using the latest Windows Server and Internet Explorer versions.

This all sounds great!  How can I get the Converter for our SharePoint Online environment?  It’s easy!  Just go to the SharePoint App store, select the Muhimbi App and click the green “Add” button.  Once that’s done, just attempt a conversion from the User Interface, enter your e-mail address when prompted and begin you fully featured free trial.  If you want to create SharePoint Designer based workflows, just follow the simple instructions in this link (or watch the how-to video) in order to deploy our workflow activities.

The Muhimbi PDF Converter for SharePoint Online is a new product, built on our time tested on-premise platform, and like our on-premise version, is very actively developed.  Please check back here for new features and functionality or subscribe to our newsletter to keep up-to-date as we continue to improve this newest member of our Muhimbi PDF Converter line of products.

As always, our support desk is happy to hear from you if you have any questions or need some help with getting things to work the way you want.  Please feel free to contact us at: or browse our comprehensive knowledge base.


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PDF Converter Services 7.3 – Table Of Content Generator & Performance improvements

Posted at: 3:10 PM on 05 March 2015 by Muhimbi


Although our developers have been working hard on the SharePoint Online version of the Muhimbi PDF Converter, that doesn’t mean we have forgotten about the on-premise version, after all it is used on thousands of servers.

Today we are announcing the release of version 7.3, which - in addition to having a fancy new Table Of Content Generator - also includes a number of bug fixes and major performance improvements when merging large files.

The following blog posts provide more detail

A quick introduction for those not familiar with the product: The Muhimbi PDF Converter Services is an ‘on premises’ server based SDK that allows software developers to convert typical Office files to PDF format using a robust, scalable but friendly Web Services interface from Java, .NET, Ruby & PHP based solutions. It supports a large number of file types including MS-Office and ODF file formats as well as HTML, MSG (email), EML, AutoCAD and Image based files and is used by some of the largest organisations in the world for mission critical document conversions. In addition to converting documents the product ships with a sophisticated watermarking engine, PDF Splitting and Merging facilities, an OCR facility and the ability to secure PDF files. A separate SharePoint specific version is available as well.

Automatically Generated Table Of Contents

In addition to the changes listed above, some of the main changes and additions in the new version are as follows:

2264 EML Fix EML to PDF - Accessing content stream of non-leaf entities is not supported.
2237 EML Fix EML to PDF - Attachments present in an attached EML file show as attachments of the main file
2245 Merging Fix System.ArgumentOutOfRangeException when merging AnyDWG PDF Files.
2247 Merging Fix NullReferenceException while merging
2255 Merging Fix NullRefException when merging certain PDF files
2243 Merging Fix Object reference not set to an instance of an object when merging certain files
2168 Merging Fix Merge Operations reset the security settings
1978 Merging Fix Error in 'PdfLoadedPageCollection.GetPage' while merging certain files
2232 Merging Improvement Loading some existing PDF files is slow (e.g. for merge operations)
2240 Merging Improvement Merging certain existing PDF files is very slow
2263 Merging New Implement Table of Content (TOC) Facility
1950 MSG Fix MSG to PDF - some formatting is incorrect when HTML email contains inline images
2258 MSG Fix MSG to PDF - Attachment Recursion Problem
2228 MSG Fix MSG to PDF - The German Word 'täglich' is displayed as 'tälich' by the time it makes it into the PDF.
2315 OCR Fix OCR Tasks are not always aborted after timeout
2304 OCR Fix OCRed Text is placed off-screen in some cases
2281 OCR Fix OCR - Some files are not processed at all
2269 OCR Fix TIFF not extracted correctly during OCR
2266 OCR Fix OCR - Error when OCRing PDF files that contain no images
2278 Other Fix Unexpected token loading certain Acrobat 1.3 files
2260 Other Fix Can't reregister an object when loading PDF
2246 Other Improvement Opening 3rd party PDF files takes a long time / Never finishes
2256 Other New Document the use of the conversion service with SSL
2176 Other New Create sample code for adding Digital Signature to PDF
2239 PowerPoint Fix PowerPoint converter may fail under load on Office 2013 systems
2312 Watermarking Fix Real-time watermarking history entries always returns the latest file


For more information check out the following resources:

As always, feel free to contact us using Twitter, our Blog, regular email or subscribe to our newsletter.

Download your free trial here (42MB). .


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