Subscribe to News feed

SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure Virtual events are taking over the world

Posted at: 16:50 on 29 May 2020 by Muhimbi

Like most established companies, Muhimbi's team frequently attends tradeshows. Not just to visit the super interesting sessions, but also as exhibitors to talk to potential customers and meet other players in our market.

We thoroughly enjoy these shows, but if you think about it.... it is madness. Not the objective, that is still important, but the logistics. The Muhimbi staff that attends these shows is based in the UK. The shows are generally in mainland Europe, all over the US and in Australia.

Let's take the recently cancelled - for obvious reasons - Vegas conference as an example. Create and ship a booth to Vegas, purchase expensive flights and even more expensive hotels for Muhimbi's trade show staff, and pay for the show itself. Add a week's loss of productivity for each person attending the show as well as food, drinks and other expenses and the results are .... priceless.... not!

Certainly, there are benefits to face-to-face meetings, and it is great to travel the world, but let's just face it, it is an expensive hassle and there are better alternatives.

Take the awesome team from Collab365 as an example. They have had the foresight to start doing these online conferences years ago. As a result they have a major head start over the competition who - due to this annoying virus that is doing the rounds - are scrambling to move their existing conferences online, with very mixed success and backed by questionable economics.

Look at the awesome line up of speakers. There is no need for these people to get on a plane and take a week out of their schedule to deliver their interesting talks. Sure they still need to prep each session meticulously, but then it is just a matter of turning on the web cam, dusting off the bookshelf behind your chair so it doesn't look embarrassing on video, and away you go.

 

Lineup

 

I have watched their previous sessions, they are excellent and super slick, it is exactly what you need from an online event, and most importantly it is free to attend and very nice to the planet.

We are in no way associated with Collab365, but we did reach out to see if we can share links to their upcoming GlobalCon2 conference (Don't worry if you are reading this after the event has taken place, all archived content is available at a VERY reasonable price, and I am sure there will be an equally awesome GlobalCon3 or 4 or ....)

Signing up is easy and free, just follow this link and take it from there.

.

Labels:

Automatically convert millions of emails, including all attachments, to PDF

Posted at: 15:07 on 25 March 2020 by Muhimbi

I was talking to one of our customers the other day about an interesting use case that turns out  to be more common than I anticipated.

During our discussion it came to light that their regulatory body requires all communication - exchanged with customers - to be stored in a format suitable for long term archiving. In their case PDF/A. The problem is that doing this by hand is an impossible amount of work and difficult to enforce. This is made even more difficult by the fact that attachments need to be converted to PDF as well.

Guess what.... they need to do this for 100,000 emails per month! Doing this by hand is just not an option, which is why they went looking for a third-party solution.

There are a small number of solutions available in the market. A number of service providers and vendors of development libraries claim to be able to convert EML and MSG files to PDF, but few do this in a way that:

  • generates perfect looking PDFs;
  • supports emails written in a multitude of languages and character sets;
  • converts all attachments and merges them into a single PDF;
  • provides many ways to filter and configure these attachments;
  • takes care of rendering delivery receipts;
  • includes calendar entries and contact cards;
  • outputs PDFs in PDF/A1b, 2b and 3B formats;
  • allows the process to be fully automated via workflow platforms or an API.

We are generally a modest bunch, but we truly believe we have the best email to PDF converter in the world. We know this, because we searched for 3rd party libraries when we first implemented this facility. Nothing existed that was half decent, so we decided to build our own. Our team has spent an enormous amount of time on this facility, more than any of our other converters including our popular and comprehensive InfoPath converter.  The results are clearly visible, this works very well.
 

PDF renditions of regular emails.

 

So, this customer was set a very difficult task, how did they end up solving it? Their in-house team built a simple solution using Java code in combination with the REST API exposed by our online service. Things just sit quietly in the background, beavering away 24x7 to generate PDFs out of emails.

The REST API approach works well for them. We also support a SOAP API in combination with hosting our software on your own servers, SharePoint Online, SharePoint on-premise, Power Automate (Microsoft Flow), Azure Logic Apps, UiPath, Nintex Workflow, K2, C#, JavaScript, Python, PHP and anything else that is remotely modern.

 

PDF Rendition of a calendar entry, including embedded content

 

We could make up fancy ROI figures for this use case, but the fact is that the requirement was nearly impossible. Whatever figure we come up with is bound to be wrong by an order of magnitude. Let's just says it is working out very well for everyone involved.

 

Relevant links:

 

Many of our customers are sitting on gigabytes of emails that need to be archived for eDiscovery, Freedom Of Information requests and SOX, SEC, FTS, FCC, EPA, NLRB, IRS, EEOC, OSH, OFCOM retention regulations. Being able to access these emails 10, 20 or even 40 years down the line, in a universally accepted format such as PDF (including PDF/A), is absolutely essential. Muhimbi’s range of PDF Conversion products make this possible for all common file formats as well as some uncommon ones such as MSG, EML and even InfoPath.

If you have any questions or comments, leave a message below or contact our support desk, we love to help.

.

Labels: , , ,

Merge Files to PDF using custom Merge Settings and Muhimbi's XML Override

Posted at: 18:17 on 12 March 2020 by Muhimbi

At the time of writing, Muhimbi's range of PDF Conversion and Document Manipulation servers and APIs have been in the market for nearly 12 years. It will come as no great surprise that during those 12 years we have received many questions from customers to implement all kinds of arcane features to suit their particular requirements.

When implementing feature requests, we have always applied one simple rule, which is that we are happy to implement new functionality providing it can be used by all our customers and is generic in nature.

 

Recently, a large international sports organisation approached us to to replace their legacy on-premise system with our cloud based service. Our software ticked most boxes, but some edge cases were identified for functionality that we did not support, specifically:

  1. Create PDF Bookmarks (and therefore a Table of Contents) based on MS-Word styles that are not defined as headings.
  2. Maintain the correct hierarchy of PDF Bookmarks for MS-Word files that don't start with a Heading 1.

 

Pretty esoteric stuff.... How can we expose niche functionality like this in our system, and user interfaces, without confusing thousands of users that have no interest in this functionality? Well, it turns out we have dealt with this before as we introduced the concept of XML Override to our Convert Document action all the way back in 2012. Using a bit of XML you can set or override almost any setting supported by our comprehensive object model.

So, we added an XML Override facility to our Merge action as well. At the time of writing this new facility is available in Power Automate (Flow) and in our REST based API. In a next release we'll add this to SharePoint Designer and Nintex Workflow actions as well. Naturally all this functionality is available natively on our SOAP API.

 

Let's take the following example, where we merge documents as normal, but with the following changes:

  1. Only apply different rules for MS-Word files that are being merged. To accomplish this we have specified a regular expression on the SourceFile element, which filters on the field specified in the SourceFiles element.
  2. Only generate PDF Bookmarks for the first 3 Heading levels and ignore everything else. We achieve this by setting LowerBookmarkLevel to 3.
  3. Map a custom style named 'MyFakeHeadingStyle', which is not defined in MS-Word as a heading style, to heading level 2. We achieve this by defining it in the list of Bookmark Mappings

 

This results in the following XML.

<Override>
    <ProcessingOptions>
        <SourceFiles filter="property:SourceFile.OpenOptions.FileExtension">
            <SourceFile filterValue="regex:^docx$">
                <ConversionSettings>
                    <GenerateBookmarks>Custom</GenerateBookmarks>
                    <ConverterSpecificSettings type="ConverterSpecificSettings_WordProcessing">
                        <BookmarkOptions>
                            <UseHeadingStyles>True</UseHeadingStyles>
                            <LowerBookmarkLevel>3</LowerBookmarkLevel>
                            <BookmarkMappings>
                                <BookmarkMapping>
                                    <Source>MyFakeHeadingStyle</Source>
                                    <Level>2</Level>
                                </BookmarkMapping>
                            </BookmarkMappings>
                        </BookmarkOptions>
                    </ConverterSpecificSettings>
                </ConversionSettings>
            </SourceFile>
        </SourceFiles>
    </ProcessingOptions>
</Override>

 

We can take this XML and paste it in the 'Override settings' field of our Power Automate Merge documents action. A full example of 'iterating over multiple files and compiling a list of files to merge' is beyond the scope of this post. An example can be found here.
 

Merge XML Override

 

More details can be found in the Developer Guide. This does require some technical knowledge though.

If you get stuck, leave a comment below or contact our support desk, we love to help.

.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

PDF Converter Online 9.13 - Print Only & Barcode Watermarks, Convert Attachments

Posted at: 14:52 on 12 February 2020 by Muhimbi

sharepoint-online-logo

The Muhimbi PDF Converter Online is constantly being improved and extended. Similar to many other online services, when a new version is rolled out there is nothing to do for our users. New functionality just shows up, existing functionality continues to work as expected. Life is good!

Since our previous formal announcement, we have added some interesting new facilities, and fixed / improved existing logic.

The full list of changes can be found further down, but the key highlights for versions 9.13 are as follows:

Please note that all SharePoint Online versions are numbered in the 9.X range. At the time of writing the most recent version of the on-premise software is 10.1.         
 

Apply barcode watermarks using SharePoint Designer Workflows, Power Automate (Flow), the UI and API

 
For those not familiar with the product, the Muhimbi PDF Converter for SharePoint Online is a lightweight subscription based solution that allows end-users to convert merge, split, watermark, secure, and OCR common document types - including InfoPath, AutoCAD, MSG (email) MS-Office, HTML and images - to PDF using SharePoint Online through a friendly user interface or via workflows, without the need to install any client-side software or Adobe Acrobat. More details can be found on the
product page.  An on-premise version for SharePoint 2007-2019 is available separately.

The Muhimbi PDF Converter Services Online is included in the PDF Converter for SharePoint Online, but also available as a separate subscription. Although frequently used in combination with SharePoint Online, it is a completely stand-alone product which is typically used programmatically via its REST based API, via Power Automate (Flow), Azure LogicApps or Microsoft Power Apps. It comes with the same functionality as the SharePoint Online product to convert, merge, watermark, secure and OCR files. 
 

Control if watermarks are always displayed, or only when printing.

 

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

5401 API Fix PdfWatermark API call fails if URL does not end in .pdf.
4714 API Fix API does not recognize folder path containing plus sign (+).
4653 API Fix Fix Serialization errors of certain file paths in API.
1723 Attachments New Support embedding of attachments inside a PDF in original file format
5339 Attachments New Implement filtering of attachment types during conversion
5364 AutoCAD Fix Out of Memory exception during AutoCAD conversion
4879 AutoCAD Fix Resource leak in CAD conversions
4904 AutoCAD Improvement Implement sorting of CAD layouts by their Tab Order
5024 AutoCAD Improvement Improve PDF rendering of certain DXF files
4630 AutoCAD New Add support for latest R2018 DWG files
4882 Conversion Fix Error related to 'Protected View' when converting Office documents.
5407 Conversion Improvement Resolve performance issues related to Office telemetry
4956 Core Fix Error: 'The property or field 'Url' has not been initialized'
4701 Core Fix Base file name returns _____ in place of Chinese characters in a file name
4918 Core Fix Support very long SharePoint Online URLs for destination files
4082 Core Improvement Accept fully qualified path names for source and destination paths for operations
4724 Core Improvement Improve error message when Override xml is not entered correctly
4674 Core Improvement Improve messaging for 'file not found' situations
3975 Core New Allow multiple API subscriptions to be grouped under a single main subscription
5341 Email Fix RTFHTML email parsing issue
4845 Email Improvement Improve encoding of eml headers
4728 Email New Filter out useless 'signature' images during email conversion
5410 Excel New Localise Excel conversions depending on user region
4765 Flow Improvement Add facility to Flow & Merge API to pass in an array of documents
5433 HTML Improvement Improve conversion of Power BI pages
3162 HTML Improvement Improve conversion of 'Modern View' SharePoint pages
4618 HTML Improvement Implement new HTML Converter that supports all modern standards
4309 HTML Improvement Clean up converted HTML links without protocol
4763 HTML Improvement Investigate special characters in HTML conversion
3499 HTML New Add support for 'repeating headers and footers' in HTML converter
5333 InfoPath Fix InfoPath conversion fails if xml does not define the 'my' namespace
5413 MS-Word Fix Signed Word document Fail to Convert
5931 MS-Word Improvement Improve page numbering and various field types during MS-Word conversion
4834 MS-Word Improvement Improve MS-Word 3rd party template handling
4878 MS-Word Improvement Add support for hyphenation for most common languages
4891 MS-Word New Allow any MS-Word style to be designated as a Heading level
4660 Setup Improvement Update characters allowed for password on API signup
4403 Setup Improvement Redesign 'Sign up' form to make it easier to understand
4901 Setup New Create sample PowerShell to install / sideload App store app
5381 UI Fix Convert page to PDF does not work if URL contains '&'
5356 UI Fix Destination button on conversion screen fails when destination folder contains '+'
4744 UI Fix Prevent clashes with other jQuery versions used on same page.
4664 UI Improvement Add Support to Disable User-Integration for APP deployed Via App-Catalog
5405 Watermarking Fix Watermarking fails for certain PDF files
5351 Watermarking Fix Out of memory exceptions during certain watermark operations
5367 Watermarking Fix Chinese characters not appearing in text watermark
5416 Watermarking Fix Fix imageFilePath references on root site collection's subsite
5335 Watermarking Fix Issue with RT Watermarking on modern view websites when Filtering is enabled
4607 Watermarking Fix Potential problem when copying watermark URLs
5342 Watermarking Improvement Implement date and time localisation in watermarks
5365 Watermarking Improvement Improve stability of real-time watermarking of modern view Lists and Libraries
2742 Watermarking Improvement Improve messaging around real-time watermarking
4954 Watermarking Improvement Add support to Filtering in SP Online Library with real-time watermarking enabled
4708 Watermarking New Add support for barcode watermarks to UI, SP designer workflows, Flow and API
4326 Watermarking New Support real-time watermarking for Classic Search in SharePoint Online
4899 Watermarking New Automate sync external users to real-time processing user group.
4801 Watermarking New Add support for external users in real-time watermarking
4625 Watermarking New Target watermarks the last page(s) via negative StartPage and EndPage values
4729 Watermarking New Support for Print Only watermarks to UI, SP designer workflows, Flow and API
5353 Workflow Fix Workflow alerts not being sent for file not found exception
4637 Workflow Improvement Improve Workflow Alert emails
4949 Workflow Improvement Allow XML override without escaping characters in Nintex Workflow for Office 365


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.
 

Start your 30-day trial by installing the App and Workflow Actions, or just start

using it from Power Automate (Flow), there is nothing to install.

.

Labels: , , , , ,

PDF Converter Services 10.0 - Print Only & Barcode Watermarks, Convert Attachments

Posted at: 14:32 on 07 February 2020 by Muhimbi

PDFConverterServicesBox4_thumb3

Well, it is that time of the year again, time for a brand-new release of the Muhimbi PDF Converter Services (See this post for the new SharePoint version). Versions 10.0 already, yep, there is no version 9 because we are just like Microsoft and Apple. Perhaps we should have called it Version X.

In all seriousness, we have skipped the 9.x range as those version numbers are reserved for the Online version of our software. From a feature perspective all 3 platforms (SharePoint, the SDK and Online Subscription services) are generally in sync.

As always there are many improvements and refinements, but also some great new features, specifically:

 


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. Separate SharePoint and Cloud-based Subscription services are available as well.     
 

When upgrading from a previous version, read this Knowledge Base article first.

 
The main changes and additions in the new version are as follows:

1723 Attachments New Support embedding of attachments inside a PDF in original file format
5339 Attachments New Implement filtering of attachment types during conversion
5364 AutoCAD Fix Out of Memory exception during AutoCAD conversion
4879 AutoCAD Fix Resource leak in CAD conversions
4904 AutoCAD Improvement Implement sorting of CAD layouts by their Tab Order
5024 AutoCAD Improvement Improve PDF rendering of certain DXF files
4630 AutoCAD New Add support for latest R2018 DWG files
4882 Conversion Fix Error related to 'Protected View' when converting Office documents.
5407 Conversion Improvement Resolve performance issues related to Office telemetry
4709 Core Improvement Improve logging
5341 Email Fix RTFHTML email parsing issue
4845 Email Improvement Improve encoding of EML headers
4728 Email New Filter out useless 'signature' images during email conversion
5027 HTML Fix Convert Page to PDF problem with Filter in List
5433 HTML Improvement Improve conversion of Power BI pages
3162 HTML Improvement Improve conversion of 'Modern View' SharePoint pages
4618 HTML Improvement Implement new HTML Converter that supports all modern standards
4309 HTML Improvement Clean up converted HTML links without protocol
4763 HTML Improvement Investigate special characters in HTML conversion
4844 HTML Improvement Improve support for converting of Nintex Forms 2010
3499 HTML New Add support for 'repeating headers and footers' in HTML converter
5333 InfoPath Fix InfoPath conversion fails if xml does not define the 'my' namespace
5413 MS-Word Fix Signed Word document Fail to Convert
5931 MS-Word Improvement Improve page numbering and various field types during MS-Word conversion
4834 MS-Word Improvement Improve MS-Word 3rd party template handling
4891 MS-Word New Allow any MS-Word style to be designated as a Heading level
4805 Samples Improvement Create batch files for .Net sample code for building and running
4808 Samples Improvement Make Java sample codes work with newer Java versions
4807 Samples Improvement Update PHP sample HTML page
4883 Samples New Add Sample Code to GitHub
4740 Samples New Add .net Core sample code
5383 Setup End of life Drop support for Windows Server 2003 (No longer supported by installer)
5366 Setup Fix During installation Windows security pop up is visible
4614 Setup Fix Fix Suspicious Double File Extension Execution AV Warnings
4975 Setup Improvement Implement new code signing mechanism
5405 Watermarking Fix Watermarking fails for certain PDF files
5351 Watermarking Fix Out of memory exceptions during certain watermark operations
5367 Watermarking Fix Chinese characters not appearing in text watermark
5342 Watermarking Improvement Implement date and time localisation in watermarks
4248 Watermarking New Add 'Print Only' Watermarks
2396 Watermarking New Add support for barcode watermarks


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 (183MB). .

.

Labels: , , ,

PDF Converter for SharePoint 10.0 - Print Only & Barcode Watermarks, Convert Attachments

Posted at: 16:52 on 06 February 2020 by Muhimbi

PDFBox5Well, it is that time of the year again, time for a brand new release of the Muhimbi PDF Converter for SharePoint. Versions 10.0 already, yep, there is no version 9 because we are just like Microsoft and Apple. Perhaps we should have called it Version X.

In all seriousness, we have skipped the 9.x range as those version numbers are reserved for the Online version of our software. From a feature perspective all 3 platforms (SharePoint, the SDK and Online Subscription services) are generally in sync.

As always there are many improvements and refinements, but also some great new features, specifically:


 

Apply barcode watermarks using SharePoint Designer Workflows, Nintex Workflow, the UI and API

 

For those not familiar with the product, the Muhimbi PDF Converter for SharePoint is a lightweight solution that allows 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 2007-2019 & SharePoint Online and is available in English, German, Dutch, French, Traditional Chinese and Japanese. For detailed information check out the product page. This ‘on-premise’ version of the PDF Converter requires software to be installed on the SharePoint server. Please note that if you have no server access, there is always the option to deploy our SharePoint Online App to on-premise versions of SharePoint 2013, 2016 and 2019. For details see this blog post.

 

Control if watermarks are always displayed, or only when printing.


When upgrading from a previous version, read this Knowledge Base article first.

 

Some of the main changes and additions in the new version are as follows:

1723 Attachments New Support embedding of attachments inside a PDF in original file format
5339 Attachments New Implement filtering of attachment types during conversion
5364 AutoCAD Fix Out of Memory exception during AutoCAD conversion
4879 AutoCAD Fix Resource leak in CAD conversions
4904 AutoCAD Improvement Implement sorting of CAD layouts by their Tab Order
5024 AutoCAD Improvement Improve PDF rendering of certain DXF files
4630 AutoCAD New Add support for latest R2018 DWG files
4882 Conversion Fix Error related to 'Protected View' when converting Office documents.
5407 Conversion Improvement Resolve performance issues related to Office telemetry
4709 Core Improvement Improve logging
5341 Email Fix RTFHTML email parsing issue
4845 Email Improvement Improve encoding of EML headers
4728 Email New Filter out useless 'signature' images during email conversion
5027 HTML Fix Convert Page to PDF problem with Filter in List
5433 HTML Improvement Improve conversion of Power BI pages
3162 HTML Improvement Improve conversion of 'Modern View' SharePoint pages
4618 HTML Improvement Implement new HTML Converter that supports all modern standards
4309 HTML Improvement Clean up converted HTML links without protocol
4763 HTML Improvement Investigate special characters in HTML conversion
4844 HTML Improvement Improve support for converting of Nintex Forms 2010
3499 HTML New Add support for 'repeating headers and footers' in HTML converter
5333 InfoPath Fix InfoPath conversion fails if xml does not define the 'my' namespace
5413 MS-Word Fix Signed Word document Fail to Convert
5931 MS-Word Improvement Improve page numbering and various field types during MS-Word conversion
4834 MS-Word Improvement Improve MS-Word 3rd party template handling
4891 MS-Word New Allow any MS-Word style to be designated as a Heading level
4805 Samples Improvement Create batch files for .Net sample code for building and running
4808 Samples Improvement Make Java sample codes work with newer Java versions
4807 Samples Improvement Update PHP sample HTML page
4883 Samples New Add Sample Code to GitHub
4740 Samples New Add .net Core sample code
5383 Setup End of life Drop support for Windows Server 2003 (No longer supported by installer)
5366 Setup Fix During installation Windows security pop up is visible
4614 Setup Fix Fix Suspicious Double File Extension Execution AV Warnings
4975 Setup Improvement Implement new code signing mechanism
4936 Setup Improvement Rename Licensing WSP to make it generic for SP2013 and above versions
4731 UI Fix SharePoint 2019 Modern view Convert to PDF button
4730 UI Fix Destination Library' button doesn't respond for the folder containing single quote
5405 Watermarking Fix Watermarking fails for certain PDF files
5351 Watermarking Fix Out of memory exceptions during certain watermark operations
5367 Watermarking Fix Chinese characters not appearing in text watermark
5342 Watermarking Improvement Implement date and time localisation in watermarks
4726 Watermarking Improvement Add support for managed metadata when filtering in 'Watermark on Open'
4248 Watermarking New Add 'Print Only' Watermarks
2396 Watermarking New Add support for barcode watermarks
4872 Watermarking New Add support for specifying how to handle Watermark On Open exceptions.
4915 Watermarking New Implement real time WM for 'Download' from Office Web Apps
4041 Workflow Improvement Nintex Workflow - Make the datatype clear in the user interface


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 (195MB). .

.

Labels: , , ,

Generating 'Print only' watermarks in SharePoint Online and Power Automate (Flow)

Posted at: 17:48 on 30 January 2020 by Muhimbi

Our range of PDF Conversions products does a lot more than 'just PDF Conversion'. Over the years we have added many additional features including support for watermarking (stamping) documents with various content. Text, Images, even barcodes and QR codes. These watermarks can be applied via SharePoint Designer Workflows, Nintex Workflow, Microsoft Power Automate, API Calls and even automatically the moment a file is accessed by a user.

This is all nice and well, but our customers are insatiable. They just can't help themselves; they keep asking for more, More, MORE!

The 'MORE' that we are happy to announce today is the ability to apply watermarks that are only visible when a document is sent to the printer. Everything looks nice and tidy when viewing a document on screen, but as soon as it is sent to the printer watermarks appear, being it barcodes, the path where the document is stored, other metadata, or even details of the person who downloaded the document - and who is about to leak it to a competitor (Name, IP, Date, Time, Login name, etc).

 

Although we make light of our customers' constant requests, we absolutely understand how valuable a facility like this can be. As a result we have spent a lot of time on adding support for print-only watermarks. This new facility is now available everywhere, being it in the workflow actions for the various platforms, the SharePoint on-premise and Online user interface, or our API.

 
Wow, that is quite the list, but let's have a look at what this actually looks like for SharePoint Designer workflows, Nintex Workflow, Microsoft Flow, Muhimbi Watermark On Open, XML Watermarks and for APIs.

Details are provided below, but TL;DR, all Muhimbi's existing watermarking facilities continue to work exactly as before, but now have an extra option to control if the watermark should only be present when the document is sent to the printer.

 

SharePoint Designer Workflows (on-premise and Online)

Regardless of the platform, all SharePoint Designer workflows pretty much look and behave the same, so the following example is the same for SharePoint on-premise, Online, the SP2010 workflow Engine and the 2013 one.

The Text Watermark action now looks as follows. All other watermark actions, including images, barcodes and rich text provide the new 'display' element as well
 

SharePoint Designer Workflow - Text Watermark

 

Nintex Workflow

In Nintex Workflow there is only one watermark activity. It shows different parameters depending on the watermark type selected. An example for a simple Text based watermark can be found below. Make sure you enable the Muhimbi Nintex actions first.
 

Nintex Workflow - Text Watermark

 

Microsoft Flow (Power Automate) / Azure Logic Apps

All individual watermark actions in Microsoft Flow (Power Automate) support the new 'print only' facility as well. Various tutorials can be found here.
 

Flow - Text Watermark

 

Watermark On Open

Muhimbi's SharePoint products come with this awesome feature to automatically add watermarks when files are opened (See SharePoint on-premise and SharePoint Online details). Naturally we have also added support for print-only watermarks to this facility.

WM On Open - Text Watermark

 

XML Watermarks

Although various facilities are available to add one watermark at a time, when multiple watermarks need to be applied to a single document it is recommended to apply all watermarks in a single operation using Muhimbi's XML based watermarking syntax.

An example, which shows a barcode watermark when the document is printed, can be found below:

<watermark 
    hPosition="right" 
    vPosition="top" 
    width="200"
    height="100"
    zOrder="1"
    opacity="100"
    printOnly="true"
    pageOrientation="both">
    <linearBarcode
      width="200" 
      height="100" 
      text="1234567890"
      barcodeType="Codabar"
      omitStartStopSymbols="false"
      disableCheckDigit="false"
      showCheckDigit="true"
      textLocation="Bottom"
      barcodeToTextGapHeight="3"
      fontFamilyName="Arial"
      FontSize="8"
      fontStyle="regular"
      textAlignment="Center"
      margin="5" />  
</watermark>
  
 

REST / API

All Muhimbi's Online facilities can be accessed via a REST API call. You can find details about the various actions in the API Docs. The on-premise versions of the product support the same functionality using the built-in SOAP Webservice interface.

In the following example we use Curl to make a POST request. Note how we are passing in the source PDF file using the base64 command (Ours is called test.pdf). The output JSON is fed into the jq command (sudo apt install jq), which extracts the output file. This output file - which is Base64 encoded - is then decoded into a binary PDF file.

REST calls can be executed via most modern programming languages, including Python, Java, JavaScript, C#, and PHP. Various examples can be found in our GitHub repository.

Make sure you enter your API_KEY in the example below. You can get one for free by signing up for the Muhimbi PDF Converter Services Online
 
 

echo "{\"source_file_name\":\"Testing.pdf\",\"use_async_pattern\":false, \
     \"source_file_content\": \"$(base64 -w 0 test.pdf)\" ,\"content\":\"1234567890\", \
     \"barcode_type\":\"Codabar\",\"omit_start_stop_symbols\":\"false\",\
     \"disable_checkdigit\":\"false\",\"show_checkdigit\":\"true\",\"margin\":\"5\", \
     \"font_family_name\":\"Arial\",\"font_size\":\"8\",\"font_style\":\"Regular\", \
     \"label_placement\":\"Bottom Center\",\"position\":\"Top Center\",\"width\":\"200\", \
     \"height\":\"100\",\"opacity\":\"100\",\"start_page\":0,\"end_page\":0,\"page_interval\":0, \
     \"page_orientation\":\"Portrait\",\"print_only\":\"true\",\"fail_on_error\":true}" \
| curl "https://api.muhimbi.com/api/v1/operations/linear_barcode_watermark" \
  -d @- \
  -H "API_Key: [INSERT API KEY HERE]" \
  -H "Content-Type: application/json" \
  | jq -r '.processed_file_content' | base64 --decode > watermarked.pdf 

 
 
When executing this command using Bash, or a similar shell, you may want to copy it into a text editor first. Then make sure all line endings are saved using the Unix format (LF).

 

Any questions? Leave a comment below or contact our support desk, we love to help.

.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Need support from experts?

Access our Forum

Download Free Trials