In this guide you'll learn how to convert a document to PDF using a Power Automate flow. In this example we will convert a Word document to a PDF but you can easily switch the input file to another file type (see file formats we support).
Steps to convert your documents to PDF using Power Automate:
- Create a flow in Power Automate
- Define your action (Convert to PDF)
- Create File (define were your File will be created)
- Publish your workflow
It’s also important to note that in this example we are using Power Automate to convert a file to PDF in SharePoint. You can easily save your PDF file to another destination like Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, or any platform supported by Power Automate. You can also extend our example by adding additional automation like sending the converted PDF as email.
From a high-level perspective, the workflow will look as follows:
Create the following steps in Power Automate:
1: Create a new Flow in Power Automate
Create a new Flow and use the SharePoint Online trigger ‘When an item is created or modified’. Fill out the URL for the site collection and select the relevant SharePoint list from the dropdown menu.
2: Convert to PDF
Insert Muhimbi's ‘Convert document’ action and fill it out as per the screenshot displayed below. Naturally you will need to substitute the Source file name and Source file content with suitable values.
Note: this flow requires a Muhimbi API key. Get a free plan with 75 operations per month or a 30 day free trial with no limitations. Sign up to create your API key.
3: Create a file
Insert a Create File action to write the converted file back to SharePoint Online (or Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, or send the PDF via email).
4: Publish the workflow
Publish the workflow and create / update a list item in the specified list. After a few seconds the Flow will trigger and a PDF file will be generated.
Troubleshooting / Caveats
HTML is not the best format for print or PDF Conversion purposes. Depending on your exact needs and source material, you may need to experiment with various available settings. If you have any questions or require assistance please feel free to contact us.
Please consider the following when using Power Automate:
Modern Views: In SharePoint Online it is possible to display Lists and Libraries in Modern or Classic mode. Modern View is undergoing constant change (by Microsoft), as a result we currently only support the conversion of pages displayed in Classic View. Some Modern View pages will convert fine while others don't.
Multi Factor Authentication (MFA): An increasing number of SharePoint Online / Office 365 environments are secured using MFA. Although this is a positive development, it gets in the way of automated systems such as our HTML converter. If your environment uses MFA then please create an App password for HTML conversions, or disable MFA on your HTML Conversion account.
HTML Conversion option not displayed: The option to convert the current page to PDF is only available in Classic SharePoint pages. Modern pages currently do not provide a facility for extending the personal actions menu. We will make sure it is added as soon as Microsoft makes this functionality available.
PDF Layout does not match: By default the page being converted is optimized for print / PDF output. If you prefer the PDF to look exactly like what is displayed on screen, including user interface elements, then set the Media Type to Screen in the HTML Conversion configuration screen.
User modified content is not converted: The converter does not have knowledge about the information currently displayed in the user's browser (e.g. size of the browser window, or custom data entered, but not yet submitted to the server). The converter always requests a fresh copy of the URL and converts that information to PDF.
User specific information is missing: HTML Conversion is carried out in the context of the configured user account, though the system is not aware of the user carrying out the HTML conversion. Don't specify accounts that display more information than what the users need to have access to.