Automatic Document Conversion Workflow - Getting Started

Although our software ships with comprehensive documentation, some people find it difficult to determine where to start. In the following, very basic, example we show how to use SharePoint Designer 2010 (works identical in 2013) to create a basic workflow that automatically converts a document as soon as it is created or updated.

Some SharePoint knowledge is required, the user carrying out these steps must have the rights to create workflows and SharePoint Designer must be installed on the system where these steps are carried out.

  1. Navigate to (or create) a Document or Forms Library

  2. In the Library, open the Ribbon and select Library / Workflow Settings / Create a Workflow in SharePoint Designer.

  3. SharePoint Designer is opened automatically, specify a name for the Workflow. (When using SP2013 and a pre-8.0 release of the PDF Converter, select the SP2010 Workflow Engine from the drop-down menu).

  4. Select the Workflow Settings option in the SharePoint Designer Ribbon.

  5. Tick the Start the workflow automatically when an item is created option. If you wish select the option underneath as well to carry out the same workflow when the document is updated.

  6. Click the Edit Workflow option in the ribbon to return to the workflow editor.

  7. In this example we will create the PDF file alongside the source document. We don't wish the workflow to execute the Convert Action on generated PDF files as well, so click the Condition button and select the If current item field equals value option.

    1. In the newly inserted condition click field and select file type.
    2. Change equals to not equals.
    3. Click value and enter pdf (in lower case).
  8. Position the workflow cursor in the box underneath - which is only executed if the previous condition evaluates to true- and select Convert Document from the Action menu.

  9. Enter the following options in the newly created Action:

    1. this document: select current item.
    2. this file: Leave empty to create a PDF file next to the source file. For details about specifying paths see this blog post.
    3. file type: Choose PDF.
    4. include / exclude: Choose include to copy all meta data to the generated PDF.
  10. In the ribbon select the Publish button, which associates the workflow with the Document Library.

That is all there is to it. Create or update a file in the Document Library, after a few seconds the PDF file will be placed in the same folder. For a more complex example based on SharePoint 2007 (but largely identical in SP2010 and SP2013) see this blog post.

If you encounter an error then please make sure you can convert files from the regular context menu (without using workflows) first. If that fails then please consult this Knowledge Base article.

An overview of all available workflows actions can be found in our  Knowledge base as well.

If you encounter any problems or have questions then please contact our support desk on We love to help.

Have a Question?
We’re Always Happy to Help.

© Muhimbi Ltd. 2008 - 2024
This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience. Learn more