Enabling real-time watermarking on Modern View libraries

One of the more popular features of the Muhimbi PDF Converter for SharePoint Online is the ability to apply watermarks and security settings - in real-time - when a file is opened by the end-user.

When using the 'Classic' SharePoint interface, installing our standard App Store app will suffice. However, when using the new 'Modern Experience', the deployment of an additional SharePoint Framework (SPFx) package is required.

This Knowledge Base article describes how to deploy Muhimbi's SPFx package. Please note that this is only needed when using SharePoint Online in combination with Muhimbi's real-time watermarking and security facilities on Modern View Lists and Libraries. If you do not use these facilities, use SharePoint on-premise, or use the Classic View, then this article can be ignored.

Read the 'Please note' section at the end of this article as well, particularly point 6.


  1. Ensure Muhimbi's SharePoint Online App is installed on the same site collection.
  2. Ensure an active Trial or Full subscription is in place.
  3. Ensure the Muhimbi App is elevated as per this Knowledge Base Article.
  4. Ensure the Automatic PDF Processing App Feature is enabled as per the same article.
  5. Ensure the user carrying out these steps has access to the App Catalog.

Installation steps

A video showing how to apply the steps listed below, can be found here.

  1. Download the Muhimbi SharePoint Framework Extension.
  2. Navigate to the App Catalog, select the Apps for SharePoint section, and upload the extension. (This works with both the global App Catalog and site collection App Catalogs)
  3. When asked to trust the extension, please confirm.
  4. On the site where this extension needs to be activated, navigate to the Site Contents page and select the option to Add an App.
  5. Select the From my organisation option.
  6. You may see multiple Apps with a similar name, choose 'Muhimbi PDF Converter for SharePoint Online - Extensions'.
  7. If not already done so, configure real-time watermarking for a List or Library.

Steps to deploy the SPFx extension programmatically can be found here.

Please note

  1. The settings are shared between Modern and Classic libraries, so - once the SPFx package has been deployed - you can switch between Modern and Classic View without losing any functionality.

  2. SharePoint Framework Extensions need to be deployed separately for each sub-site, so repeat the steps for each sub-site that requires Muhimbi's real-time facilities, starting at step #4 above.

  3. When Muhimbi's real-time facilities are enabled on a Modern View Document Library, the option to download multiple files is disabled automatically as this would bypass the processor.

  4. For PDF files the options to Share, Preview and Copy files are disabled as that would bypass the processor. For non-PDF files these functions work as expected.

  5. When upgrading from a previous version of the real-time watermarking facility, or enabling the SharePoint Framework feature on a site that previously had this functionality enabled on a Classic View library, you may need to clear the browser cache.

  6. Microsoft make changes to the implementation of SharePoint's 'Modern View' on a near weekly basis. Muhimbi's team use the latest SharePoint Online 'Targeted' release to verify the solution on a daily basis, and make adjustments when a Microsoft change breaks our software.

    It is recommend that customers NEVER enable the latest targeted release as this may cause issues with third party software such as Muhimbi's Real-time watermarking facility.

    At this moment in time we do not recommend using the Modern View for situations where it is essential that real-time watermarks are always applied without exception. It works well enough, but should not be considered for mission-critical activities. SharePoint's Modern View needs to mature first.

  7. If the SPFx extension is deployed at the tenant level, the Muhimbi's add-in will need to be elevated centrally as well.

  8. In order to include user profile specific properties in watermarks, e.g. {UserProfile.Manager}, it is essential to elevate the add-in centrally.

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