Microsoft Flow – Generate PDFs from anything and a lot more

Sometimes, the new connectors are added to Microsoft Flow that open up a lot of options. One of those connectors was added to Flow last night. The Encodian connector makes it possible to do a lot with PDFs.

I started by creating a PDF from a plain text document that is stored in SharePoint.

Yes, that is how easy it is. Just get the content, convert Text to PDF and create a file.

In edit more this flow looks like this:

There is a lot more in this connector however.

Ok, that is a lot of actions! I’m going to group them first.

  • Watermarks
  • Conversion
  • Diagnostics
  • Cleanup
  • Operations ( Merge, OCR etc)
  • Security

Watermarks

It is possible to add Watermarks to existing PDFs. For example if you have a Draft document you could add the text Draft to your document. Maybe nothing new but this version of the water marks is great. You can specify for example at which angle you want your water mark to appear.

But this is not just about adding a text watermark you can also add images as a water mark.

Conversion

There are 4 conversion options possible. AS shown in the earlier example you can convert plain text documents to PDF. On top of that it is also very easy to convert HTML or Word as well. These conversion actions also support different versions of PDF including PDF/A

Diagnostics

When things go wrong it is nice if you can find out what went wrong. The Get an Operation Status action does exactly that. You can feed this action with an operation ID and the details are returned.

Cleanup

There are 2 cleanup actions. These actions clean up text based images and can for example  de-skew, rotate or de-speckle the images found in your PDF.

Operations

I’m struggling to say which action is my favourite action out of all the actions found in the Encodian connector. Merging documents into one PDF is definitely one of those actions frequently requested by people.

On top of that there is also an OCR a PDF Document action. Flow offers a few options in this area. It’s definitely including this one when you compare all the options!

Security

The Secure PDF Document action will encrypt and protect your PDF, all from within your flow.

Then finally there is the Set PDF Document Privileges where you can set for example if a document can be printed or copied.

 

 

 

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Pieter Veenstra

Business Applications and Office Apps & Services Microsoft MVP working as a Microsoft Productivity Principal Consultant at HybrIT Services. You can contact me using contact@veenstra.me.uk.

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