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Special Document Processing

General processing method

Print2Flash can convert any documents that can be printed by respective third-party applications. There is no exhaustive list of document types suitable for conversion by Print2Flash because Print2Flash converts any documents by instructing the operating system to print a document on the Print2Flash Printer. It is the responsibility of the operating system to locate an application which can print documents of the given type and send it to the Print2Flash Printer. In its turn it is the responsibility of the printing applications to register themselves for printing of the documents of those types which they support. For example, Adobe Reader registers in the operating system for printing of PDF files, and Print2Flash uses it for conversion of PDF files to Flash. If another application registers for printing of PDF files, Print2Flash will use this application for conversion of PDF documents instead of Adobe Reader. In future other applications and document types can appear and Print2Flash will automatically support them as well provided that these application perform printing registration. We refer to this document processing method as "general processing method" because it can convert documents of any type. This method has no printing options that can be setup programmatically.

Special processing method

For some types of documents and applications Print2Flash supports another conversion method called "special processing method". To invoke printing on the Print2Flash Printer and perform conversion of documents, Print2Flash uses special APIs of those applications. This method provides more robust conversion processing and more conversion options.

The following table lists the types of applications for which special processing method is supported and document types it can process:


Document (types) extensions

Supported only by special processing

Microsoft Excel .xls, .xlsx No
Microsoft PowerPoint .ppt, .pptx No
Microsoft Word .doc, .docx No
Adobe Acrobat Professional .pdf No
Microsoft Outlook .msg Yes
Microsoft Project .mpp Yes
OpenOffice Writer .odt, .doc, .docx No
OpenOffice Calc .ods, .xls, .xlsx No
OpenOffice Impress .odp, .ppt, .pptx No
OpenOffice Draw .odg No
OpenOffice Math .odf No
Microsoft Word Viewer .doc, .docx Yes
Microsoft Excel Viewer .xls, .xlsx Yes
Microsoft PowerPoint Viewer .ppt, .pptx Yes
Adobe InDesign .indd Yes
Autodesk AutoCAD .dwg Yes

The last column indicates whether conversion of documents of the respective types is supported only by special processing method. Document types which have "Yes" in this column are not supported by general processing method. In order to convert such documents, you need to enable special processing method.

Control of special processing is accomplished by UseAutomation property of BatchProcessingOptions object. This property is a bit mask specifying for which document types special document processing should be used. For example, to turn on special processing for Excel, PowerPoint and Word documents, you need to use this code:

P2F.DefaultBatchProcessingOptions.UseAutomation = MSEXCEL or MSPOWERPOINT or MSWORD 

Here P2F refers to a Server object instance. The bit mask constants are defined by the APPLICATIONTYPE enumeration.

In order for special processing to work, the respective applications listed above must be installed on your computer with API support. If special processing is enabled by UseAutomation property but the corresponding application API cannot be found or launched, general processing method is used instead.

In addition to more robust programmatic conversion special processing method provides more document-specific options that can be used at conversion. These options are available in ExcelOptions and PowerPointOptions objects. These objects can be accessed using ExcelOptions and PowerPointOptions properties of BatchProcessingOptions object.

Note that special processing involving Adobe Acrobat Professional requires Print2Flash Printer to be a default printer in the system. You may ensure this by calling SetP2FPrinterAsDefault method of Server object before document conversion.

Normally document conversion involves launching of printing applications for each conversion and closing it after the conversion is completed. Special processing method may avoid this behavior. For example, if you convert a Word document, Print2Flash may launch MS Word application, use it for conversion of this document but not close the application after conversion is completed. When you convert another Word document later, this existing application instance is reused for conversion thus saving the time needed to launch and close the Microsoft Word application. Such behavior is controlled by the KeepAutomationAppRef property of BatchProcessingOptions object.