Automator

The ConvertAPI Automator is a batch document converter software for Windows, macOS, and Linux for converting various files from one format to another.

Automate file conversion on your desktop or server

The ConvertAPI Automator is a tool for converting from one file format to another (e.g. docx -> pdf). Using is as simple as copying files to input directory and getting results from output directory. Supports creating PDF and Images from various sources like Word, Excel, Powerpoint, images, web pages or raw HTML codes. Merge, Encrypt, Split, Repair and Decrypt PDF files are also supported as well as many other file manipulations. You can setup and start converting files in less than a minute .

The ConvertAPI Automator is using an online Convert API service that is processing all the conversions (get your free secret at https://www.convertapi.com/a). Files are sent using the secure https protocol to convertapi.com and are converted in the cloud. Once finished the result is sent back to your computer. Files can also be supplied in the zip archive, automator will unzip it for you automatically.

Installation

Download compressed executable

(this utility can also be built from the source code for many other CPU and OS)

Unzip executable

unzip convertapi-automator_*.zip

And you are done. Optionally you can move the executable file to a more appropriate place and make the utility accessible for all local users. On Linux it would be:

sudo mv convertapi-automator /usr/local/bin

Docker

Run docker image:

docker run -e "CONVERTAPI_SECRET=YOUR_SECRET_HERE" -v /tmp/caa:/var/lib/caa baltsoftcorp/convertapi-automator --watch --dir=/var/lib/caa
  • <YOUR_SECRET_HERE> replace with your secret. If you sing-in the secret will be replaced automatically.
  • /tmp/caa replace with your local input directory path

Windows service

convertapi-automator_win.zip should contain Windows service installation script register-win-service.bat. To run convertapi-automator as a Windows service follow these steps:

  • Edit register-win-service.bat and replace <SECRET> with your convertapi.com secret.
  • Set --dir= parameter to your input directory (parameter can be used multiple times).
  • Run register-win-service.bat as administrator.

Usage

Before you start

In order to be able to use this utility you must create your free trial account on https://www.convertapi.com site.
After the sign up process you will get your secret key at https://www.convertapi.com/a . Secret must be supplied as a command line argument.

Simple conversion

Short usage example demonstrating how to convert DOCX file to PDF. Prepare input directory before conversion (MS Windows):

  • Create input directory where you will copy files for conversion (e.g. C:\path\to\convertdir).
  • Copy docx file to the input directory.
  • Create a subfolder pdf inside the input directory.

IMPORTANT READ CAREFULLY!!! All files that are located inside the input directory will be DELETED during the conversion. Make sure that the input directory contains no other files but a copy of your original document.

convertapi-automator.exe --secret=YOUR_SECRET_HERE --dir=C:\path\to\convertdir 

After the program is finished you will find your pdf file inside C:\path\to\convertdir\pdf

Command line arguments

--secret

Your convertapi.com secret. If not set CONVERTAPI_SECRET environment variable will be used. It can be obtained from https://www.convertapi.com/a for free.

Example:

--secret=YOUR_SECRET_HERE

--dir

Input directory with output directories structure inside. This parameter can be set multiple times to have multiple input directories.

IMPORTANT READ CAREFULLY!!! All files that are located inside the input directory will be DELETED during the conversion.

Example:

--dir=/path/to/inputdir --dir=/other/inputdir

--level

Argument --dir may be used for the directory that has subdirectories as input directories. --level defines the level of subdirectories that should be treated as input directories. Default value is 0 (--dir is the direct input directory).

Example:

--dir=/conversions --level=2

Then the directory structure could be:

/conversions
    ├ user1
    │   └ topdf
    │       └ pdf
    └ user2
        └ tojpg
            └ jpg

As level is set to 2, /conversions/user1/topdf and /conversions/user2/tojpg is going to be treated as input directories. More subdirectories can be added inside /conversions without convertapi-automator service restart. This structure is convenient for a multiuser environment. /conversions/user1 and /conversions/user2 can be shared with read write permissions on the local network. This way users can add more conversion input directories by themselves.

--watch

Run convertapi-automator in input directories watching mode. All files that are placed inside the input directories will be converted and deleted.

If convertapi-automator is used as an integrated part of other software, STDOUT can be read to get a converted file’s full path.

Example:

--watch

--concurrency

Defines how many file conversions can run at once. Value too high can cause failing conversions. The default value is 10.

Example:

--concurrency=15

Configuration files

Each output directory can contain config.txt file with the conversion parameters used during the conversion. Each parameter is declared in a new line separating parameter name and value using = sign.

Example:

/my/conversions
    ├ encrypt
    │   └ config.txt
    └ jpg

config.txt

PdfOwnerPasswordNew=mysecretpass1
PdfUserPasswordNew=mysecretpass2
EncryptType=AES256ISO

Parameters are specific to conversion type. Parameters with the description can be found on convertapi.com site.

There are built in parameters that are used just by convertapi-automator:

  • JoinFiles - wait for all files from the parent directory and use them in one conversion (must be used with merge conversion). Default: JoinFiles=false
  • SaveIntermediate - if conversions are chained but intermediate results are also needed set this parameter to true. Default: SaveIntermediate=false

Examples

DOCX to PDF and JPG

docx files copied to /my/conversions will be converted to pdf and jpg formats. All files that are located inside the input directory will be DELETED during the conversion.

Directory structure:

/my/conversions
    ├ pdf
    └ jpg

Command:

convertapi-automator --secret=YOUR_SECRET_HERE --dir=/my/conversions 

PPT to PNG and TIFF in "watcher" mode

ppt files copied to /my/conversions will be converted to png and tiff file formats. All files that are located inside the input directory will be DELETED during the conversion.

Directory structure:

/my/conversions
    ├ png
    └ tiff

Command:

convertapi-automator --secret=YOUR_SECRET_HERE --dir=/my/conversions --watch 

Multiple input directories example

Multiple input directories are useful for having many different conversion scenarios. convertapi-automator can run on a server watching multiple input directories assigned (shared) to separate users. This way you only need one running instance of the tool to automate all your organisation. All files that are located inside the input directories will be DELETED during the conversion.

Directory structure:

/user1/imgconv
    ├ png
    └ tiff

/user1/splitpdf
    └ split

/user2/topdf
    └ pdf

/user3/totext
    └ txt

Command:

convertapi-automator --secret=YOUR_SECRET_HERE --dir=/user1/imgconv --dir=/user1/splitpdf --dir=/user2/topdf --dir=/user3/totext --watch 

Conversion chaining

Sometimes one conversion is not enough and several conversions must be applied to a single file. Conversion chaining solves this problem with ease. Create subdirectories inside your output directories named by further conversion format. Directory structure for converting docx to pdf and compressing pdfs to make them smaller (docx -> pdf -> compress). All files that are located inside the input directories will be DELETED during the conversion.

/convert/topdf
    └ pdf
        └ compress

Command:

convertapi-automator --secret=YOUR_SECRET_HERE --dir=/convert/topdf --watch 

Output directories can contain multiple subdirectories. The results will then be converted into each of them. There is no limitation on conversion chain length, so any number of directories can be nested.

Chaining and configuration

This example illustrates hypothetical conversion docx -> pdf -> merge -> rotate. Converted files are stored inside the merge directory before rotation and rotated versions of the files will be stored in the rotate directory.

/conversion/splitandrotate
    └ pdf
        └ merge
            ├ config.txt
            └ rotate   
                └ config.txt

/conversion/splitandrotate/pdf/merge/config.txt

JoinFiles=true
SaveIntermediate=true

/conversion/splitandrotate/pdf/merge/rotate/config.txt

RotatePage=180

Command:

convertapi-automator --secret=YOUR_SECRET_HERE --dir=/conversion/splitandrotate --watch 

When running in --watch mode and merging files, input files must be provided in the zip archive. The archive provides information to the automator that all files inside the zip must be merged.

Issues & Comments

Please leave all comments, bugs, requests, and issues on the Issues page. We'll respond to your request ASAP!

License

The ConvertAPI Automator is licensed under the MIT license. Refer to the LICENSE file for more information.

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