By Deane Barker on July 24, 2003

I’ve been playing around with PDFMoto for a few days now, and I’ve found it to be a really well-done program. It allows you to auto-publish an entire directory of documents as PDFs in a remote location.

You dump a bunch of documents in a local folder, and it monitors that folder every X minutes. When it finds something new, it converts it to PDF (you just need to have the document’s application software installed), and then puts it wherever you tell it to, via file copy or FTP. Along the way, it catalogs all the documents and creates index pages in ASP, PHP, or JSP.

PDFMoto maintains the folder structure, and can be configured a million different ways: you can tell it what file extensions to ignore, what to convert, and what to just copy over verbatim (meaning you could easily use it as a general file library management tool).

You can set up multiple document libraries, and tell it what meta information to include in the PDF properties and display on the index pages it writes. You can pick an index file template from a library, or you can write your own. And in addtion to the index file, PDFMoto writes out an XML file with the complete contents of the document library, including all meta — given this, you can do about anything with it.

Great tool. Check out the Flash demos. It’s well thought-out, and free for up to 100 documents. (Sadly, after the first 100 documents, price scales up in a hurry: $495 for 500 documents, $995 for 1,000 documents, etc.)

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