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We are looking for a way of merging all the documents in a Document Set into a single .pdf file.

Within our SharePoint 2010 website, we have created a custom Document Set content type with certain metadata associated with it. The Document Set can contain any type of files (Word Documents, Excel Documents, PDFs, images, AutoCAD files and other formats). All the files within the Document Set will have a group type associated with them (stored as an additional property/column). For this purpose, our Document Set will only allow three group types. To make it easier to follow, let's say that any file can be of Group Type A, B or C. There will be only one file of Group Type A, one file of Group Type B and all the other files will be of Group Type C.

What we need to do is create a compiled report from all the files within the Document Set. All the documents that are printable to PDF should be merged into a single PDF with the following structure:

  • The Group Type A file first (it will be either a PDF or Word Document)
  • The Group Type B file next (it will be a PDF, Word Document or image)
  • The Group Type C printable files in any order

Using iTextSharp, we have created a small class that is able to access the files and merge all the PDFs from a particular Document Set into a single PDF. The problem is that we need the other documents that can be converted to PDF to be included in the report. iTextSharp can only read data from PDFs and write it to a new PDF. Is there a way of converting all those documents to PDF on the run and then use the temporary PDFs to merge them into the final PDF? Or (even better) print those documents straight into a single PDF file?

We have found a software that can do the job, but the problem is that it is very expensive and it does a lot more than we actually require.

Any idea or suggestion will be highly appreciated. If you need any further information, please feel free to ask.

Thank you very much for your time!

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1 Answer 1

There is some software out there that can help you out. It is commercial, although I don't consider it expensive, but that is in the eye of the beholder naturally.

It is compatible with SharePoint 2010, supports work flows and can even be programmed against via a Web Services interface. It is robust and reliable as well.

I have worked on this product so the usual disclaimer applies.

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Muhimbi, Thank you for your quick reply. Your solution sounds good, but I would like to ask you a couple of questions: - Can it actually merge the files together or just convert them to PDF? - Based on information from your website, it can only convert Office documents to PDF and our website requires more file formats (images/AutoCAD etc.). Can it deal with those? - I wanted to test the trial version, but it has the compatibility issue with Microsoft Office 2010 x64. I cannot install a different version of Office as the website is already using the x64 one. Thank you for your time! –  user1495 Sep 22 '10 at 9:11
    
Auto merging of files is currently only enabled for InfoPath forms with attachments. Most major images types are included in the new beta, which is available on request. x64 systems are supported but the 64 bit version of Office works differently. You can install the converter on a separate server if you wish, it is a highly scalable solution. Some of the new beta functionality is described in the following series of posts: blog.muhimbi.com/search/label/Beta. Feel free to contact us using the 'contact us' link on the top of our wbeiste, we are very responsive and keen to help. –  Muhimbi Sep 22 '10 at 12:13
    
Merging is fully supported from GUI as well as of the most recent release - blog.muhimbi.com/2011/05/… –  Muhimbi Jun 20 '11 at 11:57

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