Save As PDF is being released out of beta (for Outlook 2013 that is, it’s been available for Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010 for several years now). The Safe As PDF Outlook add-in converts email to PDF without the need of a PDF print driver. It first converts the email, then its attachments – including Word docx files, Excel xlsx and csv files, Powerpoint pptx files, GIFs, JPGs, TIF, BMP, PNG, TXT, XML, and even ZIP files (a complete list of all the file types that can be converted into PDF is below). If there are attachments that are themselves emails, it converts those emails into PDF, then works on the attachments of those embedded emails.
Also three new features have been added. The first feature is the ability to always include the attachments in PDF raw format. PDF raw format means that any attachments show up as a paperclip at the bottom of the PDF file, and can be clicked on to open them. To make room for these features, there is a new Exceptions tab where all the decisions about what to do with an email that has an attachment that cannot convert to PDF format are made. In previous versions, the ability to include the attachments in raw format was there but it only became active if the add-in could not convert (we’re talking about say, an AutoCAD® drawing, or some other proprietary formats). When that happened, the email attachment showed up as a paperclip at the bottom of the PDF and could be clicked on, just like in the email itself. Some customers requested this ability to always save the attachments in this way rather than transcribe the attachment into the PDF.
The second feature added is the ability to add the mailbox owner name at the top of the PDF. Much less glamorous than the first feature, it makes the converted PDF look exactly like Outlook. This is important because many law firms and especially paralegals use the add-in to create evidence and legal documentation for their bosses – and its essential that it look exactly like it was produced painstakingly email by email.
The third feature added has to do with where the PDFs are saved. In the past, if the mimic Outlook folder structure option was on, then the folder path included the mailbox of the user (this is only if you were using an Exchange Server). However, if the add-in was in a corporate environment and several people were writing the PDFs to a shared Windows folder, that could not be done because the mailbox owner name became part of the path. With this new feature, that can be turned off so that multiple people can write to the exact same Windows folder (to keep all correspondence from all team members in the same folder).
All of these new features were driven by user request, and come from real world problems.
Complete list of file types that can be converted into PDF:
Word Documents: .docx, .doc, .rtf
Excel Spreadsheets: .xlsx, .xls, .csv
Powerpoint Presentations: .pptx, .ppt
Images: .jpg, .jpeg, .gif, .tif, .tiff, .png, .bmp, .fax, .emf, .psd, .pcd, .pcx, .pnm, .tga, .tla, .wbmp, .wmf
PDF files: .pdf
Text: .txt, .xml, .html
Emails: .msg, .eml
Zip Files: .zip
All other file types appended as “raw” attachments