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Friday, August 30, 2013

Understanding The Email To PDF Conversion Capabilities In Pst Viewer Pro

Your boss is stressed out.  He needs to get ten thousand emails converted into .pdf files and then send them over to his attorney before the end of the day. It is now 1 pm. This task has landed on your desk, even though it's been sitting on his desk for a week now.   You search the internet for "convert email to PDF" and discover some free "PDF virtual printer" software. It installs and seems to work ok, but your project is progressing too slowly as you print emails one by one. At this pace you'll easily miss your deadline. 

And what about those email file attachments?  The PDF print driver you installed is ignoring the file attachments.  Oh, well. Your bosses' attorney probably wont' even notice that the file attachments from these important emails are missing. How important could email file attachments possibly be to the context of the email message, anyway? Nobody really reads email file attachments, do they?  I mean, a short email message such as, "The sales reports for the last year are attached below," just sort of says it all. Who needs the actual sales report to understand the message?

As your deadline looms, it's becoming clear that what you need is a piece of software that can batch process emails into PDF files, while handling different requirements for converting the file attachments.

Pst Viewer Pro was built for people who are faced with a scenario like this.  This Windows desktop software can read Outlook .pst and .ost files, which can each contain thousands email messages. In addition, it can read directories containing thousands of individual email messages stored as Outlook .msg files, or as .eml files, and display them in an organized, searchable list.

This article will look at the different email-to-pdf conversion capabilities of Pst Viewer Pro and explain how to perform a conversion action.

Using Pst Viewer Pro

We invite you to download a 15 day free trial of Pst Viewer Pro and follow along with this article.  Just click the box on the right-side of this web page. The trial is fully functional. The only trial limitations are that exports are limited to 50 messages in a batch, and PDF files are watermarked. After purchasing and applying a registration key, these limitations are removed.

When you start Pst Viewer Pro, you will see a screen similar to the one below. The first step is to use the Explorer-style navigation on the left-side of the screen to locate your .pst or .ost file, or the folder containing your .eml/.msg email files. 

The Pst Viewer Pro Interface
Once the file or folder is selected, Pst Viewer Pro will parse the emails and display them in the mail list.  You can use Pst Viewer Pro's search function to discover the messages that you want to export to PDF.  You can export single, individual messages, or select multiple messages for export.

To select an individual email message, just click on it.  Hold down the Windows Control key to select multiple email messages.   You can select a range of messages by holding down the shift key.  Or to select all of the emails in your list, type Control-A.

Only selected messages can be exported. You can select any number of emails. The image below shows the Pst Viewer Pro mail list with individual emails highlighted.

The Pst Viewer Pro mail list with highlighted email messages.
 Selected eMail messages are highlighted

After selecting some email messages, you're ready to begin an export operation.  There are many different target formats to choose from. In addition to PDF, you can export to png, tif, gif, bmp, csv, mbox, text, html, mhtml, and other formats.

Since today we're focused on exporting to PDF format, let's locate the main toolbar in Pst Viewer Pro, and select "PDF-attachments embedded."

Select the email export target format from the list.
Now that we have selected our emails, and selected the target format, the final step is to simply begin the export operation by clicking the Start button, and to choose the location where we want the PDF files to be stored.
Click the start button to begin exporting email to .pdf

 Choosing the correct PDF format for your emails

In the opening scenario of this article, we discussed using a common PDF print driver for converting email into PDF files.  Although PDF print drivers work wonderfully for converting a few emails to PDF, they tend to be lacking when it comes to exporting thousands of emails, and seldom is there any ability to manage email file attachments.

Pst Viewer Pro has many different PDF export profiles to choose from, and you can even create your own profiles to accomplish specific tasks.  Let's discuss the different PDF export profiles that accompany Pst Viewer Pro out of the box.

Pst Viewer Pro supports different PDF export modes

PDF - attachments embedded

Selecting this mode will cause Pst Viewer Pro to create a PDF file that contains embedded copies of the file attachments inside of the PDF file. This means that the email file attachments are placed inside the PDF, and can be extracted from the PDF later. This is a convenient mode if you think that you may want to be able to extract and edit the document at a future date. Embedding the email attachments within the PDF preserves the original contextual relationship between the email and the file.

PDF - attachments converted/included

Attachments converted/included will convert the email message to PDF, and then attempt to process email file attachments into PDF format as well, placing them directly below the email message. Pst Viewer Pro can convert many different raster image files, text, html and other files. If Microsoft Office 2007 or later is installed, it can also convert Office document attachments such as Word, Excel, and Powerpoint.   File types that are unable to be converted are embedded within the PDF to preserve the context.

PDF - attachments saved to disk

This mode causes Pst Viewer Pro to create a Pdf file that contains the email message.  File attachments are extracted to a location that you specify.

PDF/A (ISO 19005-1)

Pst Viewer Pro supports the PDF/A standard to long term preservation of email messages.  It's often used by libraries and archivists to preserve electronic material. PDF files created under this export profile will have the fonts embedded within the PDF so that the message may be accurately rendered later.

Single PDF - attachments embedded

Pst Viewer Pro can export multiple emails into a single PDF file.  Single-PDF operations may result in very large PDF files!  No size limitation has been placed on Pst Viewer Pro, so before using this mode to export 10,000 emails to a single PDF file, be sure that your file system and hard drive can handle the resulting huge PDF files. It's not recommended for Windows XP, 32-bit operating systems and FAT file systems.

Single PDF - attachments saved to disk

This operation causes Pst Viewer Pro to export all selected email messages into a single PDF file. File attachments are copied to a folder location you specify, but are not included within the PDF.
Single PDF - attachments converted/included


We hope you've found this tutorial useful, and that Pst Viewer Pro will save you a lot of time and effort when it comes to managing your email content.  For more information, visit the Pst Viewer Pro home page for more tips, or to purchase the software.

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