FLIP2PDF is a simple command line utility for Windows and Linux 64-bit platforms that you can use to convert files into PDF documents. You can enter a FLIP2PDF command manually, or you can create a workflow with a FLIP2PDF command in a batch file that can generate hundreds or even thousands of PDF documents automatically. You could copy the source files to a server directory, start your FLIP2PDF batch process, let it run overnight, and find the PDF documents you need waiting for you in an output directory the next morning. Or you could use FLIP2PDF to set up a web-enabled process, allowing a user or customer to submit a file online and receive the PDF output immediately.

FLIP2PDF also provides a simple C language API for converting input files into PDF documents for both Windows and Linux platforms. The API includes a sample program you can use to experiment with the process.

You can use FLIP2PDF to turn Postscript files, graphic images, and Microsoft Office files into PDF documents. The process supports earlier versions of Microsoft Office as well as the more recent Office Open XML format:

  • PostScript and Encapsulated PostScript
  • Word documents, doc and docx
  • Excel spreadsheets, xls and xlsx
  • PowerPoint documents, ppt and pptx
  • TIFF, JPEG, BMP, and PNG graphic files

You can purchase, download, and install FLIP2PDF from the Datalogics eCommerce site, and an evaluation version of the software is also available for you to try out for 14 days free. You can start working with FLIP2PDF immediately after you install it. You don’t need any programming or engineering background to use this utility.

Some notes on installing and running FLIP2PDF

If you purchase the Linux version of the product, please make sure that you install the following before you install FLIP2PDF:

  • the Java Runtime Environment (JRE)
  • the libcanberra-gtk-module library
  • the libXinerama library

If you install FLIP2PDF on a machine that also has LibreOffice installed, do not attempt to run both at the same time using the same user account. FLIP2PDF and LibreOffice may be run on the same machine simultaneously via separate user accounts, or they may be run with the same account at separate times.

The Windows installation program for FLIP2PDF adds the location of the FLIP2PDF executable to the PATH in the Windows Environment Variables, so you can run “flip2pdf.exe” from anywhere.  For Linux, if you want to run the executable from anywhere, you need to manually add the location of the FLIP2PDF executable to the PATH variable.

When you first evaluate or purchase FLIP2PDF, you will receive an activation key, and you will be prompted to enter this key when you install the software. In response the system generates a license file for you (flip2pdf_pro.lic or flip2pdf_premium.lic) and stores it in the software installation directory.

If you later receive a new activation key for FLIP2PDF, you will need to enter it as you did your original activation key when you first installed the product. Delete the license file from the installation directory and then run the executable, flip2pdf.exe. You will be prompted to enter the activation key. Type or paste the key value as you did before. The system will create a new license file for you, and you can continue to use the product.

Note that if you don’t enter the activation key value when you first install the product, or enter it incorrectly, you will be prompted to enter the value again the next time you run FLIP2PDF. But if you enter the key later, the system will create the license file in the working directory where FLIP2PDF.exe is run. In that event you will need to move the license file from the working directory to the installation directory.

Working with Fonts

By default FLIP2PDF automatically embeds in output PDF documents any fonts used to create those documents. This is considered a best practice for creating PDF files. With the fonts embedded in a PDF file, that file will always look the same wherever it is opened, because the viewer tool (such as Adobe Reader) does not need to look for a font on the local machine. But to generate the PDF document with the embedded font using FLIP2PDF, the software must be able to find it.

Any font used in a PDF document generated by FLIP2PDF must be installed on the machine running FLIP2PDF. Otherwise FLIP2PDF will look for an alternate font file that can be applied to the PDF document as a substitute. If you are using a standard font, like Times New Roman in English, the font is probably on the machine already, installed with the Windows operating system or with Microsoft Office. But you may need to manually install a specialized font on the machine, such as a font with Arabic, Mandarin, or Korean characters, if you seek to use FLIP2PDF to create a PDF document based on a source file using those characters.

Keep in mind that you might create a Word document with Arabic characters on one machine and then transfer that file to another for processing with FLIP2PDF. For example, you might edit a document with Arabic characters in Word and then copy it to a directory on a network server, so that it can be included in an automatic overnight batch process to convert the files in that directory to PDF documents using FLIP2PDF. If that Arabic font is not installed on the server running FLIP2PDF, the Arabic characters will not appear in the PDF output document.

It is also possible to embed a specialized font in a Microsoft Office source document, such as a Word file. Then FLIP2PDF can find the font in the source file itself, rather than on the machine.