FolderMill Tips & Tricks

FolderMill can really optimize your document management and paper-based workflows. If you often use FolderMill to convert or print PDF, Word, Excel or other documents, or perform other document-related tasks, this guide can help you work faster and make things easier. Here are some FolderMill features you might not know about.

This article describes FolderMill 4.9. If you're using FolderMill 5.0 or a newer version, some features described here may require a different configuration.

Add original file extension to the output file name with FolderMill

Add original file extension to the output file name

Q: How to add original extension to file name of an output file?

Is it possible to set up file processing in the following pattern: the incoming file changes the file name to [original name with extension].pdf after conversion? For example, if a text file "Document.txt" is placed into a Hot Folder, the output file should be titled "Document.txt.pdf".

A: Please use the Rename document Action and set the new filename there using this macro:


Add original file extension to the output file name

Afterwards add Convert to PDF Action in the same Action Set. Thus, your files will be renamed as [original name].[original extension] and then converted to PDF. The output file will be titled as "Document.txt.pdf".

Send pages of the same document to different printer trays with FolderMill

Send different pages of the same document to different printer trays

Q: Is it possible to distribute different page ranges of a document to different printer trays?

We work with DOCX documents. We need to have the first page of each document printed on Tray 1, and the rest of the pages - on Tray 2. Is it possible that FolderMill can use these printer settings?

A: Just create two consecutive Print document Actions in one Hot Folder:

Two consecutive print actions in FolderMill
Print page range:
Print first page to one tray with FolderMill
Print page range: 2-9999Print the rest of the pages to another tray with FolderMill

Set page range = 1 and for one Action and page range = 2-9999 for another one. For each Print document Action select the corresponding tray and make other printer settings, if necessary. Therefore, the first Print document Action will print only the first page of a document, and the second Print document Action will print the rest of the pages starting from the second page.

Adjust printer clustering and load balancing with FolderMill

Adjust printer clustering & load balancing

Q: How to evenly spread load on multiple printers when printing large volumes of documents?

We routinely print shipping orders which consist of 1000+ one-page documents as a single print job (in PDF format). Can FolderMill distribute printing them across multiple printers in order to speed up the time of the job? We do not care about the order of the pages, but timing is essential.

A: If you print separate multiple documents, which should be evenly distributed among several printers, you can create three Hot Folders with Print document Actions assigned. Place more or less equal batches of documents into each Hot Folder. E.g. if you have 1000 documents - place 350 into the first Hot Folder, 350 to the second one, and 300 to the third Hot Folder.

If you print massive multipage documents, there's another simple solution: create a Hot Folder and add Print document Action for each available printer (or printer tray) you have and set a certain approximate page range for each Action. E.g. if you have 3 printers and a 1000-page PDF to be printed, create 3 Print document Actions:

ActionPrinterPage range
First Print document ActionPrinter 11-350
Second Print document ActionPrinter 2351-700
Third Print document ActionPrinter 3701-9999

If the documents are different and have many pages (e.g. up to 1000), you can set several smaller page ranges for each printer to balance them even better. So, for this case you can set:

ActionPrinterPage range
First Print document ActionPrinter 11-150,451-600
Second Print document ActionPrinter 2151-300,601-750
Third Print document ActionPrinter 3301-450,751-9999

Set up a secondary failover printer with FolderMill

Set up a secondary Failover & Disaster Recovery printer

Q: Is it possible to set up a secondary "failover" printer for each Hot Folder which can be quickly switched to in the event when the primary printer is failing?

It doesn't have to be automatic, but having pre-set printer configuration values would really save time during peak trading periods. Switching to another printer would let us quickly resume printing processes and continue production.

A: Here's a solution: you can create two Print document Actions - a primary and a secondary one. Configure necessary print settings for the primary Action and do the following for the secondary Action:

  1. Add Filter by Filename Action
  2. Keep filename mask *.* and select "Exclude files by mask" option, which will ignore processing any files within this Action Set:
    Filter files by file name Action parameters in FolderMill

  3. Add another Print document Action as a second Action and select a different "failover" printer
  4. Apply changes

Now, during a busy season, you can switch to secondary Action Set and let it print your files by deleting the "*.*" Filter by Filename Action, and FolderMill will resume its work using the secondary printer:

Filter files by file name Action parameters in FolderMill

Print documents of a specific page format with FolderMill

Print or convert documents of a specific paper size (page format) only

Q: How to print documents of specific page formats (e.g. A0-A2 and A4) only?

We have a Hot Folder configured to perform different tasks, and we would like to set up printing documents only of A0, A1, A2 and A4 format, and exclude all other files from processing. Is it possible to make such a filter in FolderMill?

A: Yes, you can configure FolderMill, so that it prints or converts documents of a certain page size or format. Create a new Hot Folder, then create a new Action Set, and add Filter by Paper Size Action in the beginning of an Action Set. You can set custom page dimensions or a popular file format and use operators, such as <, > or = to specify a range for including or excluding particular documents. Afterwards, add another Action, e.g. "Convert to PDF" or "Print Document" as a following Action.

Print documents of a specific page format with FolderMill

Filter files by paper size in FolderMill

Flexible numbering of output files

Q: How to add leading zeros to the beginning of a filename?

We split PDF files into separate pages and need to sort them by name after conversion. Is there a way to modify the way these pages are enumerated?

A: You can adjust page numbering for output file pages and add leading zeros to them. By default, files are numerated like this: Document 01, Document 02, … Document 10.

Open additional menu in 'Convert to Image'  by pressing Ctrl+Alt+i. In the appeared menu find line PageFrm="%0*d". Value "%0*d" is set by default and enumerates document pages according to actual file number of pages. Change it to: PageFrm="%0xd", where х = the desired amount of number positions for the counting number, for instance, PageFrm="%03d" – value "3" will set 3 digit positions to the end of the file pages of the output document, and the file names will have the following pattern: Document-001, Document-002, … Document-010 … Document-100 ...

If you set this line to PageFrm="%d", it will exclude leading zeros and additional digit positions for the the file pages of the output document, and they will have the following pattern: Document-1 Document-2 … Document-10 … Document-100 …

Please note that this works for FolderMill version 4.9 only. Contact us if you need an instruction for version 5.0 or newer.

Quickly send files to a Hot Folder with FolderMill

How to quickly send files to a Hot Folder

Q: Is there a way to add new files immediately to a Hot Folder?

A: You can make adding new files to a Hot Folder easier by using the following tips:

  • Drag'n'drop your files into Hot Folder's Incoming folder instead of using copy & paste tools
  • Create a shortcut to Hot Folder's Incoming folder and pin it to desktop or Windows task bar (or anywhere else)
  • Instantly send files to a Hot Folder via right-click context menu

In order to instantly send files to a Hot Folder, simply select them and right-click. You will see a line "Process with FolderMill" and can choose an existing Hot Folder to send your files to. Just make sure that you have "Add to Windows explorer context menu" checked on FolderMill installation. If you missed it - just reinstall the program. No worries! Your Hot Folders and previously made settings will be kept safe.

Process files with FolderMill

Insert pages to existing PDF with FolderMill

Merge PDF or TIFF files

Q: Is there a way to add pages to the beginning or end of an existing PDF and TIFF?

Sometimes we need to merge our files: insert pages to the beginning of multipage PDFs and append new files to our existing TIFF images. Can you do it with FolderMill?

A: You can combine multipage PDF as well as TIFF files with FolderMill. You can append or prepend new pages to existing files - add them to the end of a document or to the beginning. In order to insert pages before an existing PDF, add new Convert to PDF Action and select Append to existing PDF file or Insert before existing PDF file in the dropdown menu:

Insert pages before existing PDF file with FolderMill

You can do the same when converting to TIFF format - just select Append to existing TIFF file or Insert before existing TIFF file in the Convert to Image Action parameters.

Auto print or convert files shared in a Google Drive folder

Q: How to print files placed to a Hot Folder via the Internet? Can I print remotely?

We need to print to a printer or send documents to a printing machine in another office. Is it possible to set up remote printing with FolderMill?

A: FolderMill is based on Hot Folders, and you can quickly set up remote printing over the Internet. Share a folder online using a cloud service such as Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive or Dropbox. Then just copy new files to a shared folder, and instantly get files printed or converted on a remote printer or workstation. Using our detailed guide in the Solutions section, you can print or convert your files from any device — a PC, a laptop, a tablet or a smartphone.

Create multi-page PDF & rename by incoming subfolder name

Сreate multi-page PDF & rename by incoming subfolder name

Q: Can FolderMill merge all TIFF files in a subfolder to a multi-page PDF file and name the PDF by the subfolder name?

In other words, is it possible to configure automated conversion so that the merged PDF file adopts the name of the input folder?

A: FolderMill has different options to automatically combine multipage files. One of the ways is appending all files to the one multipage file using subfolder name. To create multi-page PDF or TIFF arranged by subfolders (each file in a separate folder with the same name as the file), use two Actions: Rename document Action with a special macro + Convert to PDF with Append to existing PDF file option. This way you can create sets of documents or add new data to existing documents.

Set stapling and other print options for different groups of documents

Set stapling and other finishing options for different documents

Q: We have an issue where a document needs to be printed multiple times in different formats: single-sided, double-sided, single-sided stapled and double-sided stapled. Is it possible to direct them automatically using predefined settings?

A: If you have a printing device with document finishing options such as stapling, you can control these settings too when using FolderMill. You'll usually find the finishing options in your Printer Properties menu. E.g., if you want to staple output sheets, enable this setting from Print document Action > Select printer > Settings. To set unique print settings for each group of documents, create two or more parallel Print Document Actions with stapling set to "none", or "one staple", "two staples", etc. Although such options cannot be set directly in FolderMill (except for collation), FolderMill can save your print driver settings in each Action and route documents via filters and/or different Action Sets.

Set file processing priority within a Hot Folder

Set file processing priority within a Hot Folder

Q: We add multiple documents to several Hot Folders during the day and start FolderMill to automatically convert and print them to different printers. But they often get mixed when being printed. Can we configure the program to process all files from a Hot Folder before going to the next one?

A: Besides the ability to set priority to Hot Folders (High, Normal, Low), you can specify the order in which files are to be processed on each Hot Folder level. You can optionally make FolderMill process all or a certain number of files in a Hot Folder first (before picking files from another Hot Folder). To change it, follow these steps:

  1. Open FolderMill Control Panel
  2. Double-click a Hot Folder
  3. Open Hot Folder rule settings by pressing Ctrl + Alt + R
  4. Find line FilesProcessedPerCycle and change it accordingly:
Hot Folder settings lineEffect
(by default)
Processes all files successively (file by file from all Hot Folders)
FilesProcessedPerCycle=-1Processes all files from current Hot Folder before addressing to another one
FilesProcessedPerCycle=xProcesses a specified number of files from current Hot Folder (e.g., FilesProcessedPerCycle=10)

If you don't see this line, go to Hot Folders and open general settings by pressing Ctrl + Alt + G. Find line SimpleInterface=1 and change it to SimpleInterface=0. Then FilesProcessedPerCycle will be available in each Hot Folder settings.

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