Automatically Combine PDF & TIFF Files

FolderMill offers different options to manage the process of combining documents into one PDF or TIFF. You can set the program to create multi-page documents automatically by monitoring Hot Folders: merge different file types into a single output file, combine PDFs or TIFFs, add new pages to an existing document, and more.

There are different ways to manage multi-page PDF files with FolderMill, plus we'll see how to insert new pages and split large files into single pages. All cases described here work for the TIFF format as well (Convert to Image > Image format: TIFF ).

Convert multiple files with the same name to a single PDF

By default, FolderMill's Append to existing PDF file option merges only files with the same filename. If you want to have different input files merged, use just one Action – Convert to PDF with enabled Append to existing PDF file option. In this case, input files can be in different or the same format. If you want to have a new file merged with an existing one, you need to rename it with the same filename in advance – manually or via other software.

Merge files with the same filename to a single PDF or TIFF

Step-by-step instruction:

  1. Create a new Hot Folder
  2. Add a new Convert to PDF Action
  3. Select Multipage: Append to existing PDF
  4. Click OK and Apply Changes
  5. Start FolderMill Processor by clicking the Start button
  6. Copy new files to the Incoming folder

Combine many files with different names to a multi-page PDF

If you have many different files with various names, you can set FolderMill to automatically merge them to one multi-page PDF document or TIFF image. In this case, it is necessary to set a common filename for all files first. So you'll need two Actions this time: Rename document and Convert to PDF (Append to existing PDF file).

Convert different filetypes into one PDF & rename with a predefined filename

Step-by-step instruction:

  1. Create a new Hot Folder
  2. Add a new Rename document Action
  3. Change {SrcFileName}.{SrcFileExt} to a definite filename value, e.g., Combined.{SrcFileExt}
  4. Add a new Convert to PDF Action
  5. Select Multipage: Append to existing PDF
  6. Click OK and Apply Changes
  7. Start FolderMill Processor by clicking the Start button
  8. Copy new files to the Incoming folder

Add date to converted files

If you want to add more information to the output filename, for example, date and time, you can make renaming more complicated using a regular expression (macro). You can find the regular expression icon {=} in Rename document Action parameters:  

Merge to a single PDF & rename with additional information

Note: when using the Rename document Action, it must go before Convert to PDF Action in order to take effect.

Merge to different multi-page PDF files using data from the original filename

If you want to arrange output PDFs by specific criteria, add a regular expression to the Rename document Action. Regular expressions can use data contained within names of source files, such as:

  • Digits from the beginning
  • Digits from the end
  • First 10 symbols
  • Symbols after dash

Moreover, you can use any regular expression (regexp) patterns that you know or use.

This can help you organize files by file name or part of a file name, e.g., an ID number, and match them together. For instance, you can set FolderMill to merge only files "Invoice-4444", "Contract-4444" and "Customer-4444"  from all the incoming files because they have a common ID 4444 after a dash.

Step-by-step instruction:

  1. Create a new Hot Folder
  2. Add a new Rename document Action
  3. Click the regular expression icon {=}
  4. Select the necessary regular expression, e.g., Regular expression of original file name > Take any symbols after dash
  5. Replace {SrcFileName}.{SrcFileExt} with, e.g., Order-{rexp(-(.*))}.{SrcFileExt}
  6. Add a new Convert to PDF Action
  7. Select Multipage: Append to existing PDF
  8. Click OK and Apply Changes
  9. Start FolderMill Processor by clicking the Start button
  10. Copy new files to the Incoming folder

Organize your files to multi-page PDF and rename files automatically

Save to multi-page PDF & arrange by subfolders

You can also create multi-page PDFs and automatically rename them using the name of the subfolder where new files arrive. It is an excellent option if you want to have your data sorted in folders by a specific parameter – a particular case, project, customer ID, time period, you name it.

Just create several subfolders in a Hot Folder and name them as you like. Then drop new files there, and FolderMill will create PDFs and rename them accordingly. This time you'll need a special macro, which will rename by subfolder name.

Step-by-step instruction:

  1. Create a new Hot Folder
  2. Add a new Rename document Action
  3. Paste a macro {SrcFilePath(1)}.{SrcFileExt}
  4. Add a new Convert to PDF Action
  5. Select Multipage: Append to existing PDF
  6. Click OK and Apply Changes
  7. Start FolderMill Processor by clicking the Start button
  8. Right-click the created Hot Folder > Browse folder
  9. Create a few subfolders and name them as you like
  10. Copy new files to the Incoming folder's subfolders

For the output files, you can keep the original subfolder structure or not. Optionally, you can disable keeping the same folder structure in the Output folder. This option will save the output files to the Output folder (not subfolders) To do it, press Ctrl + Alt + i to open advanced settings of the Convert to PDF Action (see step 4). Find there line RestoreSubfolders=1 and change to RestoreSubfolders=0.

Add new pages to the end or beginning of an existing document

You can append new files to multipage PDF or TIFF, and not only add new document pages to the end but also the beginning. To insert new pages in the beginning, use Convert to PDF > Insert before existing PDF file option. It will make sure that the latest file is always added to the beginning of a multi-page document. This can help you keep data updated within just a single PDF file – in direct or reverse order.

Q&A

How to split large PDF documents?

You can set FolderMill to extract pages from large documents. To automatically separate PDF or TIFF files into pages, select Multipage: Split into single pages when configuring the Convert to PDF or Convert to Image (for TIFF).

How to save to a multi-page PDF/A?

When converting to PDF, you can optionally select PDF/A format – it is an ISO standard version of the Portable Document Format. It is a good choice for long-term archiving of electronic data.

How to set a specific order in which new files are combined?

New files are added to the existing ones consecutively, by the time they are copied in the Hot Folder. Alternatively, you can configure FolderMill to sort and process them alphabetically, by checking their filenames (can be set up in the advanced settings). If you need a strict order or some specific options, please contact us, and we'll help.