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Command Line Syntax and Examples

The 2PDF Command Line Syntax and Examples page shows the conversion settings that you can specify to adjust your file conversion with 2PDF. The command line syntax parameters determine how files are converted as well as the structure and features of resultant PDF documents. 

Quick start

  1. Press Win+R on your keyboard, type cmd and click OK to open the Command Prompt (CMD).
    Quick start
  2. To call 2PDF, type in 2PDF.exe and press Enter. You can get an entire list of available operations and options by using this command line:

    2PDF.exe

  3. The command lines have arguments with values, which are typed after the command itself. In general, the basic syntax is as follows:

    2PDF.exe -src "C:\In\*.*" -dst "C:\Out"

    • -src should be followed by the source folder path with files to be converted or path to input file; 
    • Asterisk (star, *) is a wildcard character which stands for any string of characters (or no characters at all). *.* stands for any filename – point – any file extension;
    • -dst should be followed by the destination folder path for output files;
    • When specifying the source folder path (or source file) and destination path (output folder) – enclose them in double quotation marks. Example: -src "C:\Incoming files\For conversion\Invoice.docx".
  4. Press Enter to execute the command.

Command line structure

The basic command line structure sets the source for files and the destination path. After them you can add optional parameters for output PDF files such as file structure, handling attachments, page autorotation, and more. 

2PDF command line structure looks like:

2PDF.exe -<switch1> [param1:value paramN:value] -<switchN> [parameters]

2PDF command line structure

Switches

Use switches -src and -dst to set source for input files and output destination for converted files. You can also: 

SwitchDescription
-srcSets a location of files that should be converted.
Type of sourceExample
Folder path-src "C:\In\*.*"
Path to a file-src "C:\In\Document.docx"
Path to a list of file destinations-src "@C:\Files\list.txt"
Web address (URL)https://www.website.com
  • Folder path must contain a search mask (to allow processing any files use *.*);
  • If you have a list of files to convert, it should be saved as a text file. To set a list of files as a source, use @ before the file path. Example: 2PDF.exe -src "@C:\In\List.txt" -dst "C:\Output"
  • When setting the source folder path (or source file path) – don't forget to enclose them in double quotation marks. Example: 2PDF.exe -src "C:\In\Invoice.docx";
  • When using a web address (URL) as a source, you can add user and password if they are required to access the website.
-dstSets the destination folder for the output PDF file(s). Example: -dst "C:\Output"
-optionsSets up file processing and common 2PDF options.  
-pdfSets PDF format options, such as multipage or OCR. 
-oper autorotateSets landscape or portrait orientation for output files. 
-oper rotateRotates document pages at a specific angle. 
-oper textwatermarkAdds a text watermark to document pages. 
-oper watermarkAdds an image watermark to document pages. 
-postprocPerforms additional post-processing actions: copy, move, or delete source or output files
-aboutShows license key and software version. Example: 2PDF.exe -about
cmdlineAllows to run the 2PDF command from a TXT file. Example: 2PDF.exe -cmdline "C:\Scripts\Command.txt"

Common options (-options)

General file conversion options are controlled by the -options switch. Values that are marked bold below are set by default.

-options

ParameterDescriptionValue
(values in bold are set by default)
pages: Set page range.
Example: -options pages:1,3,5-12
all 
scansf:Convert files within subfolders too (if you specify a folder as a source)yes, no
keepsf:Keep the same subfolder structure as in the input folder (if you specify a folder as a source)yes, no
mswildc:

Enable/disable Microsoft DOS/Win32 wildcard matching algorithm. This algorithm is a bit different from the "expected" behavior, since some wildcards work in a different way in Windows (compared to Linux, for example).

Suppose, you want to convert DOC files only. It would seem that you should just use this command:

2PDF.exe -src "C:\In\*.doc"

But as a result, both .DOC and .DOCX files will be converted, which is not needed.

To convert only files that match the specified file extension, disable the Microsoft wildcard matching algorithm. To do that, use the command:

2PDF.exe -src "C:\In\*.doc" -options mswildc:no

yes, no
overwrite:Overwrite existing files or skip them no, yes, skip
break_on_error:Break on error (stop the program in case of an error)no, yes
template:

Adjust output file name template. You can enter your own file name and/or use macros:

  • {*SrcFilename} – source file name;
  • {*WorksheetName} – worksheet file name (for Excel and CAD files only);
  • {*SrcFileMPageNo} – source file page number;
  • {*DstFileExt} – destination file extension.

By default, the page counter ({*SrcFileMPageNo}) appears only for multipage files split into pages. Example: -options template:"Document-{*SrcFileMPageNo}.{*DstFileExt}

{*SrcFilename}{*WorksheetName}{*SrcFileMPageNo}.{*DstFileExt}
srcpwd:

Input password for the source file or files (if they are password-protected). Example:

-options srcpwd:123456

If a password contains spaces, input it between double quotation marks. Example:

-options srcpwd:"my password"

If you have files secured with more than one password, you can enter multiple passwords too (the order is not important). Example:

-options srcpwd:password1 srcpwd:password2 srcpwd:password3

Enter password(s) for source file(s)
dstpwd:You can password-protect output PDF files. This way, you can protect one or multiple files at once with a single password. Only a single password can be used within a command. Example:
-options dstpwd:123456
Enter password for output file(s)
res:

Change rasterization resolution (DPI) of the output files. This parameter may need changing only when the OCR feature is used which results in file's rasterization.

The default value is 300 which is good for most scenarios, but you can change it for your needs. The rasterization resolution can be set within the range of 72-4096.
300
attachments: Set processing of file attachments. Attachments can be saved separately, ignored or combined with the file (append or prepend). Besides, you can convert attachments only, without the file(s). ignore, separate, onlyatt, combine, combine_prepend
sort:Sort output files. Can be sorted by different parameters like name, date, file type, and more. To sort the files in descending order, use values ending with _d (name_d, date_d, etc.).unsorted, name, date, type, size, path, name_d, date_d, type_d, size_d, path_d
silent:Suppress console output – do not show the conversion process and convert silentlyno, yes
alerts:Display alert windowsyes, no
fast_combine:Set the number of files to quickly create a multipage PDF from them. Greatly increases file processing speed. Works with PDFs as source files only. The number of files is unlimited. Example: -options fast_combine:10000Enter the number of source files
user:Enter username (login) for converting a web page – when URL is set as a source and if password entry is required to access the web page. Don't forget to specify both credentials – user and password.Enter username (login)
password:Enter password if password entry is required to access the web page you want to print (URL is set as a source). Don't forget to specify both credentials – user and password.Enter password

Example:

2PDF.exe -src "C:\In\*.*" -dst "C:\Out" -pdf multipage:split -options pages:"1,3,5-10" scansf:yes keepsf:no overwrite:yes template:"{*SrcFilename}{*SrcFileMPageNo}.{*DstFileExt}" sort:name attachments:combine dstpwd:123456 delsrc:yes silent:yes

In this example we also use -pdf multipage: split described in further section so that template:"{*SrcFilename}{*SrcFileMPageNo}.{*DstFileExt}" could take effect.

PDF format parameters for converted files (-pdf)

You can control different parameters related to the PDF format using the -pdf switch.

-pdf

ParameterDescriptionValue (values in bold are set by default)
filever:Select PDF version for output files1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 1.7
pdf_a:Convert to PDF/A. This feature works for .doc and .docx as source files.no, yes
min_size:Compress output PDF to minimize the file size. This feature works for .doc and .docx as source files.no, yes
multipage:Create a multipage PDF. Possible options:
  • as is – keeps the original file structure
  • split – splits multipage files into separate PDF pages
  • append – adds new files as pages to the end
  • prepend – adds new files as pages to the beginning
asis, split, append, prepend
combine:Set file name for a combined multipage file. If you want to set a filename with spaces, type it within double quotation marks. Example:
-pdf multipage:append combine:"my multipage.pdf"
Combined.pdf
ocr:Create searchable PDF using built-in OCRno, yes
ocr_lang:Select language available for text recognition via OCR. By default, it is English. Other options: German, French, Hebrew, Japanese, Russian, Spanish. You can select more than one, if your documents are in several languages. Example:
-pdf ocr_lang:English ocr_lang:German
English
German
French
Hebrew
Japanese
Russian
Spanish
split_step:Split multipage documents by page ranges. By default, multipage documents are split into single pages. But you can change the number of pages, for example, to 3, which will create:
  • file one: pages 1, 2, 3;
  • file two: pages 4, 5, 6;
  • file three: 7, 8, 9, and so on.
1
keep_bookmarks:Detect bookmarks that are present in the source files (usually PDFs) and display them in the output converted files.yes, no

Example:

2PDF.exe -src "C:\In\*.docx" -dst "C:\Out" -pdf pdf_a:yes min_size:yes multipage:append combine:my-multipage.pdf ocr:yes ocr_lang:English

Operations (-oper)

You can use additional operations and options for output PDFs, such as applying a text or image watermark, page rotation, and more. Below is a list of switches and their parameters.

Page autorotation (-oper autorotate)

The program recognizes the layout of input files and can set their page orientation according to the specified parameters. Use this switch if you want to make document pages or images landscape or portrait automatically. 

-oper autorotate

ParameterDescriptionValue (values in bold are set by default)
pages:Select pages that need to be rotated automatically, for example "1,3,5-12"all
orientation:Set page or image orientation (portrait, landscape). Once enabled, this option will apply portrait or landscape orientation to all filesportrait, landscape
direction:Set auto rotation direction (clockwise or counterclockwise)ccw, cw

Example:

2PDF.exe -src "C:\In\*.*" -dst "C:\Out" -oper autorotate orientation:portrait direction:ccw

Page rotation (-oper rotate)

Use this switch to rotate document pages or images.

-oper rotate

Parameter Description Value (values in bold are set by default)
pages: Select pages that need to be rotated automatically, for example "1,3,5-12" all
angle: Set angle of rotation. Please note that you can use only right or straight angles (90, 180, 270) 0
direction: Set direction for page rotation (clockwise or counterclockwise) ccw, cw
color: Set background color using RGB color model – "r:(0-255),g:(0-255),b:(0-255)" r:255,g:255,b:255

Example:

2PDF.exe -src "C:\In\*.*" -dst "C:\Out" -oper rotate angle:90 direction:cw color:"r:0,g:128,b:0"

Text watermark (-oper textwatermark)

Use this switch to add text as a watermark. You can fully customize it by selecting the right font, size, color, angle, and positioning.

-oper textwatermark

ParameterDescriptionValue (values in bold are set by default)
pages:Set page range for the watermark. Example: pages:"1,3,5-12"all
text: Input watermark text.Example: "Confidential"Type any text
url:Enter a URL for the watermark. You can add a clickable web link to the text watermarkEnter URL
font: Set font name, the default font is Arial.
Example: Verdana
Arial
fontsize: Set font size. Example: fontsize:1612
fs_units:Set font size units: points, percents (percent of image height)points, percents
bold: Make font boldno, yes
italic: Make font italicno, yes
underline:Make font underlinedno, yes
halign:Set horizontal alignmentleft, center, right
valign:Set vertical alignmenttop, center, bottom
units:Set horizontal and vertical offset units pixels, percents
offx:Set horizontal offset value (points)0
offy:Set vertical offset value (points)0
color:Set text color using RGB color model – "r:(0-255),g:(0-255),b:(0-255)".Example: "r:0,g:128,b:0,a:255""r:0,g:0,b:0,a:255"
bgcolor:Set text background color using RGB color model – "r:(0-255),g:(0-255),b:(0-255)".Example: "r:0,g:255,b:0,a:128""r:255,g:255,b:0,a:255"
angle:Set angle of rotation in degrees (0-360)0
direction:Set direction for watermark rotation (clockwise or counterclockwise)ccw, cw
border:Draw borderno, yes
fit:Fit into image no, yes
method:Set a blending method for watermark – AlphaBlend or Overdrawalphablend, overdraw
zorder:Change z-order. You can insert the watermark behind (background) or in front (foreground) of the document's contents.foreground, background

Example:

2PDF.exe -src "C:\In\*.*" -dst "C:\Out" -oper textwatermark pages:"1,3-5,12" text:"(C) John Smith" font:"Verdana" fontsize:15 bold:yes italic:yes underline:yes halign:center valign:center offx:10 offy:15 color:"r:255,g:0,b:0,a:128" bgcolor:"r:0,g:255,b:0,a:128" angle:45 border:yes

Image watermark (-oper watermark)

Use this switch to place an image as a watermark. You can set a path to an image of a common format (PNG, JPG, BMP, GIF) and customize the watermark's parameters like size, positioning, and overlay method.

-oper watermark

ParameterDescriptionValue (values in bold are set by default)
pages:Set page range for the watermark. Example: pages:"1,3,5-12"all
image:Set path to watermark image. Example: image:"C:\Watermark.png"
url:Enter a URL for the watermark. You can add a clickable web link to the text watermarkEnter URL
halign:Set horizontal alignmentleft, center, right
valign:Set vertical alignmenttop, center, bottom
offx:Set horizontal offset value (points)0
offy:Set vertical offset value (points)0
size:Set watermark size as a percent of page width and height. It is possible to set original image size (as is)-1, as is
angle:Set angle of rotation, by default it is 0°0
direction:Set direction of rotation: clockwise or counterclockwiseccw, cw
method:Set a blending method for watermark – AlphaBlend or Overdrawalphablend, overdraw
zorder:Change z-order. You can insert the watermark behind (background) or in front (foreground) of the document's contents.foreground, background

Example:

2PDF.exe -src "C:\In\*.*" -dst "C:\Out" -oper watermark pages:"1,3-5" image:"C:\my logo.png" halign:right valign:top offx:10 offy:15

Draw rectangle (-oper paint)

Use the -paint switch to draw a rectangular border around the content of the output pages.

-oper paint

ParameterDescriptionValue (values in bold are set by default)
pages:Set page range for this operation. Example: pages:"1,3,5-12"all
cmd:Select rectangle application: fill or drawfillrect, drawrect
rect:Set rectangle dimensions in the format: "x0 y0 width height""0 0 -1 -1"
pen_color:Set draw color in the format: "r:(0-255),g:(0-255),b:(0-255),a:(0-255)""r:0,g:0,b:0,a:255"
brush_color:Set fill color in the format:"r:(0-255),g:(0-255),b:(0-255),a:(0-255)""r:255,g:255,b:255,a:255"
pen_width:Set thickness of rectangle's frame1
units:Set draw units: pixels or percentspixels, percents
zorder:Change z-order. You can insert the rectangle in the background or in the foreground of the document's contents.foreground, background

Post-processing actions (-postproc)

Use the -postproc switch to сopy, move, or delete files automatically after processing, if necessary.

-postproc

ParameterDescriptionValue (values in bold are set by default)
passed:Select action for successfully converted files: copy, move, or deletenone, copy, move, delete
passed_dir:Specify a folder where successfully convert files should be moved or copied to. For example:-postproc passed:copy passed_dir:"C:\Converted"Enter path to folder
passed_delsf:Delete empty unused subfolders from the source folderno, yes
failed:Select action to be performed with files that were not converted: do nothing, copy/move to another folder, or deletenone, copy, move, delete
failed_dir:Select action for files that failed to convert. For example:-postproc failed:move failed_dir:"C:\Failed"Enter path to folder
output:Select action for output files: keep all, delete failed, or delete all if at least one failedkeep, delete, delete_all

Advanced settings

The default settings are available in the editor with GUI controls. To access it, use this command:

2PDF.exe -ini

The Advanced Settings are the default settings of the program. So you can set up everything only once, and they will be applied every time you use 2PDF. If you are not sure about a specific setting, please contact our support for assistance.

Examples

Convert to PDF all files from folder "C:\In" with all subfolders

2PDF.exe -src "C:\In\*.*" -dst "C:\Out"

Combine all files from folder "C:\In" to a single multipage PDF file

2PDF.exe -src "C:\In\*.*" -dst "C:\Out" -pdf multipage:append combine:"my multipage.pdf"

Convert all files from folder "C:\In" to searchable PDF 

2PDF.exe -src "C:\In\*.*" -dst "C:\Out" -pdf ocr:yes ocr_lang:English

Convert to PDF all files, listed in a text file "C:\tests\list.txt"

2PDF.exe -src "@C:\tests\list.txt" -dst "C:\Out"

Quickly combine a large number of PDFs (10000 files) from folder "C:\In" and save the output file as "C:\Out\output.pdf"

2pdf.exe -src "C:\in\*.pdf" -dst "C:\Out" -pdf multipage:append combine:"output.pdf" -options fast_combine:10000

Split multipage files into separate PDF pages

2pdf.exe -src "C:\in\*.*" -dst "C:\Out" -pdf multipage:split

Password-protect multiple documents (batch lock files)

2PDF.exe -src "C:\In\*.*" -dst "C:\Out" -options dstpwd:password

password – enter a password which will be applied to all source files

Remove password from multiple secured documents (batch unlock files)

2PDF.exe -src "C:\In\*.*" -dst "C:\Out" -options srcpwd:password1 srcpwd:password2 srcpwd:password3

password1, password2, password3 – if, e.g., files within a folder have 3 different passwords

Combine emails with attachment(s) to PDFs and keep the original file name

2PDF.exe -src "C:\Emails\*.*" -dst "C:\Out" -pdf multipage:append combine:{containername}.pdf