4-Heights® Conversion Service – Document Workflows for companies

The 4-Heights® Conversion Service is a PDF Conversion Software to automate document processing and therefore offers workflows for different use cases. The Conversion Service can be thought of as a document converter factory with several production lines (workflows). A production line consists of a series of processing steps (e.g. validate, OCR, convert, merge, sign etc.). Most steps can be adjusted to individual needs by configuring one or more setups (profiles) for each production line. A profile defines which processing steps to activate and what options to use. Conversion Service currently provides five workflows: Archive PDF/A-2, Archive PDF/A-3, Conversion, Dossier and Invoice. The workflows are available in all editions of Conversion Service.

Conversion Service Workflows Illustration

Archive PDF/A-2 Workflow

"Archive PDF/A-2" Workflow

The “Archive PDF/A-2” workflow is a reliable automated process to ensure high-quality document conversion of Office documents, images, ZIP archives, emails and text files into PDF/A. It additionally includes validating and repairing PDF documents, file optimization, making documents searchable through OCR, merging PDF files and creating digital signatures. It also allows for file attachments. All processing steps can be configured and also combined in a customized document workflow.

Conversion Workflow

"Conversion" Workflow

The "Conversion" workflow was primarily designed for converting Office documents into PDF. Emails, ZIP archives, images, text files and existing PDF are also possible. During processing, users can specifically choose to optimize for speed or file size. OCR is available as an optional processing step.

Users choose the “Conversion” Workflow if the result is not required to be a PDF/A, i.e. if the PDF does not need to be archivable. In interactive applications where a user or downstream system is waiting for the converted document, it is essential for the PDF conversion to be as fast as possible. An output document that is as small as possible brings enormous advantages when storage capacity is limited, e.g. for hosting or web transmission.

Dossier Workflow

"Dossier" Workflow

The "Dossier" workflow is specifically designed to compile multiple PDF documents into a single dossier. It can be used to convert multiple Word documents into PDF or an assembled PDF dossier. The workflow supports the creation of bookmarks to structure the dossier. It additionally generates and customizes a clickable table of contents on the first page(s) of the assembled document. Text stamps can also be applied to the dossier pages to add document headers, footers, page numbering, watermarks and more.

Archive PDF/A-3 Workflow

"Archive PDF/A-3" Workflow

Like the existing and more stringent "Archive PDF/A-2" workflow, "Archive PDF/A-3" is specially designed to prepare documents for archiving and conforming to the PDF/A-3 standard. In contrast to Archive PDF/A-2, source documents, such as docx, xlsx, pptx, do not need to be converted and can still be attached to the resulting output document. This is how Office documents can be archived and held available for later use as templates. Additionally, you can batch convert Word documents into PDF and attach the original files. If desired, document parts like attachments, can be kept in their original format, e.g. images, XML or proprietary formats.

The workflow offers two configuration options: The Convert Mode and the Collect Mode. These options specify how the different parts of a document are converted and how they are combined into the resulting output document.

For example: An email with a Word document and a JPEG image can be converted to PDF/A-3 in the following way using default settings. PDF/A-3 main document containing the mail body and three attachments:

  • Word document, converted to PDF/A-3, with its source docx file attached.
  • JPEG image is kept in the source format.
  • Report/log summarizing all the steps performed during the conversion process.

Find out more information about the differences between the PDF/A-2 and PDF/A-3 standards.

Invoice Workflow

"Invoice" Workflow

As the name implies, the workflow is specifically engineered for creating invoices. The "Invoice" workflow converts source documents, which contain the visual representation of the invoice, to PDF/A-3 and attaches one or more files to the result. This workflow combines all input documents of an invoice in a single PDF/A-3 file.

  • One file results in one invoice
  • The main file containing the visual representation of the invoice can either be a Microsoft Word Document or an existing PDF document.
  • The Workflow supports the attachment of matching machine-readable XML to create ZUGFeRD invoices for automated processing.
  • Other optional attachments for justifying the invoice or to supply additional information can be added as well, e.g. an itemized statement for phone bills or meter data for electricity bills.
  • The conformance to the PDF/A-3 standard guarantees the unambiguous visual reproduction of the document. In addition, the invoice can be digitally signed to ensure authenticity and integrity of the invoice.

Please visit the 4-Heights® Conversion Service product page to get further information on the PDF converter software. You can find the documentation there as well.