3-Heights™ Document Converter – the enterprise server solution

The 3-Heights™ Document Converter is a company-wide PDF converter solution that converts all popular file formats to PDF, PDF/A and TIFF. It addresses various requirements in the field of conversion, in particular:

  • Making documents archivable (MS Word to PDF also convert docx to pdf)
  • Migrating existing archives
  • Exchanging documents
  • Fulfilling standards (ISO) and security requirements
  • Archiving websites
  • Archiving email
  • Standardizing the variety of formats across the corporation
Product illustration 3-Heights™ Document Converter

Properties and benefits

The 3-Heights™ Document Converter is scalable and supports load balancing.

The solution can be integrated into existing application landscapes and is easily adapted to suit specific requirements. Robust application management achieves high service availability and low maintenance expenditure.



Performance characteristics

  • Highly scalable distributed architecture (multi-tier)
  • Robust operation with monitoring and both automatic and periodical precautionary application restarts
  • Verification function for ensuring strict ISO standard compliance and monitoring (Validator)
  • Modular design extendible via plug-ins
  • Application integration via API and web service
  • Downstream document enhancement for OCR, digital signatures, assembly, validation and much more
  • Automatic gatekeeper function
  • Cloud-ready

The most significant features include

  • Conversion of a variety of formats, such as Office documents or emails, to PDF/A and TIFF
  • Merge documents
  • Robust client/server architecture
  • Quick and easy installation (MSI Installer)
  • Configuration application for easy management of conversion settings
  • Minimal platform and resources requirements for clients
  • Convenient integration into user environment via explorer pop-up menu
  • Automatic conversion processing from watched folders
  • Apply digital signatures
  • Scalability for high throughput by parallel processing
  • Automatic processing also from folders on an e-mail server
  • Additional input document formats available via plug-ins
  • Web service (IIS) interface
  • Application Programming Interfaces available (C/C++, Java, COM)
Functionality graphic 3-Heights™ Document Converter

The Supported Document Applications and Input Formats are

  • Microsoft Office, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Visio, Outlook
  • Document formats corresponding to the installed MS Office version
  • MS Word accepts non-native formats, such as plain text (ASCII and UNICODE), WordPerfect, HTML and others
  • PDF (Portable Document Format)
  • EML und MSG (Internet Mail Message format)
  • Image Documents (TIFF, JPEG, BMP, PNG, GIF, JBIG2, JP2, JPM)
  • ZIP or RAR files containing documents corresponding to any supported format

The Supported Output Formats are

  • PDF: PDF/A-1a, PDF/A-1b, PDF/A-2a, PDF/A-2u, PDF/A-2b, PDF/A-3a, PDF/A-3u, PDF/A-3b
  • TIFF: Bi-tonal, Monochrome, Color; with CCITT G4, JPEG, flate, LZW or no compression

Incoming mail

Incoming file scans and emails are received by the 3-Heights™ Document Converter inbox. Email messages and all the attachments are merged to form one single document. Optionally, it can recognize text via OCR, supplement metadata, add digital signatures, compress files and condition them for further processing within the company.

Outgoing mail

The 3-Heights™ Document Converter employed in email dispatch converts digital documents to PDF/A or PDF prior to sending.


The archive module of the 3-Heights™ Document Converter processes digital documents from all areas of the company. These can be emails, websites, Office documents or other documents. It converts them to a standard format, completes metadata and checks the result for compliance with the standard. As a gatekeeper it ensures that only compliant documents are transferred to the long-term archive.

Other areas of use

  • Archive migration
  • Online conversion service
  • Company-wide conversion portal



Input formats

  • Microsoft Office documents
  • Documents from older versions of Microsoft Office
  • Simple text
  • WordPerfect
  • HTML
  • EMF
  • Outlook (MSG)
  • PDF
  • Image files (TIFF, JPEG, PNG, JBIG2, JPX, GIF, BMP, etc.)
  • ZIP and TAR archives
  • Internet Mail Message Format *
  • Plug-ins for customer-specific formats *

Output formats


  • PDF/A
  • PDF

  • TIFF


  • Standards:
    • ISO 19005‑1 (PDF/A‑1)
    • ISO 19005‑2 (PDF/A‑2)
    • ISO 19005‑3 (PDF/A‑3)
    • ISO 32000 (PDF 1.7)
    • TIFF V6
  • Isartor Testsuite
  • ZUGFeRD-compliant

Installation requirements (server)

  • Microsoft .NET 4.5.2
  • Microsoft Office 2010 or higher


* only available in Enterprise Edition

Operating Systems

  • Windows Server 2008 R2, 2012, 2012 R2, 2016 – 64 bit


  • Watched file folders
  • Watched email folders via IMAP
  • Command line for batch processing
  • API
  • Shell extension for Windows Explorer
  • Office Add-Ins

Programming languages

A selection of the following connections to programming languages is available:

  • C and C++ via native C
  • C#, VB .NET, J# via .NET
  • Java via JNI
  • MS Visual Basic, VBA and C++ via COM

Product Variants

  • SME Edition
  • Enterprise Edition

Enterprise edition

The Enterprise Edition of the 3‑Heights™ Document Converters not only offers the conversion of the common work documents, such as Office documents, to PDF, but also the conversion of entire websites and emails. This makes it especially suitable for processing incoming mail and for archiving emails with attachments and Office documents in the long term. Additional formats can be added thanks to its plug-in architecture.

The Enterprise Edition features an API and a web-service, which allows a simple and quick integration in existing environments. Due to its high speed, availability and scalability it can be implemented as a ready-to-use solution in companies of any size.

SME edition

The Small-Medium Enterprise Edition offers all essential features that are required for the document conversion to PDF/A or TIFF by small and medium companies, which do not maintain their own IT department. Besides Office documents, all common image formats can be converted and there is an option to integrate an OCR engine.

This variety of formats enables secure incoming and downstream processing as well as long-term archiving in PDF or PDF/A format. The optional digital signature functionality guarantees document authenticity and integrity.

The SME Edition does not require Terminal Server and allows an interactive monitoring and operating of the service.

Product Editions 3-Heights™ Document Converter

Interfaces Enterprise Small-Medium
Watched file folders
Watched Email folders (via IMAP)
GUI Client
Shell Extension for Windows Explorer
Command Line Tool
Programming Interface (API)
MS Word / Outlook Add-Ins
Web-service IIS
.NET Plugin
VB Script Plugin
Added Value Functions    
Optional Text Recognition (OCR)***
Merge PDF Files
Conformance Validation
Digital Signature
Fast Web Viewing
File compression
Embedding of Metadata
Document Pre-processing
XSL Transformations
Input formats    
MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Visio*
Open Office, Libre Office*
Email [with attachments(*)] (MSG, EML, MIME)**
Plain Text (ASCII, UNICODE), WordPerfect
Image Formats: BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, TIFF, JB2, JP2, JPX, PBM
Nestet Containers: ZIP, TAR, RAR
Websites: URL
Custom specific extensions: e.g. CAD
Output formats    
PDF 1.7
PDF/A-1a, PDF/A-1b
PDF/A-2a, PDF/A-2b, PDF/A-2u
PDF/A-3a, PDF/A-3b, PDF/A-3u
ZIP-Archives (TIFF or PDF or PDF/A)
Windows Server (Windows Server 2008 or higher)
Windows Client (Windows 7 or higher)
Performance and Maintenance    
Number of Clients unlimited unlimited
Dispatcher Service
Number of Worker Sessions (scale up) 1 to n 1
Distributed Worker Sessions / Multiple Servers (scale out) 1 to n 1
Windows Terminal Server Sessions

* Requires Office (MS Office or LibreOffice)
** Requires MS Outlook
*** Requires 3-Heights™ OCR Service

References 3-Heights™ Document Converter