Converting PDF Files From Within Microsoft Outlook

When you install ABBYY PDF Transformer 2.0, the setup program integrates it with Windows Explorer and with Microsoft Office. As a result, an ABBYY PDF Transformer button appears in Microsoft Outlook.

To convert a PDF file attached to an e-mail message:

  1. Launch Microsoft Outlook and select the desired e-mail message with a PDF file attached.
  2. Click the Transform PDF button on the toolbar and in the dialog box that opens, select a PDF file to convert.
  1. Select an output format:
  2. Check the PDF conversion options:
    1. File name
      By default, the output document will be placed in the My Documents folder and will have the same name as the original file. The change the name of the output file and its location, click Change…
    2. Page range
      The options under Pages to transform allow you to convert an entire PDF file or only selected pages:
      • All - Converts the entire PDF document,
      • Selected - Converts selected pages. You may provide page numbers separated by commas and/or page ranges, e.g. 1,2, 4-12.
    3. Layout retention
      These are the options selected under Retain layout. The options actually available in this group depend on the output format you selected.

      Microsoft Word,
      HTML, RTF document
      • Original layout
        This mode creates an output document which looks exactly like the original.
      • Text flow
        This mode retains the text of the original, but some of its formatting will be lost. The output document will retain paragraphs and fonts, but will not retain columns, exact locations of objects, or spacing.
      • Keep pictures
        This mode retains the pictures of the original document. If the source PDF file contains a large number of pictures, the size of the output file may be fairly large. Clear the Keep pictures option to reduce file size.

      Microsoft Excel document
      • Ignore text outside tables
        The output XLS file will only retain the tables of the original PDF file. The rest of the text will not be converted.
      • Transform numeric values to numbers
        The numeric values contained in the PDF files will be converted to Microsoft Excel numbers, allowing you to perform arithmetic operations on numeric cells.

      TXT document
      • Insert page break character (#12) as page separator
        The text will be divided into pages in exactly the same way as the original PDF document. If this option is not selected, no page breaks will be used.
      • Insert blank line as paragraph separator
        The paragraphs will be separated by blank lines.

      Note: When converting to searchable PDF, the entire layout of the original is retained by default.

    4. Document languages
      The list must contain only the languages actually used in the PDF document. When you first run ABBYY PDF Transformer, this list contains two languages - English and the interface language.
      To change the document languages, click Change…
      Note: We do not recommend using more than three languages at a time. Using more than three languages may result in more errors in the text of the output file.
  3. Click Transform to start conversion.

The output document will be saved in the format of your choice and opened in the corresponding application.


  1. Clicking the Transform button will open the conversion dialog box displaying a progress bar, tips, and warning messages issued during conversion. To open a page for which a warning message has been issued, simply click the page number.
  2. If the look of the output document differs very much from the original, try altering the conversion options and/or selecting text, table, and picture areas manually. For more information, see Improving Conversion Results.

Improving Conversion Results

PDF Conversion Dialog Box