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How do I setup Watched Folders in PDF-Tools

I have a number of folders where I commonly place documents and other files that I would like to be automatically processed by certain tools without interaction, Is this possible?

Answer

Yes! PDF-Tools offers Folder Monitors, or Watched Folders as a key function. This allows you to specify a folder to watch, and a number of other parameters to handle these situations. Note that when folder monitors are in use with "Disable interaction" enabled, some settings are assumed and cannot be customized during processing.

Setup a Folder Monitor

Any PDF-Tools Tool can be used on a folder monitor, and the process to set them up is quite simple.

1. With PDF-Tools opened, click on the Options dropdown and choose Folder Monitors.

2. From the window that appears, choose Create (or Edit if you are changing an existing monitor).

3. Define your options from the dialog that appears, then click OK (advanced options are defined below).

IMPORTANT NOTE: Always avoid setting the same folder as the "input" for this monitor, and "output" for your custom tool if you do not wish to get stuck in a process loop. PDF-Tools will remember the files which have been processed in the current session, but will always add new files to the que for further processing. This means that if you "overwrite" the original files or the output is the input folder, a new file was created, one which tools has not remembered was "already processed" and it will start the process again. Always ensure that your output folder is not the input folder for a folder monitor.

  • Priority will determine the order in which Folder Monitors operate, High priority monitors will always complete processing before Medium and Low priority begin processing.
  • Tool UI interaction can be used to disable interaction with the tool. This is helpful if you wish for the process to be entirely automated. Note that choosing Disable interaction assumes the tool you have selected is perfectly setup to work like this. As an example, when leaving actions in their default state, the Save action to place all files processed in the "My Documents" folder. Please see this article for details on creating Custom Tools.
  • Monitor Subfolders will look in any folders within the Folder you have selected, not only at the existing files in the main folder.

4. Finally, Select the Monitor and Choose Enable to turn it on (Note that you must enable the monitor each time windows starts).

Automatic Startup

As mentioned in Step 4 above, Monitors must be turned on with each startup of windows. This is to prevent unwanted processes from beginning during login. You can setup Windows to automatically start Folder monitors during login.

1. Open the Folder Monitors as detailed above, then Right click on the desired monitor and choose Create Shortcut on Desktop:

2. The Windows File Explorer will open, In the search bar at the top of the Windows File Explorer, paste the following:

C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\StartUp

3. Move the new PDF-Tools icon from your desktop into this folder:

With this in place, the Folder Monitor will automatically be started every time that you log into your user account in windows.

If you have further questions, please direct them to Support@tracker-software.com

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