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Using the PDF2XL Hot Watch Folder
Using the PDF2XL Hot Watch Folder
PDF2XL Support avatar
Written by PDF2XL Support
Updated over a week ago

If you have subscribed to PDF2XL Business or Enterprise, you will have the option to use the built-in Hot Watch folder.

The Hot Watch folder is a tool that automatically runs conversions in the background, any time they are added to a specified folder.

**Currently, this feature can only convert into the .xlsx format. If you need a .csv file, you will need to manually rename the file with the .csv extension.

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Installing the Hot Watch Folder

You will need to first download the Hot Watch Folder to your computer.

Please click this link to download:

Extract the zip file and save the PDF2XLHotFolder.exe anywhere on your computer that provides you with the easiest access.

Using the Hot Watch Folder

Double-click on the file "PDF2XLHotFolder.exe" to activate it.

This will create an access to the Hot Watch folder in your Hidden Icons toolbar.

Right-click on the magnifying glass and select "Show".

Choose your Input Folder (where the PDF files will be uploaded to) and your Output Folder (where you want your converted documents to go). These can be the same folder, if you wish.

You will also need to choose the Default Layout file. It may be easiest to keep this file in your Input folder.

The Application to execute field should point to the folder where the PDF2XL executable exists. In current versions this would be in (make sure the bold sections are updated):


Now, place a PDF file in your Input folder:

When you check your Output folder, your converted file should be there (this might take a few moments for large or numerous documents):

*The tool should not re-convert files that have already converted, but if you remove the output file from its folder, it may force the original PDF to convert again. If you are removing the output files, you should also remove the matching PDF file.

Using Patterns

With the "Pattern" feature, you can force PDF2XL to use a wild card that matches the filename with a specified layout.
This allows you to use the Hot Watch folder for files requiring different layouts.
For example, if you create a pattern for "report*.pdf" (note the asterisk) and assign the layout titled "report.layoutx", it will automatically convert files with names such as "report1.pdf", "report2.pdf", etc., using that layout.
(Note: the pattern name does not need to match the layout name)

If you place a file in your Hot Watch folder that doesn't match any of the patterns, it will use the default layout identified in the path above.

After creating your hot watch folder, you can close the prompt - it will stay running in your system tray.
If you restart your computer or log off, you will need to activate the hot watch feature again, but it should retain your settings.

Running the Hot Watch Folder Automatically

There is no setting in PDF2XL to run the Hot Watch folder upon logging in to your computer, however, this can be done through the Windows Startup Folder.

Microsoft has provided a helpful article for this that you can view here.

*Note: The app you should search for in step 1 of the Microsoft article is called "PDF2XLHotFolder.exe".

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