Keep the Migraine our of your SharePoint Migration – Part Four – Using Word Automation Services

Continuing our SharePoint series, we’ve taken a first hand look on how to eliminate complexities (and migraines) of SharePoint 2007 to SharePoint 2013 migration.  In the first part of this series, we identified Word Automation Service as the service needed to complete the conversion.  Next, we took a look at specific considerations and planning for using the service to avoid issues.  Part three provided insight into creating a simple conversion script to perform the automation.  And finally, in this post, we’ll discuss how to make some final configurations to complete and improve the upgrade.

To start, integrate PDF’s into your SharePoint environment:

Step 1: Populate and check the folder for appropriate documents to convert
Step 2: Run the conversion script
Step 3: Wait the appropriate amount of time
Step 4: Check the folder for converted documents (ensure the original is handled appropriately)
Step 5: Stare in confusion as you find a generic blank icon rather than a spiffy Adobe icon

You might be asking yourself, “Do I really need to change the blank icon?”  

Good question! The short answer is a resounding yes.  In this day and age, a generic white sheet icon just won’t do.  It’s almost an unforgiveable offense to make a business entity deal with this level of blandness.  Aesthetics aside, one of the most crucial benefits of recognizable icons is to visually make it easier to identify files.  In a world of how quick can I get it and how easy can you make it, it’s the norm to increase UI experience.  A generic icon is counter intuitive to that nature.  Having said that, it’s not a must to keep this generic eyesore within a well branded SharePoint environment.  So let’s talk about what can be done…

The reason the icon is blank is because there is currently no icon associated with the file type being used – in this case, a PDF file type.  Files are associated with the extension used in the naming.  To resolve this, we need to tell SharePoint what icon we would like to associate with the specific file type extension.

  • Do a Google search (or Bing, if you are so inclined), for a desired PDF icon
  • Copy this file to a local location
  • Store the file in the appropriate Hive for SharePoint to access this file:
    • C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\Template\Images
  • In the same folder, open file DocIcon.xml in Notepad
  • Location
    • C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\Template\xml
  • Must be edited as RUN BY ADMINISTRATOR in Notepad
  • Add a value for the PDF extention
    • <Mapping Key=”pdf” Value=”NameYouCreatedForSavedIconFile”/>
  • Restart IIS services for changes to take effect
  • Refresh your SharePoint page
  • Bask in the glory

The next blog in this series will be an expanded look at what other nifty tricks this service has up its sleeve.  Be sure to check back and get a glimpse at other capabilities you can accomplish with this service in SharePoint.

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