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Improving “All as PDF” build times

While we have built the Our Cat Herder “All as PDF” functionality to handle both word documents and PDF files, there are certain documents that can take a lot of time to process and slow down your “All as PDF” build time.

How the ““All as PDF” works

The “All as PDF” is dynamic so it builds the “All as PDF” document on the fly or in realtime each time a user requests it (when you click the ““All as PDF” button). This is done to ensure the user has the most up-to-date document at all times.

When the “All as PDF” button is clicked Our Cat Herder loads each document, processes it to PDF form, paginates the documents if requested, and pairs your user's unique notes with the pages they were added to.

What can cause the “All as PDF” process to be slow?

The “All as PDF” is processing all the documents that are not PDF documents (word docs) to PDF. So the more complex or large the word documents are the more processing time the word document(s) take.

The process will be particularly slow if any of your word documents have:

  • background images
  • large tables (particularly with financial data) across multiple pages
  • upward of 25 pages or more
  • pages in the one document with different sizes or orientations (so one doc with both A4 and A3 or both portrait and landscape orientation)

If you for example were to have a 100 page word document with tables, multiple page sizes and background images on every page it is unlikely the "All as PDF" would generate in a useful time frame. The good news is there is a way to fix this.

How can I speed up the processing of my “All as PDF”?

The best way speed up the processing or build of your “All as PDF” for any meeting is to convert any word documents you need to attach to the meeting to PDF before attaching them to your meeting (saving the document as a PDF can be done directly from Word itself). With all documents as PDFs this means that the “All as PDF” can simply jump straight to combining them together, adding pagination and matching the notes to the correct page.

For your PDFs, the smaller you can make them the faster the process will run as well.

Updated: 18 June 2021