PDF Watermark Feature Requests

Lately several new WaterWoo and PDF Stamper for WooCommerce customers have been reporting that the competitor’s WooCommerce PDF Watermark plugin is broken, and they’re relieved to have found us. It’s a shame it broke for whatever reason, and we are glad to have you here!

Today I took a look at the Woo PDF Watermark feature request list, and it gets me wondering: why people pay more for less plugin?* WooCommerce PDF Watermark now costs $99, while Waterwoo is still at $80. Here are the features that WaterWoo has always had, that WooCommerce customers are still asking for:

Set per document password

WaterWoo has always allowed users to set unique watermarking properties for individual WooCommerce products. Even more, it allows users to set watermarking properties for variations of products. So each PDF can have a different password. Each PDF can have a different watermark. Each PDF can have different everything.

Watermark specific PDF pages and exclude others

WooCommerce PDF Watermark allows for watermarking on “all pages,” “first,” “last,” or alternate pages. Hey! We’ve got you matched, nothing special to see here. But… we are working on major improvements to all our PDF manipulation plugins, and soon you’ll be able to select any pages to watermark. Meanwhile, you can use filter hooks included in our plugins to avoid watermarking or passwording any particular PDF page. If you need advice on that, get in touch!

Image and text watermarks in the same document

This feature has been “coming soon” on the WooCommerce website for years. This is something I coded in the first round of WaterWoo, eight years ago. You want two images and text? You can have it. Want three? Sure. What makes this possible is WaterWoo uses a different PDF parser/writer than WooCommerce’s plugin, and that parser reads HTML. So, put HTML in your watermark, such as an tag, and voila! Do you want transparency of your text? We have that here, and are the only WordPress PDF watermarking plugin with that (just use the {OPAC} opacity shortcode).

Woocommerce PDF Watermark "coming soon" teaser text

Screenshot from the WooCommerce PDF Watermark sales page.

Allow watermarks to work on layered PDFs

Face it, you’ll never have this feature with an open source PDF parsing plugin. You need PDF Stamper for WooCommerce and SetaPDF Stamper (a paid 3rd party library) to get this going, but you CAN get it going. Sometimes you get what you pay for. For a little more moolah, you’ve got your custom watermark and or your password and protections on a layered PDF. Bingo! PDF Stamper for WooCommerceLearn more about how to take best care of your PDFs when watermarking and passwording them via WordPress.

Selectable link stripping

This is another feature that has been coming soon on the WooCommerce website for a very long time. If Woo is referring to PDF internal links, it’s a false promise, this feature is never coming. That’s because the PDF libraries available to ship with GNU licensed WordPress plugins do not parse internal links (Table of Contents) into memory, and won’t because of how they are written in the PDF stream. Besides, this is just odd. Who wants links, or anything, stripped from their PDFs? If you own a PDF, why not just strip it yourself before sharing it? If you are tired of WordPress PDF plugins stripping your PDF links, use a plugin that works alongside SetaPDF Stamper (such as PDF Stamper for WooCommerce or EDDiStamper).

The Elephant in the Room

“Unable to serve the file at this time. The file does not support watermarking.”

Does that sound familiar? WooCommerce’s plugin (from woocommerce.com) does not support newer PDFs! If you want to upload a PDF for manipulation with their plugin, it has to be old (version 1.4 and older!). To give you an idea of how bonkers this is, version 1.5 came out in 2003. That was twenty years ago! The current version is 1.7. WaterWoo supports all versions of PDF. If you want to mark layered PDFs, just use our PDF Stamper for WooCommerce plugin.

woocommerce pdf watermark uses free pdf

Screenshot from WooCommerce’s documentation for their PDF Watermark plugin.

The cheapest way to solve this problem is to switch to WaterWoo. You’ll enjoy a ton more flexibility with watermarking, and many more features. But if you are determined to fix WooCommerce PDF Watermark to accept ALL versions of PDF, here is what you do:

  1. Purchase FPDI PDF-Parser from SetaSign
  2. Install it in this folder (which will unfortunately need to be done again next time your upgrade WooCommerce PDF Watermark) : yourwebsite.com/wp-content/plugins/woocommerce-pdf-watermark/includes/lib
    You want to make sure yourwebsite.com/wp-content/plugins/woocommerce-pdf-watermark/includes/lib/FPDI_PDF-Parser-2.0.6/src/autoload.php will be found on your server.
  3. Open the file yourwebsite.com/wp-content/plugins/woocommerce-pdf-watermark/includes/class-wc-pdf-watermarker.php I KNOW THIS IS TEDIOUS but you’re almost done
  4. On lines 46/47 where it says
        //Include FPDI Parser to make it work with 1.4+
        //require_once 'lib/FPDI_PDF-Parser-2.0.6/src/autoload.php';

    make it say instead:

        //Include FPDI Parser to make it work with 1.4+
        require_once 'lib/FPDI_PDF-Parser-2.0.6/src/autoload.php';

    The // (code comment) is removed from the second line. Now the plugin will seek that file and use the paid FPDI parser instead of the free (open source) version, which only reads PDFs to version 1.4. Also, the wizards truly behind all this magic (SetaSign) get paid. Heck, if I’ve helped you, like really helped, PayPal $2 my way to let me know.

Thanks and good luck!

Coming soon: unicorns and wizards!

(More likely: cactus thorns and lizards)

Ultimately I know why people pay more and choose the WC branded plugin, and that is because WooCommerce has better exposure for their plugins on the market. This year was hard for us because WooCommerce used WordPress.org (their parent company) to force us to change our plugin names in the repository, which impacted users’ ability to find us. We are recovering slowly. Keep an eye out. All our existing watermarker plugin users are going to get a big upgrade (hint: not unicorns and wizards, but still pretty cool).