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File Converters

File converters are an important tool to support other plugins with file conversion supported between a wide range of file formats. File converters are accessed using the File conversion API and are typically consumed by other plugins rather than by the user directly.

File structure

File converter plugins are located in the /file/converter directory.

Each plugin is in a separate subdirectory and consists of a number of mandatory files and any other files the developer is going to use.

View an example directory layout for the `fileconverter_unoconv` plugin.
├── classes
│   ├── converter.php
│   └── privacy
│   └── provider.php
├── lang
│   └── en
│   └── fileconverter_unoconv.php
├── settings.php
└── version.php

Some of the important files for the fileconverter plugintype are described below. See the common plugin files documentation for details of other files which may be useful in your plugin.

Converter class

File conversion implementation

File path: /classes/converter.php

The classes/converter.php class must be defined in the correct namespace for your plugin, and must implement the \core_files\converter_interface interface.

It is responsible for converting files

View example
// This file is part of Moodle -
// Moodle is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
// it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
// the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
// (at your option) any later version.
// Moodle is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
// but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
// GNU General Public License for more details.
// You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
// along with Moodle. If not, see <>.

* File conversion implementation for the plugintype_example plugin.
* @package plugintype_example
* @copyright Year, You Name <your@email.address>
* @license GNU GPL v3 or later

namespace fileconverter_myexample;

class converter implements core_filesconverter_interface {
// ...


This function informs the File Converter API whether the system requirements of the plugin are met. That is whether appropriate API keys are present, and the API might be available.

It should be lightweight to call and cache where required.

Example implementation
public static function are_requirements_met() {
return extension_loaded('my_php_extension');

start_document_conversion() and poll_conversion_status()

The start_document_conversion() function starts a conversion, whilst poll_conversion_status should poll for any status update. The following apply:

  • If any failures occur, it should set the conversion status to \core_files\conversion::STATUS_FAILED and immediately return. There is no need to update the $conversion record in this situation.
  • When the conversion process starts, the status should be set to \core_files\conversion::STATUS_IN_PROGRESS and the record must be updated. This ensures that, should the process take a long time, the current status is accurately reflected.
  • Upon successful completion, the status should be updated to \core_files\conversion::STATUS_COMPLETE and the newly created \stored_file should be stored against the conversion using either the store_destfile_from_string or store_destfile_from_path function as appropriate.


This function allows the plugin to answer whether it supports conversion between two formats. It is typically only used internally by the File Conversion subsystem.

Example implementation
class converter implements \core_files\converter_interface {
// ...
public static function supports($from, $to) {
// This plugin supports conversion from doc and docx to pdf only.
if ($from !== 'doc' && $from !== 'docx') {
return false;

return $to === 'pdf';
Example usage
if (\fileconverter_example::supports('jpg', 'pdf')) {
// ...


This function is used purely for information purposes to display possible conversions to an administrator.

See also