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How to prevent PDFs from being printed or edited?

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  • 3 min read

A PDF can be secured in many ways — passwords, restrictions, and watermarks. Using these security measures can help protect sensitive information from unauthorised access, modification, or distribution.

When choosing the right security measure, it is essential to first consider the intended use of that document, the level of security required, and the sensitivity of the information. In this article, we’ll cover three ways to prevent PDFs from being printed or edited.


Password protection

One way to add protection to PDFs is by using a password to protect the file. A password-protected document cannot be accessed by other users.

Check out our article on how to password-protect PDFs here

Adding Permissions to your PDF

Another way to prevent PDFs from being printed or edited is to use a PDF security feature called ‘permissions’. Permissions allow you to control what users can do with the PDF and make the PDF more secure and in your control.

To add permissions to your PDF, open the PDF in Adobe Acrobat Pro and then go to File > Properties > Security and then add the necessary permissions.

Also read: How to save an email as a PDF on Gmail?


Using watermarks to secure your PDF

Watermarks are an effective way to prevent the unauthorised distribution of your PDF. They can be used to add text or images to a document to indicate its status, such as ‘confidential’ or ‘draft’.

Go to Tools > Edit PDF > Watermark > Add to add a watermark to your PDF.

We have also covered articles on how you can add watermarks in Google Docs and Word.

Frequently answered questions

Let us dive into some FAQs related to this topic:

How can I remove the password protection from a PDF file?

To remove the password protection from a PDF file, open it in Adobe Acrobat and enter the password. Then, go to File > Properties > Security, and select No Security from the drop-down menu. Save the changes to remove the password protection.


Can I prevent editing of a PDF file while still allowing printing?

Yes, you can use PDF restrictions to prevent editing while allowing printing. Go to File > Properties > Security in Adobe Acrobat and choose Restrict Editing. Then, select the options to prevent changes to the document and save the changes.


What is the difference between a document open password and a permissions password?

A document open password restricts access to a PDF file by requiring a password to open it while a permissions password restricts printing, copying, and editing of a PDF file.

Also read: How to fix the ‘Chrome PDF Viewer Not Working’ issue?

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Kumar Hemant

Deputy Editor at Candid.Technology. Hemant writes at the intersection of tech and culture and has a keen interest in science, social issues and international relations. You can contact him here: [email protected]

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