How do I create a PDF with contents locked from copying but text boxes can be filled in, saved and e-mailed?

I am creating PDF documents from Word documents that I am going to e-mail to my clients. I wish for the text and image contents of the PDF to be locked so people can not edit or copy them. However, I want the text boxes to be editable, people to be able to select tick boxes, able to sign the document, and then for them to e-mail me the PDF back. My clients may only have Adobe Readers and not Acrobat. The only way I have managed to do this myself is to right click on the file and edit it using Acrobat Pro.

What is the procedure and settings required for this? I am currently using Adobe Acrobat Pro XI trial version.

Michael Boakes

2 Answers

This is possible; you have Acrobat, open the document, and then open the Document Properties dialog (you should ifnd it under File --> Properties. There you select the Security tab and select as Security Method Password Security. This opens a dialog where you can specify which settings to apply. Note that there is a checkbox which exlicitely allows copying of contents; make sure you don't check it. Allowed changes would probably be "Filling out forms…". You will also have to specify the password to change these settings.

When you are done, save (a copy of) the document (a copy is important, because you do want an unprotected version for your further development), and then you close the document. Only when you reopen it, the new security settings are active.

Hope this can help.

Max Wyss.

Max Wyss   

Follow Max's suggestion then add Reader Extensions (RE) to the PDF when done. You can specify what they can and cannot do with the PDF. RE can be enabled (PRO ONLY) in Acrobat 9 under the Advanced menu. X and XI under the File | SaveAs other... menu.

Aside - There is a 500 user/pdf limit in the Acrobat EULA for RE. Does Adobe|Acrobat check for this? No. Does anyone check for this? No. But, it is there - just mentioning it.



Douglas Hanna   

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