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PDF Document Security

One of the lesser known benefits of using Acrobat is the ability to customize the security levels of your document. Modifications include restricting printing or printing resolution, allowing/not allowing the copying of text and images, or simply preventing the file from being read at all by anyone without a password.

Although your reasons for wanting to secure a document may vary, it is a common consideration in higher education when copy protections and privacy are concerns. Learn how to do it below.

Password Protecting your Document

Open the file menu and select 'Properties'. A new window called Document Properties will open. Click the tab for 'Security'.

In the Security Method drop-down list, select 'Password Security'.

The Password Security window allows you to tailor the level of security on your document. You can select different degrees of encryption, choose a password that will allow only select users to open the document, restrict printing, copying, pasting and more.

To make a password required to open the document, click the check box and type a password of your choice.

Allowing Printing and/or Copying

You can set your permissions in the same menu for editing and printing. If you check the box for restricting editing and printing, you must enter a password to change your permission settings.

Choose in the Printing Allowed drop-down selections between "None," "Low Resolution of 150 dpi," and "High Resolution Printing."

Choose in the "Changes Allowed" drop-down selections between none; Inserting, deleting and rotating pages; Filling in form fields and signing existing signature fields; Commenting, filling in form fields and signing existing signature fields; and Any except extracting pages.

Leave unchecked the box for “Enable copying of text, images and other content” if you don’t wish to allow copying. Check the box if you do.