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Printing Acrobat PDF files

aknot asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-22
I really need to print some PDF-files which seem to be unprintable, that is, the PRINT-option is greyed-out.

Is there some sort of print-protection and what can be done ??
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Yes, there is a no-print option. You have to have the Editor password to access it. There is also a no-copy/paste option that, if set, will prevent you from copying the text to another document and printing it from there.

I've heard that there is a way around this but I'm unsure what it is. I think it involves getting a copy of Adobe Exchange and inserting your locked document into an unlocked one and then saving the whole thing as another document.

There is an Adobe Users Group, (start at Adobe.com and work your way out from there).

mark2150 is correct that pdf files have security built in to them to prevent doing what you are trying, they have the print option disabled because maybe the document is copy righted and they do not want it to be printed out. I know of no work around for this.
i'm not too sure what i am saying, but do you have the adobe acrobat reader? i have that and can print stuff out. you can download adobe acrobat 3.0 from www.zoomtel.com. do you have adobe reader?


Yes, I do have the acrobat reader, if it's true what what wayneb says, is there NO workaround?

Are there any other programs which can read pdf-documents, copy, paste, edit and save as an unlocked document?

Or a program that removes the print-protection ;-)  ??

OK. Here is a wild shot: AFAIK, there is Netscape plug-in, that
allows to show PDF files in Netscape browser. Maybe this a way to
go ? Check http://home.netscape.com/plugins/business_and_utilities.html


Mmmm, I've tried that, darn thing didn't work there either !
(smart boys at adobe)

Nobody out there who's tried Adobe Exchange on a no-print pdf ??
Can you cut/paste in Exchange and save as your own pdf ?

I personnelly would not count on that working, as I am sure they looked at that.

aknot, can you send me this locked PDF-file ? I have UNIX-programs
xpdf and pdftops. So maybe I can transfer it to PostScript and send it
My e-mail: ians@tmx100.elex.co.il


Try the following site for the GSView program . Information on the most recent versions may be obtained at

There is a second utility "PSNUP" at the following site.

Here is the strategy to follow:

1.Open the PDF file using Gsview. Use the utility to create a "vanilla" PostScript file, with the Extract option from the Files menu.    
2.Use the psnup utility to create a multipage version of the postscript file. Note that psnup is a command-line utility, and has no Windows interface. The manual page for psnup is available at the aboveweb page. Basically, the form which you will need is
                              Psnup -4 input_file.ps output_file.ps

Replace input_file.ps with the name of the source file, and output_file.ps with the name of the target  file. If you want, for example, two logical pages per physical, replace the -4 with -2. You now have a PostScript file which may be printed and/or viewed with GSView. To generate a corresponding PDF file requires Adobe Acrobat Distiller or a similar utility, which is commercial software.

Have you tried opening your document to full screen and using the print screen button ? it is far from ideal but it should work :)

hope this helps


Are you sure that your pdf file is complete.  I mean if it was downloaded completely from the net, if it was, or copied correctly.  I could print pdf files on adobe acrobat.

You can lock documents using Acrobat exchange and there is no way to unlock them, except of hacking them. I'm not aware of any hacking tools, but you might want to search on HotBot.

(We've used this feature for a number of projects that required copyright protection enforcement).
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