How to disable print screen using Acrobat 8 Security.

Posted on 2007-10-01
Last Modified: 2013-11-26
I was wondering how to disable print screen using Acrobat 8 Security. I am trying to distribute a technical .PDF file. I would like to stop people from taking screen captures of my document. Also can I set a limit on how many times someone can open the document? I would like to set a limit of 30 times to prevent distribution of my technical tutorial .PDF document.

Question by:stevef22
    LVL 22

    Expert Comment

    I don't think it's possible.
    LVL 22

    Expert Comment

    I know you can disable print screen some web files, but it'll be possible through other utilities.
    LVL 9

    Expert Comment

    As far as I know you can't disable print-screen in Acrobat easily. Print-screen functionality is handled by the OS and Acrobat does not seem to have control over it. In any case, you can't stop the determined - even if you stop print-screen, people will still be able to take a photo of the screen using a camera ;-)

    You can't set a limit on the number of times the document can be opened using desktop Acrobat products. It is possible using Acrobat's server infrastructure, however this is quite complex and expensive.

    Unfortunately there is no quick and easy way to achieve what you are proposing.
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    Also you can rip the security off a PDF document relatively easily.

    It will only stop the honest people.



    Author Comment

    Wow, What digital delivery methods do most people use who have an ebook or tutorial? What are the options out there?

    Thank you for the great ideas to put a watermark or copyright my material.
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    You are not able to stop screen capturing, you may stop the windows built in function with various utilities but there are a lot more ways to do a screen capture.
    LVL 32

    Accepted Solution

    You will  not be able to sufficiently protect your PDF docs using Acrobat doc security and all screen print functionality utilities would likely mean that you have to have control over someone else OS functions... So what next?

    All in all some very good suggestions here and the watermark is important as much as the copyright. If technologies fails to protect (which is likely to be the case here) look at the legal deterrent.

    In the end someone will find a way of breaking any protection, just look at how much the games and software industry spends every year to prevent unauthorized copying...

    Have a discussion with a good copyright lawyer and discuss your concerns, if the PDF contains proprietary content you have developed you may want more than copyright but maybe patent protection too.

    If you are simply concerned about distribution, have a look at DRM, in particular look at, these guys seem to specialize in PDF distribution. Although tis is not cheap it is worth weighing up against potential loss from copyright infringements...


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