Prevent downloading, saving and printing a PDF

Posted on 2012-09-04
Last Modified: 2012-09-06
I have a few documents which we would like users to view on the web as PDF files. However we want to prevent the user from downloading, saving or printing these documents. Can this be done in Acrobat 9 or 10? Is there another file format which we could use to achieve these objectives.  Thanks in advance for your suggestions. Don
Question by:don_denson
    LVL 62

    Assisted Solution

    by:☠ MASQ ☠
    With conventional PDFs you can "prevent" printing using the security settings in Acrobat (it's in quotes as it depends on how ingenious your users are, there are workarounds that can bypass the settings) If your users are viewing the pdf in a web browser thay will already have downloaded and saved a copy of the file to their local machine profile even though they might not realise they have.

    Author Comment

    Thanks Masqueraid: Is there another file type (or approach) that one could use to achieve these goals? Regards, Don
    LVL 62

    Expert Comment

    by:☠ MASQ ☠
    It's a little outside my "comfort zone" but I suspect you could use something like a conversion to Flash in the browser window to decrease the likelihood of the documents going places they're not supposed to.
    LVL 9

    Assisted Solution

    Hi Don, For Digital Rights Management related to Adobe PDF the product to look at is Adobe LiveCycle Rights Management

    There is a cheaper alternative available for vitrium called ProtectedPDF that offers similar rights management features.

    In Adobe Acrobat you can put a password on the file that can prevent anyone from copying or printing.

    I believe in all of the solutions, the you cannot prevent downloading or saving of the file because that is how your content is made visible to the user in the first place.

    Hope this helps.

    Good Luck!
    LVL 9

    Accepted Solution

    Another very relevant solution could be the FileOpen Rights Manager solution This claims to have an option to prevent "Saves As" options as well. This might be useful for your needs.

    Author Closing Comment

    Thanks to you both for the excellent guidance....Regards, Don Denson

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