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Exploring on Your Own: Using Security Envelopes

In Acrobat you can attach files to a PDF document and encrypt only the file attachments. In this case, the PDF document in which the file attachments are embedded functions as a security envelope. Anyone can open the security envelope and view the cover page and even a list of contents, but the attachments can only be opened as defined by the security you apply. When the attachments are opened and saved, they're identical to the original. No encryption is applied.

Suppose that you want to send a copy of the lotion advertisement to a satellite office. The advertisement is confidential at this point, so you want to be sure that no unauthorized person intercepts and opens it. To ensure this, you'll create a security envelope, attach the advertisement to it, and apply security. You'll use the wizard to walk you through the process; however, you can also create security envelopes manually.

  1. On Windows in Acrobat, click the Secure button on the Tasks toolbar, and choose Create Security Envelope or choose Advanced > Security > Create Security Envelope. (On Mac OS, choose Advanced > Security > Create Security Envelope.)
  2. In the Create Security Envelope dialog box, click the Add File to Send button. In the Files to Enclose dialog box, browse to select the file or files to add. We added the Lotion.pdf file in the Lesson08 folder. Note that you can add non-PDF files, and you can add more than one file. Use Ctrl-click (Mac OS: Command-click) to add multiple files from the same location, or add files one at a time if the files are located in different folders. Click Open to add the file(s).

    The Currently Selected Files window displays a list of the file(s) you have added. You can delete any file by selecting it and clicking Remove Selected Files.

  3. Click Next.
  4. In the Available Templates panel, select the template you want to use, and then click Next. We chose the envelope with a date stamp. Click Next.
  5. On Windows, for the delivery method, we elected to have the wizard email the completed envelope immediately. Click Next and then click Yes to clear the message box.
  6. In the Security Policy dialog box, first select Show All Policies. The policies available to you are listed. Select a policy. We chose Encrypt with Password. Click Next.
  7. Complete the Identity panel if you haven't already established an identity.
  8. Click Finish.

    Now you'll choose your security settings.

  9. In the Password Security Settings dialog box, we chose to use the default setting for the compatibility level and the document contents to encrypt, and we chose to set a password requirement for opening the documents.
  10. Click OK. If you set a password requirement, enter the password.

    After you complete this process, Acrobat will launch your default email program and create an email with the security envelope attached. Send the email message to yourself to see what the finished product looks like. (On Mac OS, you need to save, close, and reopen the file before Acrobat launches the email program.)

  11. When you're finished, close any open files and close Acrobat.
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