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Adding Security to PDF Files

You can add security to your Adobe PDF files when you first create them or after the fact. You can even add security to files that you receive from someone else, unless the creator of the document has limited who can change security settings.

In this part of the exercise, you'll add password protection to limit who can open your document and who can change the security settings.

Adding Passwords

You can add two kinds of passwords to protect your Adobe PDF documents. You can add a Document Open password so that only users who have the password can open the document, and you can add a Permissions password so that only users who have the password can change the permissions for the document.

You'll add protection to your logo file so that no one can change the contents of the logo file and so that unauthorized users can't open and use the file.

  1. Choose File > Open, and open the SBR_Logo.pdf file.
  2. Choose File > Save As, name the file SBR_Logo1.pdf, and save it in the Lesson08 folder.
  3. Click the Secure task button (with the padlock icon), and choose Show Security Properties.

    No security at all has been applied to this file. You'll first choose the type of security to add.

  4. From the Security Method menu, choose Password Security. The Password Security Settings dialog box opens automatically.

    First you'll set the compatibility level.

    The default compatibility level is compatibility with Acrobat 7.0 or later. If you're sure that all your users have Acrobat 7.0 or later, this compatibility level is the preferred setting. If you think that some of your users may still be running earlier versions of Acrobat, then you should select an earlier version. Be aware, however, that this setting may use a lower encryption level.

  5. Select your compatibility level from the Compatibility menu. We used Acrobat 7.0 and Later.
  6. Select the "Require a password to open the document" option, and then type your password. We typed SBRLogo.

    You'll share this password with anyone that you want to be able to open the document. Remember that passwords are case-sensitive.

    Now you'll add a second password that controls who is allowed to change printing, editing, and security settings for the file.

  7. Under Permissions, select "Restrict editing and printing of the document," and type a second password. We typed SBRPres. (Note that your Open password and Permissions password can't be the same.)
  8. From the Printing Allowed menu, choose whether to allow printing at all, printing at low resolution, or printing at high resolution. We chose Low Resolution (150 dpi).
  9. From the Changes Allowed menu, specify the type of changes you will allow users to make. We chose "Commenting, filling in form fields, and signing existing signature fields" to allow users to comment on the logo (see Figure 19).
  10. Click OK to apply your changes.
  11. In the first dialog box, reenter the Open password. We entered SBRLogo. Then click OK, and click OK again to clear the alert box.
  12. In the second dialog box, reenter the Permissions password. We entered SBRPres. Then click OK, and click OK again to clear the alert box.

    Notice that the actions available to users don't appear to have changed. But if you click the Show Details button, you'll see the limitations applied.

  13. Click OK to exit the Document Properties dialog box.
  14. Click File > Save to save your work and apply the security changes.
  15. Choose File > Close to close the SBR_Logo1.pdf file.

Now you'll check the security that you've added to your file.

Opening Password-Protected Files

  1. Choose File > Open and reopen the SBR_Logo1.pdf file in the Lesson08 folder.

    You're prompted to enter the required password to open the file.

  2. We entered SBRLogo and clicked OK.

    Notice that "(SECURED)" has been appended to the filename at the top of your display.

    Now you'll test the Permissions password.

  3. Click the Secure task button, and choose Show Security Properties from the menu.
  4. In the Document Properties dialog box, try changing the Security Method from Password Security to No Security.

    Acrobat prompts you to enter the Permissions password.

  5. We entered SBRPres and clicked OK and then OK again.

    All restrictions are now removed from the file.

  6. Click OK to close the Document Properties dialog box.
  7. Choose File > Close, and close the file without saving the changes.
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