Forum Question: How Do I Encrypt PDFs?

How do I encrypt a pdf using a Mac? I have Adobe Acrobat Reader DC, but it does not allow me to use that feature.

Comments: 5 Responses to “How Do I Encrypt PDFs?”

    3/17/16 @ 1:32 pm

    You can do it with Preview. Open the PDF, then use File, Export as PDF. Click the Show Details button at the bottom of the save dialog. Then you’ll see a checkbox for Encrypt. Add a password and save it.
    You can also do this from any app by simply printing, then choosing the PDF button in the print dialog. Choose Save as PDF and then you’ll see a Security Options button at the bottom of that print dialog.

    3/17/16 @ 1:57 pm

    thank you so much Gary! Wracked my brain for hours yesterday!

    Print Path
    3/24/16 @ 11:20 am

    Does this Mac encryption in preview secure a PDF the same way that Adobe Acrobat Pro does? Can others copy the document, edit it and extract images?

    3/24/16 @ 12:13 pm

    Print: I think so. I’m not an encryption expert and I don’t see any details posted anywhere, but I believe that PDF encryption uses standards, so Preview and Adobe should encrypt the same way. Once you decrypt it (open it) then you can do whatever you want to it.

    David Graham
    3/24/16 @ 2:10 pm

    There are granular options to encrypting PDFs with Preview, including the option to require a password to copy text, images or print (but allow them to Open it). However, if the recipient is allowed to Open the document I feel certain that they could then make a screenshot and print that. So best bet would be to require a password to Open if you really don’t want them messing with it. I suppose that if you were sending a many-page document (a book) the granular options might be handy though.

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