Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
Take a look at this PDF I have up onscreen. It is Two Trees Extra Virgin Olive Oil Payroll information. I can see everybody's payroll. How did I get my hands on this confidential document? You don't need to know that. All I want to do right now is print out a thousand copies, and send it all around the office. So I go to the File menu, and I choose--hey! Why can't I print it? Well, fine! I guess there has been some kind of security applied to this document. Not a big problem.
I'm a knowledgeable Acrobat user, so I'm just going to go to Content. I'm going to choose the Edit Document Text. I am going to select all this text, and copy it, and paste it somewhere else. Or maybe I'll just delete it, or... where is the Copy command? Where is the Delete command? They're not here. This document has been password- protected, so that I can open it, but there are a whole lot of things I can't do with it. That's what this chapter is all about is how can you secure your PDFs, so that people can do what you want them to do with it--such as open it and look at it-- but that you can prevent them from doing things that you don't want to happen, such as copying text out of it, or printing it, or maybe even you don't want them to open it in the first place unless they are the exact right person, or unless they know the password? So let's take a look at how you can use Adobe Acrobat to protect your documents.
I'm going to close this for now. We have an unprotected version opened up. You can see, I can go to Content and all of the commands are enabled. All of the commands having to do with applying password security or other kinds of security to your PDFs are located here under Tools > Protection. They're up here. These two items are where you're going to be working. It's called Encrypt because all protection of a PDF is based on encryption. You need to know the password to unencrypt the document.
So let's take a look at the levels of encryption that you can use. The one that we were just working with was an Encrypt with Password-protected document. If you choose that, you'll see that you can choose a password that's required to open the document, or a password that is required to do things like printing, or combination of the two. We're going to be looking at that in a different video in more detail. Another kind of encryption that you can use with Adobe Acrobat is called certificate encryption. You can create a digital certificate for yourself, which we'll talk about in a different video in this chapter, that identifies you uniquely, with your own encryption key. And you're able to send out that key as a public version to other people.
So if I want to exchange documents with my accountant, for example, and I only want my accountant to be able to open it, I can ask my accountant for her digital key from Acrobat. Then I can encrypt this document, so that only she and I can open it. That's Encrypt with certificate. You can choose to encrypt all the document content, or you could say the PDF is not encrypted, but everything attached to it--all the file attachments--are, and so on. So this is a higher level of encryption, because you're limiting it to people that you know.
If somebody came over and tortured me for my password and then learned the password, it wouldn't help them, because only I am able to open the document. The third level of protection that you can apply to a PDF is something that we're not able to cover, because it's more of a high-end enterprise kind of system. You'll find it here under More Protection. It is called Rights Management, and it's usually based on a server. So there are hospitals and law firms that have a lot of highly sensitive documentation that they need something to help manage all of the security applied to these documents, and so they invest on that kind of a system.
We're not going to be talking about that kind, but if you did have that system then all these commands would be enabled. Then they would be giving you their own training. Another thing that I want to call your attention to before we leave this, "what's the best method of encryption to choose?" is the fact that once you come up with different methods of encryption, you can include them as a preset in this Manage dialog box. So I've already created a couple. For example, when I send out a proof to a client, I want them to be able to open it, but I don't want them to be able to copy text or images out of the PDF.
So if I go to the Edit, you can see how I sort of put it all together. So as you create your own encryption, you can save them as a preset and then add them to this menu. Then if you use one a lot, like say I use Client Proofs a lot, I can make it a Favorite, click Close, and now whenever I want to apply that kind of protection to this document, I can go to my Protection Encrypt dropdown menu, and it's one of the choices right there. I'll just choose Client Proofs, click OK, and that dialog box said, "It's done." All I need to do is save the document.
Now, if I click the little Lock icon over here on the left, it tells me that this document is secured. I get the word "secured" at the top, and the details are here that I cannot copy out of this document. The lesson here is that even if you're not working in a large enterprise kind of environment, you do have a lot of leeway and a lot of options for protecting your documents with passwords, or with certificates.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
82 Video lessons · 91091 Viewers
80 Video lessons · 138152 Viewers
59 Video lessons · 56964 Viewers
52 Video lessons · 70598 Viewers
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.