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Nowadays, PDF files are sent everywhere. They are sent by e-mail, you can actually see them posted online on websites. What's interesting about a PDF document is that you can always open them up directly inside of Illustrator. Depending on the artwork that you create, there is still present some kind of a security risk. For example, what's that prevent a client from taking a mock-up that you have sent them and actually re -purposing that art for their own? Or let's say you are pitching a campaign idea but the information that's sensitive, you want to make sure that only certain people can see it. Well, in that case you could actually turn on some security settings when you save your PDF documents.
Start off by going to the File menu and choosing to Save your document. Choose PDF for your file Format, also my Desktop here and I'll click Save. In the Save Adobe PDF dialog box, I'll go down over here where it says Security. When you are working with PDF document, there are two kinds of passwords that you can have in a document. The first one is called the Document Open Password. The second one is called the Permissions Password. They both do two things and you don't have to have both of them turned on inside of a document either, you can use one or the other. If you want to, you can also use both. Let's see exactly what they do.
Now a Document Open Password is something that basically prevents somebody from opening up a file to begin with. If you check this box and you specify a Document Open Password, when you send that PDF file to somebody else and they try to open it, they will get a dialog box informing them that file is protected. Only by entering the password will they be able to actually view the document itself. We also know, there is a version of Acrobat called Acrobat Professional. There are also lots of plug-ins that you can buy for Acrobat Pro that allow you to make edits in those documents. Well, that's where the Permissions Password comes into play because even if I would have actually opened up the PDF document, let's say, I give somebody my particular password so that they can actually open and view the file. By specifying a Permissions password, I can limit what can be done to that file even after it has been opened.
For example, by specifying a Permissions Password, I could basically turn off printing. By choosing None here, when they go into Acrobat and they try to choose the Print command, the Print command in Acrobat will be grayed out. Alternatively, I can choose to only allow this document to be printed at Low Resolution. I also have the ability here to tick this check box and disable the ability to copy text, images, or other content. Finally, I can also limit the types of changes that can be made to that document. For example, I may allow commenting, or filling in the forms, or signing the document, but no other changes. Or I can just disallow any kind of change that all. So this is a way that you can secure your document to ensure that other people don't see it.
It's important to realize though that just because you add a password to a document doesn't mean that no one will ever be able to get into it. In fact, there are some software programs available on the Internet these days that claim that they have the capabilities to actually open up some protected PDF documents. So in reality, if security is really a sensitive thing and it's very important to you, while these settings are certainly deterrent, you will probably want to check out Certificate Security that's available inside of Acrobat and LiveCycle. You can find that more information about those products on www.adobe.com.
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