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- Designing forms in multiple applications
- Creating and editing fields
- Using auto-recognition
- Adding buttons and check boxes
- Creating and adding artwork
- Performing math in a form
- Creating an order form
- Securing forms with passwords and digital signatures
- Distributing forms via email or Acrobat.com
Skill Level Intermediate
I've just opened a PDF, but I can't see the contents yet, because I need to enter a password. Luckily, I know the password, it's fmphoto2012. Unfortunately, I can't see what I'm typing. That's how secure this is, you can't even see your own typing. But when I click OK, obviously I typed it successfully, because I have the document open. There's a bit of security on this document. If you'll notice it says SECURED up in the title bar and at the left you'll see a little padlock icon. So, that's telling me that there are some limits to what I can do with this document, and it mentions it here.
You can't print or copy this document. It has an open password or modify password. So, I can do a few things. I can choose which photos I would like to have the photographer provide me large-format prints for, but I can't extract any of these images, I can't print, I can't modify the content, and I can't place comments on the content. This isn't absolutely bulletproof. I suppose somebody who's very clever could take this apart, but when you're dealing with the general public or reasonable people, password protection is enough to protect your intellectual content.
So, let's see how this happens. I'm not going to save the changes to this. I'm going to back to the original file, and we're going to take a look at how you apply that security. Right now, there is no security, everything is fine, I could extract content, so forth and so on. I'm going to go to File>Properties, go to Security and for my Security Method I'm going to choose Password Security. First, you choose your Compatibility. You're probably pretty safe choosing Acrobat 7 or later. If you know that the people you're going to send this file to are still sort of living in the past and have an ancient version of Acrobat or Reader, well, then you'll have to consider that, but I think as a default choice, Acrobat 7 is pretty safe.
So we have two passwords to consider. An Open Password that the recipient has to have to even open it and then a Permissions Password to protect the limitations that you put on the file. So, I'm going to apply the Open Password and that's going to be fmphoto2012. It's not a very high quality password, it's medium and it's pretty safe. And then a little reminder here, this is the password that's required to open the document. Then the Permissions Password is going to be photosecure.
If you want you can sort of think of these as two doors. The Open Password is sort of the screen door, but then to protect the interior of the document from any sort of modification, the wooden door is the Permissions Password, and here's a little tip. It's nice if you remember both of the passwords, since you created this document and you're protecting it, but if you're going to remember one of the passwords, remember the Permissions Password, because in a clinch, the Permissions Password will also work to open the document. So, what limitations am I going to put on this? I could let it be printed at low resolution, but I'm going to protect it completely by saying they can't print it at all and then what changes am I going to allow.
I can't say None, because that would prevent the user from filling out the form, checking the boxes underneath the photos that they want. So I am going to allow Filling in form fields and signing existing signature fields. Notice, here you can also add Commenting. There's no reason to comment on this, so I don't need that option, so that ought to do it. When I click OK, Acrobat gives me the opportunity to make sure I typed my password correctly and this is fmphoto2012 that's the Open Password and then there's this little caution, Acrobat and Reader will honor these permissions.
Other products such as Illustrator and InDesign will honor those protections. So, if you try to open up a protected PDF in Illustrator, Illustrator is not going to do it. But then there's this, there're some third-party products that don't honor those security settings and that's why I say it's not utterly bulletproof, but in the general run of things, this password security is sufficient to protect your content. Now, when I clicked OK, I'm reminded that I should remember that Permissions Password and that's photosecure.
Then one last little note. These Security settings aren't going to be applied to the document until you save it and close it. So, when I click OK, and OK, now if I save it and close it, the next time it's opened up, its going to require that password and all of the content of this PDF is going to be protected.