19 Replies Latest reply: Apr 17, 2013 11:14 AM by try67 RSS

    Make a secure pdf unsecure

    jmt111 Community Member

      Is it possible to make a secure pdf unsecure using Adobe Acrobat Pro?

       

      Basically, I am trying to add text using the Edit Document Text tool, but I cannot and I believe it is because it is secure.

        • 1. Re: Make a secure pdf unsecure
          Bernd Alheit CommunityMVP

          What did you see in the security settings of the document?

          • 2. Re: Make a secure pdf unsecure
            Bill@VT CommunityMVP

            If you know it is secured for editing, then you will have to change the security setting to none first. That means you have to have the password. Once you have turned the security off, you can do minor edits to the PDF and then just reset the security.

            • 3. Re: Make a secure pdf unsecure
              jmt111 Community Member

              When I open the file, “(SECURED)” is displayed to the right of the file name on the top horizontal bar. Does this mean it is secure?

              If so, is there any other way to unsecure it if I do not know the password? I have tried printing it to a new pdf but could not.

              • 4. Re: Make a secure pdf unsecure
                Bernd Alheit CommunityMVP

                Ask the creator of the document for the password.

                • 5. Re: Make a secure pdf unsecure
                  jmt111 Community Member

                  I can remove the security feature by writing (printing) the pdf to a new pdf using [ XXXXX ]. Acrobat does not allow me to write this particular pdf to a new pdf. It may be because of a security feature.

                  • 6. Re: Make a secure pdf unsecure
                    Bernd Alheit CommunityMVP

                    Yes, Adobe software respects the security settings.

                    • 7. Re: Make a secure pdf unsecure
                      Dave Merchant CommunityMVP

                      These forums do not permit discussions about how to bypass the security features applied by Adobe software.

                      • 8. Re: Make a secure pdf unsecure
                        jmt111 Community Member

                        I don't believe the security feature was applied by Adobe software. It came like that by the company. They could have used any pdf software to make the pdf secure. And the only way I will be able to get my signature on it is to either make it unsecure or to use software other than Adobe Acrobat.

                        • 9. Re: Make a secure pdf unsecure
                          Daniel Flavin Community Member

                          Security is not added to a PDF document without explicitly doing so.

                          The creator performed this action, and holds rights to the document (intellectual and copyright).

                           

                          I would think twice about

                          1. posting how one circumvented their security

                          2. attaching my signature to such a document.

                           

                          my 2 cents

                          • 10. Re: Make a secure pdf unsecure
                            jmt111 Community Member

                            A creator does not necessarily hold intellectual rights or the copyright to a pdf he
                            created. Anyone can open a document on any web page and write it to pdf. That
                            does not mean he holds rights to the contents therein. People can create pdfs
                            of others’ work, or of work in the public domain without acquiring any
                            copyright to the materials therein.

                                

                            I find nothing wrong, immoral or unethical about discussing how to attach a signature
                            to a secured pdf. I am required to sign pdfs all of the time. Is it immoral to
                            explore ways to save time, money, electricity, ink and trees by adding a
                            signature to a document rather than printing every document I have to execute,
                            then sign it, and have to rescan it? Or have to drive three miles down to the
                            nearest Kinko’s and waste time and money because I cannot afford a scanner or
                            do not want to spend $70 + tax on the cheapest model I am able to find?

                            • 11. Re: Make a secure pdf unsecure
                              try67 CommunityMVP

                              Whatever the reasons were, they obviously did not want you to edit this file in any way, including signing it (or they would have allowed it).

                              There are ways around any type of security, of course, but this is not the place to discuss it, as was mentioned earlier.

                              • 12. Re: Make a secure pdf unsecure
                                Dave Merchant CommunityMVP

                                Adobe does not promote, endorse or discuss any methods whose primary purpose would be to infringe copyright and violate national laws, and all their software is designed to respect explicit copyright protection measures, irrespective of how they were applied. You can export an unsecured PDF file to Word and paste it into your latest novel; that's a problem between you and the owner's lawyers - but if they've added protection we have to assume on the balance of probability that it was done for valid reasons.

                                 

                                It doesn't matter why you want to do this or where your specific document came from. If we told you how to do it, we would be also telling everyone else who finds this site via Google - and most of them will be trying to steal content. That would make Adobe liable for promoting copyright infringement.

                                • 13. Re: Make a secure pdf unsecure
                                  Phillip Jones Community Member

                                  First, I 'm not into cracking files so that I can sign them. But just because you put copyright on a Document doesn't mean its so. I have several Photo editing Programs that actually can put the word copy right on the image. But just because it can but put there each of those pieces would have to registered with copyright office. You can't just say oh that's copywritten. it has to be backed up with some proof. If I were a Pro Photographer with a Business license I would have some copyright document  in the Copyright Office. Then and only then could I leagally put the word copyright on my photo's.

                                  • 14. Re: Make a secure pdf unsecure
                                    jmt111 Community Member

                                    Everything Dave Merchant has said is reasonable and I have nothing against protecting intellectual property or copyright. But I am not talking about unsecuring a pdf in order to
                                    copy content. I am talking about adding an image filee to a pdf so that it can
                                    contain my signature.

                                     

                                    I do not doubt that the ingenuity of Adobe engineers cannot find a way to protect the contents of a document, prevent them from being copied, altered, etc., while still allowing a third party user to add a signature to that document. I cannot see how anybody is harmed by allowing a
                                    signature on a document, and surely there can be a nuanced approach to
                                    protecting intellectual property without banning all modifications to a document.

                                     

                                    I am also discouraged in having discovered that Bluebeam Revu is also taking an approach similar to Adobe. With Revu v7, I was able to add my signature to secured documents. Now, with v11, which I just spent a lot of money on, I can do nothing but view a secured document. That’s another pdf company that is not taking a nuanced approach to pdf protection …

                                    • 15. Re: Make a secure pdf unsecure
                                      try67 CommunityMVP

                                      I cannot see how anybody is harmed by allowing a

                                      signature on a document, and surely there can be a nuanced approach to

                                      protecting intellectual property without banning all modifications to a document.

                                      There is, and it was left to the *author* of the document to decide what they want to allow and want they don't want, not to the user. That would be a very silly approach indeed.

                                      • 16. Re: Make a secure pdf unsecure
                                        jmt111 Community Member

                                        You mean a document author can prohibit, for example, modifying or copying the text of a document but allow a user to add an image to a document?

                                        • 17. Re: Make a secure pdf unsecure
                                          try67 CommunityMVP

                                          Yes, they can allow the user to insert an image into a button field but prohibit other actions like copying text.

                                           

                                          Edit: A much better option, by the way, is to sign a document digitally, not by adding an image. This too can be allowed by the author.

                                          • 18. Re: Make a secure pdf unsecure
                                            jmt111 Community Member

                                            OK--then I guess my critique is misdirected. It should be directed towards companies that send these documents with blanket restrictions on them. I just got eight documents of many dozen pages needing to be signed or initialed and I do not look forward to having to scan each of these signed / initialed pages individually ...

                                            • 19. Re: Make a secure pdf unsecure
                                              try67 CommunityMVP

                                              Now you're getting our point... You should contact those companies and ask them to relax their policies and allow you to sign the documents digitally or via a form field.