1 person found this helpful
I wonder if you've used any characters outside the regular English letters, numbers, space? Especially accented characters, I could see a problem there.
Sorry - just upper and lower casecharacters from the English alphabet, plus hyphens
So, the problem is hyphens.
If I create a doc password protected by "abc1234", it opens on both Mac and Windows just fine, once the password is entered. If I then change the password to "abc-1234", I can open it on Mac (which probably means "the platform on which the password protection was added") but not on Windows.
This begs the question: Is hyphen a special case character (or a bug) or are there more characters that cannot be used for cross-platform password protection?
You got ahead of me. I wondered if it was the hyphens. Hyphens are a typographical problem, because we have several distinct characters: hyphen (word joiner); minus sign; n dash; m dash. Sometimes programs like Word take one and turn it into another based on the context. That probably isn't happennig here, but which one do you get when you use a Mac or Windows keyboard? I haven't looked into it, and I'd have expected a simple hyphen, TYPED AT THE KEYBOARD (not copy/paste) into Acrobat to be portable.
Still, it's easy to avoid, so probably easiest to do so. I can't think of any other widely used character that is as complicated.
I can tell you in my testing that my results were consistent regardless of whether I typed the hyphen at the keyboard or pasted it in from a text document.
So, that still leaves us with "is this a bug?" or "is it a prohibited character?"
Obviously, in these days of concern over password strength, it is important to understand the range of available character set, so we can select effective (and legal) characters and not have to deal with the trial-and-error of trying to learn which characters to avoid.
I am also still confused as to why the exact same password, entered in the exact same manner succeeds on one platform and not another. Unless the input dialog is silently converting the character (which I think could only be diagnosed with a debugger), results should be consistent. After all, the "P" in PDF does stand for "Portable".
Do you have the resources to try and reproduce my test case? I would be curious to know if the problem occurs both ways or just Mac->Windows.
I just made files in Windows with passwords of a-b-c and café. Both opened fine on Mac. I made a file on Mac with a password of x-y-z; opened fine in Windows.
(Acrobat X; 7.0 compatible passwords).
Are you definitely typing your passwords directly into Acrobat in both cases? Not copy/pasting passwords?
And definitely using Acrobat (not anything else) to set the passwords?
(By the way, the PDF standard is ominously silent about what to do if a password contains a character that isn't portable between systems, like É. I hope this will be clarified in future. It seems, however, that Adobe have internally made a sensible decision like "use Unicode" or whatever; a pity it isn't published).