In the Export Adobe PDF window, click down to the Security tab. Down in the Permissions section, change Printing Allowed: to None.
I would create your security in Acrobat Pro.
Open the PDF and choose File > Properties > Security.
Set a Permissions password. Set the document to not allow printing. This won't require a password to open the document, but would only require a password if you wanted to change the settings.
Sadly security in the PDFs is like a wet paper towel - very easy to break.
It's nice to save the environment and all that - but perhaps a polite reminder in the header of the t&c would be better.
At the end of the day if someone wants to print the document there's little you can do - people will find a way around it.
I was just talking about this in an Acrobat class I was teaching yesterday. Eugene is quite correct. Security created in Acrobat/InDesign is like placing a lock on your front door: It deters casual theft, but if someone is determined to get in, they can probably find a way.
It's more like leaving the door closed, not locked.
Steve, it worked - I owe you a drink. Thank you so much, you're my saviour.
You're right but fundamentally the hope is it will prevent the majority from printing it because they can; we need to assume most people won't bother trying to find a way.
Well, let's hope that those that do find a way to print it go on to recycle the paper.
If you're hoping to prevent a PDF document from printing with sneak-around backdoors, you'll be disappointed.
Anyone who breaks an expensive scanner platen glass by placing or dropping a CRT monitor on it, when following Eugene's illustrated example, might be permanently dissuaded. Making a screen shot with the computer's own tools, or a camera's phone is easier and safer.
If your hope is simply to always prompt the user to reconsider killing trees needlessly, it may be possible to intercept a print request made from the Acrobat display software in use at the time (Acrobat, Reader, Web browser window, Mac Preview, etc.) and display an alert to think about printing before proceeding. If this kind of print request can't be intercepted, you could consider creating a button in the document labeled "Print," but which displays an alert and gives the option to proceed or cancel. Perhaps there a script solution for what you need.
If your hope is to make it as difficult as possible for someone to print a PDF, consider converting text to outlines and/or incorporating a patterned background behind text, to disable easy Optical Character Recognition, and to "contaminate" graphics. However, a clever Photoshop user might be able to minimize the graphic pattern.
NOTE: Enabling Acrobat's security to disable screen readers does not disable the ability to select and highlight on-screen text, but it does prevent copying the text to the clipboard.
Hi I need to create a T&C form which will be emailed out to clients, the sales team have requested that this should be readable but not printable as a PDF in a small step in saving the environment. I actually achieved this last week and now for the life of me cannot work out how to do it again. Would anyone be able to help? Many thanks, Claire
NB: unchecking the 'Print Layer' in the Layer Options box does not work, sadly neither does ticking the 'Nonprinting' option in the Attributes window. I have a feeling it was something in the export dialog box but definitely not a security ermissions option as the PDF I created last week doesn't require a password and yet won't print.
Maybe I did it wrong, but I was able to open the PDF without entering a password, and the Print option was unavailable.
Thanks Peter, yes you're right chucking a monitor onto a scanner isn't an ideal workaround, and if someone does want to print it they could easy screen grab the page as you've suggested. It's not that I hope to make it as difficult as possible for someone to print the T&C's it's more that we intend to combine this page with various sales forms into individual PDF Portfolios so they're held neatly together if you will, this way the end user will be able to fill in the first (fillable) PDF and print it out easily (to sign and return it) without having to think about the second page of T&C's. Claire
That's exactly how the document should function.
Obviously the monitor on a scanner was lighthearted humour and the Chutzpah way of getting this done.
There are numerous ways to print a pdf from a pdf with the security.
As I said earlier - a polite message in the header of the document might be more of a deterrent - as if someone wanted to print it they would be determined and when they found a way they would.
I'd be far less inclined to print a document if it had in the header
"this is an electronic file format, please consider the environment and refrain from printing this document".
Anyone opening the PDF in the a 3rd party reader, like mac preview, or any number of 3rd party PDF readers would be able to resave it and print it with no warnings at all.
That is - they wouldn't be prompted by Security field at all.
Eugene I completely agree, let's applaud anyone with the audacity to tear out their monitor & slap it on a scanner just to get a copy of a little form. I love your photo. I'll suggest that warning message to the Sales team this afternoon although feel that disabling this function should suffice my original intention. I'm not going to ear clip anyone who does choose to print this form out we're simply disabling the function to make it specifically tough for any layman to.
As I said, some people wont' even get the warning if they have a 3rd Party Reader.
So a polite message would be seen by everyone and leave the choice up to them too.