5 Replies Latest reply on Nov 8, 2013 2:04 AM by Dave Merchant

    How to stop an embedded PDF online from being copied and pasted?

    ryujingt3

      I have an issue which I need assistance with please.

       

      I can secure a PDF file using Adobe Acrobat XI and it disables it from being copied and pasted (right-click brings no such options) but, when I upload it online (to Wordpress) and link to it then it opens in Adobe Reader (or whatever PDF viewer the user has installed on their computer) and because of this they can highlight the text and right-click and then copy and paste it to a Word document and such, even though this was not possible in Adobe Acrobat XI but as soon as it goes online it is possible.  How can this be prevented?

       

      Basically I want to embed PDF's online for others to read and view directly online but I want to disable them from copying and pasting text - can this be done?

       

      Many thanks.

       

      Ian

        • 1. Re: How to stop an embedded PDF online from being copied and pasted?
          Test Screen Name Most Valuable Participant

          Remember the warning you get when setting security:

           

          a9securitywarning.JPG

          If your recipients are using non-Adobe viewers, as more and more are, this becomes more and more relevant.

          • 2. Re: How to stop an embedded PDF online from being copied and pasted?
            ryujingt3 Level 1

            Hello.

             

            Thank for replying. Does this mean that what I am asking cannot be achieved?

             

            If I allowed the secured PDF as a download instead (because it could not be embedded) and they tried to edit it with their PDF software I assume the encryption on it and restrictions (e.g. no copy and paste) would still be enforced?  Especially if they are using a non-Adobe PDF program?

             

            I apologise for the silly questions but I am just new to the whole thing and I am trying to get my head around the best way of hosting PDF documents online and keeping them secure.

             

            Thanks again.

            • 3. Re: How to stop an embedded PDF online from being copied and pasted?
              Test Screen Name Most Valuable Participant

              If I allowed the secured PDF as a download instead (because it could not be embedded) and they tried to edit it with their PDF software I assume the encryption on it and restrictions (e.g. no copy and paste) would still be enforced?

               

              Not a correct assumption. Some PDF software respects security and some doesn't. This has nothing to do with whether it is embedded or downloaded.

               

              Many people face this issue, but it is best to just get used to the idea that what you put on the web can be saved, shared, emailed, copied and recirculated. That's how the web is. Even if copy/paste wasn't allowed, the user could just do a screen capture and paste that. If that weren't allowed they could photograph the screen. And for some of the older generation, it even occurs to them to retype what they want...!

               


              • 4. Re: How to stop an embedded PDF online from being copied and pasted?
                ryujingt3 Level 1

                Thanks for the reply.

                 

                What, if anything, can be done in this situation?  Anything at all?

                • 5. Re: How to stop an embedded PDF online from being copied and pasted?
                  Dave Merchant MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                  The only way to truly protect a PDF file from being used for extraction is to deploy it with LiveCycle DRM. That's very expensive but the Acrobat Family will always respect the permissions settings, and no third-party software can open LCDRM documents.

                   

                  As Test Screen Name says, that doesn't stop someone from taking screenshots and OCR-ing them back into PDFs as if they were a scanned sheet of paper - but they cannot extract the original fonts, vector graphics, interactive elements such as scripts, layers, forms, media, etc. so it depends on what the PDF contains as to how 'protectable' it really is.