3 Replies Latest reply on Dec 10, 2010 10:06 AM by Eulie171

    Print just once and then close?

    Eulie171 Level 1

      First time poster with a complex problem, so please pardon the elaboration:

       

      We produce .pdf files via xml code (I believe using APACHE) that can be downloaded by customers/clients via a link in their web browser.  We have a client who is very concerned about document security, so they would like us to be able to provide the following constraints on the .pdf file that they get:

       

      1  It can be printed without the computer user actually seeing the content of the file (ie, direct to printer)

      2  It can only be printed once and then "forces" Acrobat to close

      3  It can't be saved (incl. via "Save As...")

      4  It disappears once the print job is complete (ie, is cleared automatically from downloads)

      5  All of this is as easy as can be for the computer user, preferably with just one or two clicks

       

      We do know enough to know that most of these are not technically possible, but I wanted to see if anyone has suggestions for "simple" ways to approximate or emulate some of these functions.  We know that Javascripting can be used to make certain things happen when the document "Will Print", or ways to make a "silent print", but our understanding is that those scripts need to be put in place ad hoc on the client's side once they have already downloaded the .pdf onto their computer; we can't embed an "always do this with a file from this site" rule from our side, so this doesn't solve their "minimal interaction" problem. 

       

      Also, we are willing to ask them to purchase another product (Adobe or otherwise) if it would make these things possible.

       

      Any thoughts -- especially those of a programming-light nature -- would be greatly appreciated!  Thanks.

        • 1. Re: Print just once and then close?
          Eulie171 Level 1

          PS -  Here are the scenarios the client doesn't want to have happen:

          1  Person A downloads his/her personal file and walks away from the computer to get it at the printer; Person B comes along and looks at the file (still on screen), or saves the file, or prints it to a different printer and gets Person A's stuff.

          2  Person A walks away when finished and Person C comes to the same computer and finds Person A's file.

          • 2. Re: Print just once and then close?
            Dave Merchant MVP & Adobe Community Professional
            1  It can be printed without the computer user actually seeing the content of the file (ie, direct to printer)

             

            Impossible - there is no concept of streaming in PDF, so the file MUST be saved locally before it can be opened, printed or anything else. Where that file sits is entirely the responsibility of the operating system, web browser, etc. - Acrobat has no rights to delete files it didn't create in the first place, and you can't get around that with scripting or make the user falsely believe that's what has happened.

             

            It's like asking to print a web page without ever visiting it - if that were possible, hackers would empty your paper tray faster than you could blink.

             

            2  It can only be printed once and then "forces" Acrobat to close

             

            There is no way to call an app.close event from a document, no matter what code you use. Again this is a sandbox feature which cannot be worked around.

             

            3  It can't be saved (incl. via "Save As...")

            4  It disappears once the print job is complete (ie, is cleared automatically from downloads)

             

            See Q1 above.

             

             

            Even with a digital rights management solution there is absolutely no way to open a file without first downloading and saving a copy, nor any way to control the number of times a document is printed as the "number of copies" field in the system print dialog is not exposed to the control of the application calling it. Any attempt to hijack the system print or file manager tasks would not only require software to be installed on the viewing computer, but it would in all probability be seen as illegal rootkit code by many jurisdictions.

            • 3. Re: Print just once and then close?
              Eulie171 Level 1

              Thanks, Dave!  This is, unfortunately, as we suspected.