6 Replies Latest reply on Apr 3, 2011 4:48 PM by tapeck

    Will .pdfs ever limit printing to physical printers as an option?

    tapeck

      It would be great if .pdf creation had the option to prevent printing to virtual devices. Then I could allow customers of my eBook to print out. As it is now, allowing printing to a virtual device means losing the book entirely. Any security you add is lost.

       

      Will Adobe ever give this option in Acrobat? To only print to a physical printer?

        • 1. Re: Will .pdfs ever limit printing to physical printers as an option?
          MichaelKazlow MVP & Adobe Community Professional

          We cannot speculate on Acrobat's future. This is the feature/wish list report form:

           

          https://www.adobe.com/cfusion/mmform/index.cfm?name=wishform

           

          I'll just add you assume that a program is capable of determining from the OS the difference between a virtual printer and a physical printer. When properly written an application shouldn't be able to tell UNLESS it is a feature of the OS and I bet that at the present time it is not a feature on the Mac, Windows nor many other OSs.

          • 2. Re: Will .pdfs ever limit printing to physical printers as an option?
            tapeck Level 1

            Thanks Michael. I had just used that form requesting the feature before posting the question.

             

            All I know is that it is possible to do so (drumlin security, for example, wraps a .pdf in a reader which prevents virtual printing).

             

            I would think that as more and more physical books become eBooks - a worldwide phenomenon - such a basic security method should be a part of any decent .pdf creation app. It might even be considered unethical not to provide it. I can't understand why it wasn't a feature built in at ground up.

             

            Perhaps, though, Adobe wants publishers to go through their expensive Content Server eBook solution instead. Does anyone know if this solution has this option to choose to print only to a physical printer?

            • 3. Re: Will .pdfs ever limit printing to physical printers as an option?
              Bernd Alheit Adobe Community Professional & MVP
              Will Adobe ever give this option in Acrobat? To only print to a physical printer?

              This is impossible.

              • 4. Re: Will .pdfs ever limit printing to physical printers as an option?
                tapeck Level 1

                Why do you say this? Do you mean technically impossible? If so, how does drumlin security achieve this from within from its .pdf reader?

                 

                http://www.drumlinsecurity.com/

                 

                Ebrary library service also detects virtual printers. It is certainly technically feasible. How, I have no idea. Preventing screengrabbing is possible too.

                 

                I don't see why Adobe could not do similarly. Obviously, I am not suggesting that virtual printing is a bad thing; I would just like to see the option in Acrobat.

                • 5. Re: Will .pdfs ever limit printing to physical printers as an option?
                  Bernd Alheit Adobe Community Professional & MVP
                  Why do you say this? Do you mean technically impossible? If so, how does drumlin security achieve this from within from its .pdf reader?

                  Where did you read this?

                  • 6. Re: Will .pdfs ever limit printing to physical printers as an option?
                    tapeck Level 1

                    On the features page of the drumlin website:

                     

                    Drumlin PDF reader features

                     

                    PDF versions 1.0 to 1.6 (includes PDF revision 1.7)

                    ...

                    ...

                    Copying of screen text and clipboard copying - disabled by default, can be enabled. Is enabled by default for standard PDF files (non-secured). In-context menu support via right mouse click (if text copying permitted)

                    Prevention of screen grabber programs from capturing content

                    Printing - local, network and hub-based printing enabled or disabled according to publisher settings; non-physical device printing is disabled

                     

                    ************************************************

                     

                    But don't take it from me, you can download their reader and see for yourself that it can be done.

                     

                    I also spent a week with the security librarian at a local university showing him that the ebooks within the Ebrary and NetLibrary resource systems could be printed to non-physical devices and could therefore be fairly easily pirated (it is a doddle to overcome the 10 pages only copyright limit). However, if the ebooks were first viewed in the Ebrary reader, they would not print to virtual devices.

                     

                    Adobe, in my estimation, is being remiss in not addressing this issue.