PDF is a preferred file format used in business and other official environments, such as trading contracts, legal documents, recruitment forms, etc. These documents often contain important information that people don’t want others to make adjustments. Therefore, it is critical to make them non editable to ensure their security.
This post will share several methods that helps you to make a PDF non-editable. You can choose to make your PDF file non-editable with password protection, or convert PDF as image-based PDF to make it more challenging to edit.
The answer is yes.
We can know if a PDF is non editable or not by checking its properties. Right click on the thumbnail of the PDF file, choose Properties from drop-down list. In the Properties dialog box, go to the Security tab, here you can see the permissions on this PDF file.
There are lots of methods to make a PDF non editable, if you have few requirements for file security, try the basic tools on your operating system. For Mac users, right click the PDF file, choose Get Info > Sharing & Permission, set access rights here.
For Windows users, right click the PDF file > select Properties > tick Read-only in the Attribute column.
This method is quite easy but not workable all the time. People may change the read-only mode back to read-and-write.
If your PDF document involves valuable information and needs more protection, setting edit permissions on PDF documents with password is a more ideal solution. The following lists 3 reliable tools to help you make a PDF non-editable, both on Mac and Windows.
Cisdem PDFMaster is a full-fledged PDF program that comes to solve all PDF problems in one place. It offers a safe way to make a regular PDF or fillable PDF form non-editable, through setting a permission password on the file, you can’t copy, print, modify, fill out the form, etc. Here are 3 encryption levels you can choose from: 128bit AES, 256 bit AES, or 128 bit RC4. Even, you can set an open password to the PDF for a higher security, preventing PDF from unauthorized access.
Tips: For those who are pursuing the highest level of security, we recommend you to create a digital signature in PDF, which can also be complemented in Cisdem PDFMaster. This method protects PDF from being forged and altered by wrong hands. Most importantly, it is hardly possible to remove a digital signature from PDF. If you are interested in it, refer to this article: https://www.cisdem.com/resource/create-a-signature-for-pdf.html.
Adobe Acrobat is a robust PDF application developed by Adobe company, which enables users to work on PDF files like a professional. It provides two versions, free version--Adobe Reader and paid version--Adobe Acrobat Pro. If you are looking to performing some advanced features on PDF files, such as, converting an editable PDF to non editable with password, then you will have to upgrade to Adobe Acrobat Pro (US$12.99-19.99/mo, annual).
Foxit PDF Editor is a good alternative to Adobe Acrobat, helping users excel at PDF-related tasks. Besides basic features, such as editing, commenting, converting, it is also capable of making PDF non-editable with its protect feature.
For Mac users, they are looking to making a PDF non editable with the built-in application Preview. But the bad news is that Preview can only set permission passwords on PDF printing, copying and annotating, as well as manipulating pages. It fails to stop editing content in PDF from others. If you insist, try adding an open password in Preview, it could be a safe way to prevent opening of the PDF file, let alone editing it.
People may complain that their computers don't have enough memory to download too much software. Then some online PDF tools can be good alternatives to offline applications. Most of them are free to use with file and feature limits and require a stable internet connection.
For example, Online2PDF.com is a web-based platform mainly good at PDF conversions from/to other files. Different from other online PDF converters, it allows you to convert PDF to image-bases PDF directly and provides a protective feature to prevent the output PDF from editing, printing, copying and even opening.
Note: This type of conversion only allows maximum of 150 pages to be converted. Additionally, it may pose a privacy risk after uploading your PDF into online services.
So far, this article has introduced 5 methods of making a PDF non editable. Considering features, affordability and security, Cisem PDFMaster is definitely the top priority to do this job. It offers a host of powerful features at a low cost and comes with an easy-to-use user interface. Moreover, for people longing for PDF security, this software provides an all-inclusive way, by adding passwords, creating digital signatures, redacting, etc. Why not give it a shot and work as a PDF master?
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Jose specializes in reviews, how-to guides, top lists, etc. on PDF, data recovery and multi-media. On his spare time, he likes to travel or challenge some extreme sports.