North America Tel: 800 707 4492
UK & Europe Tel: +44 (0) 1292 430290
Products -> Lizard Safeguard PDF Security -> PDC Viewer

Secure PDF File Viewer
Secure viewer to protect & control PDF documents
secure pdf files


Secure PDF File Viewer for complete PDF File Security

PDF document security viewer implementing DRM controls

Safeguard Secure PDF Viewer controls authorized viewing of secure PDF files published in the PDC file format.  Safeguard Secure PDF Viewer supports PDC files protected with Safeguard PDF Security and Enterprise PDF Security.

Safeguard Secure PDF Viewer is a FREE standalone application that enforces the licensed use of secure PDF documents (for example how long they can be viewed, if they can be printed, etc.).   Document controls are set and licensed by the publisher and cannot be altered by the user or LockLizard.  Copy control measures enforce document protection whilst remaining transparent to the document user.

Safeguard Secure PDF Viewer can either be installed on a device or run directly from a Web browser with Safeguard Web Viewer, or a USB stick with Safeguard PDF Portable.

Why our own Secure PDF Viewer achieves security & independence

Secure PDF content cannot be compromised by other applications or the common Adobe PDF security flaws and cracks because:


NO Plug-ins
PDF file security is not compromised by plug-in failures or conflicts.   In fact, we believe that plug-ins are potentially so insecure that we prevent them from loading so they can't compromise our security.   See Adobe PDF plug-in vulnerabilities.




NO JavaScript
JavaScript is one of the commonest forms of malicious attack.   We do not allow JavaScript to run since it can seriously compromise user's computers - see PDF security issues.




NO Adobe Acrobat
We don't have to update our PDF security product every time Adobe updates Acrobat in order for it to work.  We don't rely on the Adobe Viewer at any time.



NO passwords
are required or distributed to grant access to secure PDF content.



NO temporary files
Secure PDF documents are only ever decrypted on-the-fly in memory.   Secure PDF files are never saved to disk in temporary format or to the Windows swap file.

See also - Why LockLizard uses its own Secure PDF Viewer.

Protected PDF Screenshots

To view a secured PDF file (PDC file), double-click on it in Windows File Explorer.

View Protected PDF File

The Secure PDF Viewer then automatically loads displaying the secured PDF file.

PDF File

PDF DRM Controls for PDF Document Protection

When you protect PDF files you have to specify the licensing requirements.  These are used to enforce PDF controls used to stop copying, prevent printing, disable print screen, and other DRM protection measures used to protect copyright and prevent intellectual property theft.  

There are some general controls that must always be present.  Secured PDF content must always be protected from screenshots and screen grabbing.  Secure PDF documents must be locked to individual computers to make sure they cannot be shared.  These controls cannot be achieved without the use of application software (a Secure PDF Viewer) that can effectively enforce these requirements.  

You can check to see which secure PDF controls that have been applied to a document and who the publisher is just by placing the mouse over the protected document, or by right clicking on it, selecting Properties (last option on the panel) and then clicking on the Secure PDF file tab.  Users and publishers need to be aware of the secure PDF controls that are available, and that controls may overlap.  A list of controls and their impacts is given below.

  • The publisher may have placed controls on the secure PDF document that require you to connect to the Internet whenever you want to use a document, or connect occasionally, and the viewer will automatically enforce those controls.  If an Internet connection is required, the secure PDF document will not open until the license has been checked.
  • The publisher may only have licensed you to view a secure PDF document for a specific number of times.  If that is the case you must be connected to the Internet in order to view the secure PDF document.
  • The secure PDF document may no longer be usable after a certain number of days from when you first viewed it, or it may be set to expire on a specific date.
  • You may or may not be able to print a secure PDF document (the print icon therefore may or may not be enabled) and/or printing may be limited to a number of copies.
  • When you print a secure PDF document a watermark image or text may be displayed on the printed document and this may include your name, company name, email address, and a date/time stamp.

  • You may be prevented by the publisher from viewing a secure PDF document in thin-client and virtual environments unless you obtain a license for the environment.
  • The publisher may have prevented use of the secure PDF file on Macintosh operating systems or have prevented printing on Macintosh operating systems.
  • The viewer window size may be preset and fixed if the publisher has decided on that option, and/or certain viewer controls may not have been made available.
  • The publisher may have licensed you to view a secure PDF file on one or more computers.   However, one computer is the default license.
  • Details of when your account with the publisher of the secure PDF file expires (if ever) and also when the secure PDF document you are viewing expires (if ever) are displayed at the bottom of the Secure PDF Viewer window in the status bar.

PDF Decryption

When you view a secure PDF file (PDC file) for the first time, the Secure PDF Viewer software will check if it already has the correct key needed for decryption so that you can view it.  If it does not, the Secure PDF Viewer will check with your publisher's administration server to see if you have been granted access to the document, and the rights that pertain (you MUST be connected to the Internet at this point).  If access is allowed then the decryption key is securely transferred from the administration server to the Secure PDF Viewer and you are then able to view the secure PDF document.

If access is not allowed, a message, set by the publisher, will be displayed telling you how they wish to be contacted so that you can gain access to the secure PDF file.

After a secure PDF document has been successfully opened, you may not need to connect to the Internet unless the publisher of the secured PDF document requires this or you take an action such as making a printed copy, that has to be verified online before it can be allowed.

If a publisher has protected documents to a publication that you have been granted access to, then once you have viewed one secure PDF document from that publication, you will not have to connect to the Internet again to use other secure PDF documents in that publication, unless the publisher's controls require you to.

See the Secure PDF Viewer in action - Secure PDF Viewer demo

And also how to open a LockLizard secure PDF file - How to open a PDC file or document

Secure PDF Viewer Features

  • FREE Secure PDF Viewer software to view protected PDF files that may be distributed only without modification
  • Choice of computer installed or zero installation Web Viewer or Secure USB Viewer
  • No insecure plug-ins or weak implementations - see Technical Information
  • JavaScript is not supported to prevent malicious code execution - see PDF security issues
  • No self-decrypting EXEs
  • Content decrypted in memory
  • No temporary files created on disk
  • Simple for users to license - just double-click on a license file to register
  • Transparent real-time web based user validation
  • No passwords for users to enter, manage, forget or pass on to others
  • Complete off-line protection - no need for users to connect to the Internet to use secure PDF files once they are licensed
  • Automatically prevents document copying, modifying and saving
  • Automatically prevents use of Windows print screen and screen grabber applications
  • Automatically prevents printing to file, PDF format (Acrobat distiller and other PDF print drivers), common image printers, etc.

  • Secured PDF files are locked to authorized computers ensuring they cannot be shared
  • Persistent end-to-end protection throughout a documents life-cycle
  • Works with the following Operating Systems: WindowsMac OSX, Android and iOS.  Secure PDF Viewer can be installed on a computer, run directly from a USB stick (Windows only), or run on any OS using our Web Viewer.

  • Windows Viewer supports the following languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin), Dutch, Russian, Turkish, Czech



Web Viewer
USB Viewer
Secure PDF Viewer Demo
Corporate Installation Overview
User Installation Tips
View a Secure PDF Document
PDF Security Issues
Convert PDC to PDF


We made several attempts to circumvent the described protections, and the Secure PDF Viewer software defeated all of them. The product performs exactly as described, and is very easy to use. We quickly recovered our costs and have reached markets we never could have before. Thank you for the great Secure PDF product &   outstanding support.


PDF DRM Reviews
Customer Testimonials
Customer Case Studies


Home | Products | Purchase | Downloads | Education | Compliance | Our Customers | About Us | News | Support | Articles | Guides |    

    Privacy Policy             SITE MAP