Securing PDF Files – How to create Secure PDF Documents
Document Control Steps to create and view secure PDF files
This is an overview of how publishers secure PDFs and administer customers and licenses.
Also see Videos for our PDF DRM software.
Protecting PDF Files
This section explains how you protect PDF files. For a detailed description on using the Safeguard Secure PDF Writer please refer to the product manual.
Once you have protected PDF files you distribute them just as you would for any other PDF document. Or you can use Safeguard Web Publisher to upload them to a cloud server so users can view them in a web browser.
|For a visual representation of how Safeguard PDF Security works CLICK HERE.|
STEP 1: Get your license
Before you can secure PDF files you need a license for Safeguard Secure PDF Writer:
- If you requested a free trial, you should have received an email from email@example.com – “Locklizard Safeguard Evaluation” – the license is in this email.
- If you want a free trial, fill in the 15 day FREE trial form so we can email you your license.
- If you have purchased Safeguard you will have received an email with your license.
STEP 2: Download and Register Safeguard Secure PDF Writer
Before you can secure PDF files you must first download Safeguard Secure PDF Writer and register your license.
- Make sure you are logged on as a Windows Administrator.
- Follow the instructions in the ‘Writer installation & license activation’ section of the email you receive.
- Once you have installed the Writer, click on the License link and select the ‘Open It’ option. Safeguard Secure PDF Writer will automatically connect to the Internet and register your license. A message dialog will confirm successful registration.
- You can now start securing PDF files.
STEP 3: Securing PDF files
Right-click on one or more PDF files in Windows File Explorer to start the process of protecting them. The dialog in step 4 will then be displayed.
STEP 4: Set PDF document usage controls
Select the appropriate document access rights from the tabbed dialog. For detailed use, please refer to the product manual or use the help feature in each tab.
NOTE: If you select more than one PDF file to secure then the Publish All button will be available.
When you select the Publish button your PDF files are encrypted and the document usage and access controls are applied.
Encrypted copies of your PDF files are created with the same filename but with a .PDC file extension instead of .PDF.
STEP 5: Set up users
Once you have protected PDF documents you must create customer/user accounts on the administration system – this is how you control access to the files you have protected. Even the person protecting PDF documents needs a user account to view them.
1. Off the Windows Start menu> Locklizard program group, select the Administration System.
This opens up a web page where you login to the Safeguard Admin System. See the section ‘Accessing the Safeguard Administration System’ in your license email for login details.
Once logged in, select the Customer tab and then the Add customer option.
2. Enter your name, email address, the number of licenses you require (1 license = 1 computer installation), and an end date (if you want the account to expire) or the never expires button (if you don’t want the account to expire). Then select the Add button.
3. Depending on the Document Access method you selected when protecting the document (All Customers, Selected Customers, or a Publication) you may have to grant yourself access to the document you protected. You can do this when you add the customer (using the ‘Set Publication Access’ or ‘Set Document Access’ links) or at a later stage. If you selected ‘All Customers’ then you won’t have to do this since you are automatically given access.
4. The licensing system will automatically send an email – ‘Company Name: Accessing our Documents’ – to the email address you entered that contains that contains the Viewer download details and license file. See the section ‘Viewing Secure PDF Files’ for more details.
5. For each user that you want to view your secure PDF files you must create a customer account for them.
STEP 6: Assign document access
To manually assign document access to a user, select the Customer tab and then the Manage option.
NOTE: You DON’T need to do this if you protected the document for ‘All Customers’.
Find the customer account you want to grant document access to and then select the button. In the right pane, select either the ‘Set Document Access’ or ‘Set Publication Access’ links depending on whether you protected the document for selected customers or to a publication.
Select the documents or publications you want to grant access to by selecting the checkbox next to the left of their name.
From the ‘With all checked’ pull-down list box, select the customer access interval to the document or publication for either an unlimited or limited period.
Then press the button.
STEP 7: Send protected PDF files to your users / customers
Manually distributing protected documents
Now you are ready to send your secure PDF files (PDC files) to users by email, or you can publish them on CD-ROM, DVD, removable media, etc., or as a download from your web site. You do this just the same as you would with any other type of file.
Making protected documents instantly accessible in the Web Viewer
If you want to make protected PDF files available instantly to users via a Web Viewer (i.e. accessible via a browser without installing any software) then use Web Publisher.
In this case, skip the section ‘Viewing Secure PDF Files’ below and instead follow the instructions in the section entitled ‘Using Web Publisher to publish Secure PDF Files to the Web’.
Viewing Secure PDF Files
This section explains how users/customers view secure PDF files. For a detailed description on using Safeguard Secure PDF Viewer see the product manual.
Once you have created a customer account on the administration system, the system will automatically email their license information to them. Users install the Safeguard Secure PDF Viewer from the download link in the email and double-click on the license file to register. The Secure PDF Viewer software will automatically connect to the license server, validate the license code and install the necessary decryption keys.
|NOTE: With Safeguard Web Viewer and Safeguard PDF Portable users do not have to install or register the Secure PDF Viewer.|
STEP 1: Dowload the Viewer and Register with the Publisher (Document owner)
- Download and install Safeguard Viewer as per the instructions in the ‘Company Name: Accessing our Documents’ email. You need this email to register your Viewer license for viewing protected PDF files.
- Register (activate) your Viewer license. The license file will either be a link in the email or may include an attached file (username_license.llv). Either click on the license file link or double click on the license file and select the ‘Open It’ option to register.
STEP 2: View protected PDF documents
Double-click on the PDC file (secure PDF file) in Windows File Explorer.
The secure PDF file is transparently decrypted and displayed in the Safeguard secure PDF viewer.
Once registered, any other secure PDF files you are allowed to access will be transparently decrypted and displayed in the Secure PDF Viewer – this process is totally transparent – you won’t even realize they are encrypted.
Decryption keys are transparently relayed to the client computer if you have been given access to view a secure PDF file. If you have not been given access to a secure PDF file then you will not be able to view it. Instead, a dialog box will be displayed with the publisher (document owner) contact details.
Document usage controls are enforced by Safeguard PDF Security and cannot be circumvented. Details of when the account expires and when the secure PDF file expires (if at all) are displayed at the bottom of the Secure PDF Viewer.
STEP 1: Publish Protected PDF Files (PDC) Files to the Web
In Windows File Explorer, select the protected PDF files (PDC files) you want to protect to the Web.
Right-click, then select ‘Protect to WEB‘ from the pop-up menu.
The following dialog is displayed.
Press the ‘Publish All’ button.
Web Publisher optimizes the PDC files for use in a browser environment, and uploads them to a cloud server so they can be accessed with Safeguard Web Viewer.
STEP 2: Manage documents you have published to the Web
Login to the Web Viewer Admin to manage documents you have protected with Web Publisher.
NOTE: You do not need to create a separate account on the Safeguard Administration System to manage documents you have protected for the Web Viewer.
1. Your Web Publisher URL and login information is supplied in your Trial or Purchase email.
2. Once logged in you can see ALL the documents you have published for use with the Web Viewer.
You can edit document descriptions, delete documents, and add Tags to make organizing documents simpler.
From the Settings link (top right-hand corner) choose what file details are displayed, and add your own custom branding and news feed.
You can then login as a normal user to see how your customers will view protected Web Viewer documents. Follow STEP 3 below and then see the section – Viewing Secure PDF Files in the Web Viewer.
STEP 3: Select which users can use the Web Viewer
Now see how documents appear in the Web Viewer for regular users.
From the Safeguard administration system, select which users can use the Web Viewer and the documents they can access.
1. Off the Windows Start menu > Locklizard program group, select the Administration System.
2. Once logged in, go to the Customers tab and either add a new user (select the ‘Enable Web Viewer’ checkbox before saving) or enable Web Viewer access on existing user accounts you have created.
To enable Web Viewer access on an existing user account select the Manage menu item.
3. Select the button to open the customer pane to display the full account details.
4. Scroll down to the Web Viewer section and select the ‘Enabled‘ checkbox to allow Web Viewer access.
- To allow users to login from multiple devices at the same time (e.g. you might want multiple users within a company to share a single customer account) select the ‘allow multiple simultaneous logins’ checkbox. Choose the number of simultaneous logins allowed by altering the number in the ‘max sessions’ field.
- Select the ’email login info’ checkbox if you want the system to send the user an email with their login details for the Web Viewer.
Then press the button.
NOTE: You can grant Web Viewer access to multiple users in one go. Select multiple users by checking the selection box at the left of each customer’s name. Then select ‘Grant Web Viewer access’ from the pull-down field:
5. To assign document access see STEP 6 of protecting PDF files.
Viewing Secure PDF Files in the Web Viewer
This section explains how users/customers view secure PDF files in a browser using Safeguard Web Viewer.
For a detailed description on using Safeguard Web Viewer see the product manual.
STEP 1: Login to the Web Viewer
1. Click on the Logon URL link provided in the ‘Viewing Locklizard Protected PDF files in your Browser’ email. You need this email (or your login details) to access the Web Viewer and view secure PDF files.
2. Enter your Username and Password to login.
STEP 2: View secure PDF documents
1. Once logged in, the Web Viewer will display the secure PDF files you are authorized to use.
2. Click on a secure PDF document to open it.