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 firstname.lastname@example.org – “Locklizard Safeguard Enterprise Evaluation” or “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.
Follow the instructions in ‘STEP 1 – Getting Started’ 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. You will end up with encrypted copies of your PDF files that have a .pdc file extension.
STEP 5: Set up users
Once you have protected your PDF documents you need to create customer/user accounts on the administration system. Even the person protecting PDF documents needs a user account to view them.
1. Off the Windows Start > All Programs > Locklizard > Safeguard > PDF Writer menu select the Administration System to start generating user licenses.
This opens up a web page where you enter user names and email addresses by selecting 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 customer 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 – Locklizard Safeguard Secure PDF Viewer Registration – to the email address you have entered above that contains the download details for the Viewer software and a Viewer license file to register. See below 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: Assigning 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.
You can then select the documents or publications you want to grant access to for either an unlimited or limited period.
STEP 7: Send protected PDF files to your users / customers
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.
Viewing Secure PDF Files
This section explains how users/customers view your secure PDF files. For a detailed description on using the Safeguard Secure PDF Viewer please refer to 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 ‘Viewing Locklizard Protected PDF files’ email. You need this email to register your Viewer license for viewing protected PDF files.
- Register your Viewer license (see the ‘Your License’ section below). 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.