How to create, open & print protected PDF files using Safeguard DRM Security
Regular distributors of PDF files are presented with a somewhat confusing reality. Adobe, the creator of the format, does not offer sufficient tools to protect their PDFs from misuse. Though Adobe Acrobat Pro offers some password protection, it is easily bypassed, letting malicious parties, open, share, copy, or edit sensitive and confidential business files. Safeguard PDF security addresses this failing by offering a PDF DRM solution that can stop unauthorized opening, sharing, editing, copy pasting and printing without using passwords for protection.
To create a protected PDF document with Safeguard PDF Security, right-click on a PDF in Windows File Explorer and select ‘Make Secure PDF’.
In Safeguard Secure PDF Writer, choose your protected PDF settings:
Once you have finished choosing your PDF protection options, press the Publish button. Safeguard will then encrypt your PDF file and add the DRM controls before saving itas a .PDC file. The .PDC format is a DRM protected PDF file which can only be opened in the a protected PDF reader (Safeguard Secure PDF Viewer).
Open Protected PDF files
To open protected PDF documents, users first need to install the Safeguard Secure PDF Viewer and then activate their license by clicking on it.
The license file is automatically emailed to each user when they are added to the Safeguard Administration System.
Once a user has activated their license, they can then double-click on a protected PDF file in Windows File Explorer to view it.
See the section on viewing protected PDF files for more details.
Users can also open protectedpdf files with our zero installation Secure PDF Viewers:
Assign Access to Protected PDF files
Admins have to give users access to a protected PDF using the Safeguard Admin system. The following video explains how to do this.
Print Protected PDF files
To print protected PDFs, choose the “Print” option from the “File” menu or press the icon.
Printing protected PDFs may not be possible if the document was protected without printing enabled:
The number of prints available can differ for each user for the same document as print allocations can be altered on the Safeguard Admin System after a PDF file has been protected.
Print requests can be logged so you can see who has printed a document, when this took place and from what location.
Edit Protected PDF files
Once you have protected a PDF file with Locklizard, the encrypted .pdc output cannot be edited.
The Safeguard Viewer app purposefully does not contain the functionality to edit documents, and only ever decrypts documents in memory. Those who wish to edit Locklizard PDFs will have to request the original file from the publisher.
Distribute protected PDF files
A Locklizard protected PDF file (.PDC) can be distributed just like any other file. You can upload it to a web site, file sharing site, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc. or send by email.
It does not matter who can download it or whether it is shared – because it is encrypted file it can only be opened by users with a valid license that have been authorized to view it.
Why does Locklizard use it’s own reader for opening protected PDFs?
We use our own secure PDF viewer so that we:
Why doesn’t Locklizard create password protected PDF files?
We do not create password protected pdf files because you can easily remove password protected PDF security using a password recovery program or by using third-party applications that don’t obey the ‘rules’. This is how simple it is to edit and open a password protected PDF:
A password protected PDF that has restrictions (such as printing, editing,, etc.) applied to it, can have these easily removed using a free password recovery program. You just upload the file to an online password removal tool and it will instantly remove the restrictions.
The real problem, however, is that users can share passwords with others – so password protecting a PDF does not prevent sharing.
The best way to protect PDF files
If you want PDF protection that works, don’t use passwords, and don’t use web-based protection – both can be bypassed in seconds. Locklizard Safeguard DRM, which uses a local viewer application, secure licensing, and strong encryption, will always offer you better security and more flexibility.
See how you can benefit from implementing Locklizard document security to sell and distribute PDF files securely – prevent IPR theft, protect your revenue streams, and prevent the leak of sensitive information. Read our customer testimonials and case studies to see why thousands of organizations use Locklizard Document DRM to protect PDF files, ebooks, research reports, courses, contracts, board minutes, and other digital documents online.
Download your free 15-day free trial and see why Locklizard is the best way to prevent unauthorized access and use of PDF files.