How to lock a pdf file so it can't be edited?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by MacNoobGuy, Jul 12, 2013.

  1. MacNoobGuy macrumors 6502

    Apr 18, 2012
    hey guys, i'm using 'Preview' at the moment. i've got a very important work related document that i've exported from OpenOffice and into a pdf file. so it started out as a .doc file in OpenOffice and now it's a .pdf file. i just want to make it so i can't make any further changes to it.

    any help would be really great!
  2. firedept macrumors 603


    Jul 8, 2011
    Open in Preview, Click on File>Print. Bottom left corner of dialogue box click PDF. Click on Save As PDF... and then on Security Options in new dialogue box. You will the get a dialogue box that will offer you security options.

    Attached Files:

  3. pdjudd macrumors 601

    Jun 19, 2007
    Plymouth, MN
    If you want really good PDF security options, you pretty much are going to want to use Acrobat pro or PDF Pen Pro. I don't know if they can restrict more than what Preview does, but it is probably more native.
  4. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    If you just want to prevent Preview from making edits to the file, you can always lock the file in the Finder to stop it being over-written.

    Preview uses the same security that Acrobat does: it's the PDF standard for security. However, Acrobat will have greater ability to configure and control that security.

    It's worth mentioning that there are programs on the internet to strip the security from PDFs, so technically: if someone does want to copy, print or modify the contents, you can't stop them.
  5. 960design macrumors 68030

    Apr 17, 2012
    Destin, FL
    After converting a document to a .pdf you will not easily be able ( accidentally ) change it. Changing the text of a PDF requires several button clicks and 'Pro' software to do it.

    As others have said, if you are looking to ensure the document CANNOT ever be changed by someone, that is impossible. You can only make it MORE difficult to change it.
  6. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    Agreed. Simple and effective.
  7. steven_meritt1, Jun 3, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2016

    steven_meritt1 macrumors newbie


    Jun 3, 2016
    I'm new to Mac (finally switched from my Windows PC) and I find this useful. I had no clue that Preview can be used to protect pdf files. On my Windows laptop I was using: this desktop utility to password protect and lock my PDF files but unfortunately it does not work on my Mac. That Windows utility protect PDF with both user (no one can access PDF file without entering password) and permission password (restrict PDF printing, editing, copying, etc.) but it seems preview can only protect PDF file with open password. I guess I have to buy the monthly subscription of PDF Acrobat now!
  8. dwig macrumors 6502

    Jan 4, 2015
    Key West FL
    the OP's OpenOffice should offer the same security options as Acrobat and Preview. When doing the original "Export as PDF..." it is a simply matter of setting a password(s) on the "Security" tab and then checking the desired options.
  9. MacGizmo macrumors 65816


    Apr 27, 2003
    Preview is an obnoxiously useful app. It's not spectacular at anything, but it's pretty damn good at an awful lot of things.
  10. grahamperrin macrumors 601


    Jun 8, 2007

    ISO 19005-1 Frequently Asked Questions

    If that type of PDF suits your requirements then return to OpenOffice, export as PDF, choose Archive PDF/A-1A (ISO 19005-1)

    (It's a feature of LibreOffice, I assume that it's also a feature of OpenOffice.)

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