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Password Protecting Adobe Acrobat PDFs

Learn how to password protect PDF in Adobe Acrobat Pro.


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Product/Version: Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro







This is the final part of the PowerPoint to Secure PDF series in which I show you how to do more than just create a secure PDF from your PowerPoint slides. You learned how you could create PDFs that played full screen and also had transitions! Now, it's time to make your PDF entirely secure with password access.

Follow these steps to get started:

  1. Open your PDF in Adobe Acrobat Pro. If it opens in full screen mode, press the Esc key on the keyboard to get to editing mode. At this point of time, you might want to choose File | Save As, and work on a copy of the PDF.

  2. Choose File | Properties, and select the Security tab in the resultant dialog box as shown in Figure 1.

    Security tab
    Figure 1: Security tab

  3. Change the Security Method to Password Security (see Figure 1 again).

  4. This opens the Password Security - Settings dialog as shown in Figure 2.

    Password Security
    Figure 2: Password Security

  5. There are two types of passwords you can secure the PDF with:

    1. Password to Open: This requires that users provide a password to open the PDF.
    2. Password to Change: This requires that users only need to provide passwords if they want to make changes to the PDF.

    Most of the time, you'll want to choose the latter since you wouldn't be sharing your PDFs unless you want them to be viewable.

  6. In the Permissions area of the dialog box (see Figure 2), check the option that says "Restrict editing and printing...." -- and type in a password in the Change Permissions Password text box. Also, decide if you want to enable printing or changes by using the options in the Printing Allowed and Changes Allowed drop down lists. See Figure 3 for the choices we made -- I suggest you leave the last option that says "Enable text access for screen reader devices for the visually impaired" checked.

    Permissions
    Figure 3: Permissions

  7. Right above the Permissions area is an option called "Require a password to open the document" -- if you want to add this one, just type another password in the text box here (see Figure 4).

    Password to open
    Figure 4: Password to open

  8. Click OK, and if you added an Open password, you'll see a dialog box that asks you to confirm that password (See Figure 5). Click OK.

    Confirm password to open
    Figure 5: Confirm password to open

  9. Acrobat Pro will present a warning box as shown in Figure 6 -- click OK.

    Acrobat Pro warning
    Figure 6: Acrobat Pro warning

  10. Acrobat Pro will now ask you to confirm the password in another dialog shown in Figure 7. The password you type now should match the password you provided earlier in Step 6.

    Comfirm password
    Figure 6: Confirm password

  11. Click OK in all the successive dialogs.

  12. Save your PDF, and remember the password!

Previous Topic: Adding Transitions in Adobe Acrobat


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