How to Lock PDF Files

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Portable Document Format (PDF) documents are used in many environments, both professional and private. PDF files are popular because anyone with a reading program may access and view the material without needing access to the software with which the original material was created. Depending on the nature of the material that is distributed in this format, you may find it necessary to protect the file with a password. You can easily lock PDF files with the appropriate program by following a few steps.

Things You'll Need

  • PDF document
  • PDF writing program
  • Download a PDF writing program, such as Adobe Acrobat Pro. Acrobat Pro and other PDF writing applications can be costly, but there are free versions available. If you decide to use a less expensive program or shareware application, make certain that it has the capacity to lock or password protect PDF files.

  • Open the PDF file that you want to lock. Use the “Open” option under the “File” menu. Select the location of the PDF file using the “Look In” menu, click once on the file name a once on the “Open” button.

  • Click once on the Advance drop-down menu and select the “Security” option. Choose “Password Encrypt” from the list of available features. This will generate a pop-up window asking if you want to change the security settings of the document. Click once on the “OK” button. This will open a separate “Password Security Settings” window.

  • Click once in the “Require a password” check box. Type a password in the “Document Open Password” field. Write the password down and store it in a secure location because lost PDF passwords may not be recovered. Use the features in the “Permissions” section of the “Settings” window to further lock down the PDF. In addition to locking the document with a password, you can restrict the manipulation of the document with an additional password. When you have finished making your selections, click the “OK” button.

  • Save the locked PDF file as a separate file. You can then access the source PDF in case you misplace the password. Choose the “Save As” option under the File menu. Choose a folder from the “Save In” menu in which to save the password protected PDF. Type in a new file name and click once on the “Save” button.

References

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