Adding Security to PDF Documents

When it comes to sending documents via the web and email, Adobe's PDF format is definitely the way to go. PDF is short for "Portable Document Format". It was a document format created by Adobe in 1991 in response to the need for sending documents to others in a way that retains original format. Since that time, the PDF format has evolved and matured to do some pretty amazing things.

Converting a file into a PDF document is super simple on a Mac. Just go to the Print menu, and choose PDF in the lower left-hand corner of the print dialog. There, you will find several options to choose from. Hopefully this isn't new to you.

What you may not know is how to secure your PDF documents. Why is security important? Believe it or not, email isn't that secure. In fact, it's actually relatively easy for someone to snoop on your email traffic, grabbing any file that goes along with it. It's especially important to secure files that are sent via email that are considered sensitive... just in case. Here's how...

First, we will open the print dialog box as if we were going to print the document. From here, click on the PDF button in the lower left-hand corner, then choose "Save s PDF..." (this will allow us to create a PDF file). On the next window (PDF dialog box), click on the "Security Options..." button. This will now open a dialog box with several security options.

Once you've set your security, finish by saving the PDF as you normally would. 

Below is a video I created showing you how to create a PDF that requires a password not only to open the PDF file, but also print (which requires a different password). I will then show you how it would look to the recipient of the file.

Posted on July 31, 2013 and filed under How To, Mac.