PDF stands for Portable Document Format and its main characteristic with respect to other file formats is that they do not lose shape although the forwarding from one user to another, upload it to a web page, transfer it from one device to another. They will always be the same and can have all kinds of text but also photos, links, sound, multimedia elements or embedded videos. They always stay the same unless someone edits them using specific tools.

Lock editing

If you want to prevent someone from editing a PDF with programs like Adobe Pro DC or others free alternatives like ApowerPDF or PDFEscape, for example, you can block the editing of a PDF to make sure that it will remain as you have created it, without anyone changing any words or making them disappear. You can also configure the PDF so that it cannot be printed if you don’t want it to.

From Adobe Acrobat Pro you can do it but not from the free version. If you have the Pro version because you have paid for it or because you are using the trial time, you will have to follow some very simple steps to block options.

Open Adobe Acrobat Pro DC on your computer.Tap on File and in Open … and choose the PDF you want. Once you have it open, we can block it. Go to the Tools option at the top, in the menu Among all tools, choose “Protect”, which you will see along with a shield At the top of the screen you will see several options Tap on Encrypt and accept the pop-up window Choose Encrypt with password Go to the “Permissions” section Tap on the option Restrict editing and printing of the document

You will block printing You will block changes


Choose what you want to block

You can block or edit two options.

Printing allowed

If allowed, in what capacity:

None: No one will be able to print the document
Low resolution at 150 dpi: Allows users to print at a resolution no higher than 150pp and each page will be printed as a bitmap image
High resolution: They will be able to print the content of the document with the highest quality.

Printing allowed in PDF

Changes allowed

None: Prevents the user from making any changes Inserting, deleting and rotating pages
Filling in form fields and signature of existing signature fields: Allows users to fill in forms and add digital signatures but not add comments or form fields in editing the PDF.
Comments, filling in form fields and signing existing signature fields. As its name suggests, users with access will be able to insert comments and digital signatures or fill out forms. Instead, you cannot move page objects or create form fields.
Everything but extract pages. It can do everything: add form fields, fill them in, edit the document, add comments or signatures.

Edit PDF Changes allowed

Also from this window, in the bottom of the permissionsYou will see that there is a box that says “Activate copy text, images and other content”. If you check this box you will not allow anyone to directly copy text from PDF and paste it into a Word document or notepad, for example. You will avoid copying and pasting your files in case you don’t want anyone to access them.

Once you have selected which permissions you want the document to have and which ones not, you will have to choose the password to change the permissions of the PDF in question. When you have completed the process, confirm with OK to block editing or printing of the PDF. No one will be able to edit it without your password.

Is it infallible?

No, probably not. There will always be ways to print that PDF but you will make the process much more expensive or give up the attempt. For example, taking screenshots and printing it as an image is an option, although much less convenient than directly printing the file. You can also block the option to print it in high quality but keep the option that it can be printed in low resolution. It will depend on what you want to protect the document or the importance of it.

Enter password

If what you want to put password to a document, you can also. The difference with the previous one is that here you will not need a password to edit or not edit but the password will be directly to open the document. That is, the previous steps ask us a key to collect information or modify it but these that we will explain below are to open the document. We generally recommend that you use different passwords. You can use one or the other as you need and they are not binding. That is, you can put a password for access and another for editing. Or put just for access. Or just for editing.

The steps to set a password are very similar:

Open Adobe Acrobat Pro DC Tap on File and on Open to choose a document from your computer Choose the PDF document you want to edit or lock Tap on Tools in the menu at the top of the screen Choose the Protect option At the top, tap in Encode Choose Encrypt with password and accept the pop-up window Unlike the previous section, go to Open document Check the box “Request a password to open the document” Type the password to open the document Confirm in the window with OK

Password in PDF

Hereinafter, to open that PDF you will need a password or you will not be able to access the content. No one will see what is there without having the access key.