Password Protect Fillable Form but allow Adding Pages

New Here ,
May 25, 2022 May 25, 2022

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I'm trying to password protect a fillable form document from allowing users to edit, copy text, and comment. 

 

HOWEVER, I still would like users to be able to fill out theforms, sign, have screen reader access, and also be able to add pages. 

 

When I select from the permissions options (attached image) I only can either allow adding/removing pages but not fillable forms, or allow forms and signatures but not add/remove pages. 


Is there a way to customize these permissions or add Javascript outside of the drop down menu to allow for form filling AND adding/removing pages?

TOPICS
Create PDFs , Edit and convert PDFs , How to , JavaScript , PDF forms , Security digital signatures and esignatures , Standards and accessibility

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 25, 2022 May 25, 2022

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Adding pages is only possible in Acrobat, not in Reader. And no, you can't specify it as a separate right. The options you see are the only ones available.

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Engaged ,
May 26, 2022 May 26, 2022

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Strictly speaking the PDF standard allows to set these permissions separately (they are represented by distinct bits in a bit field) but Acrobat only allows to select a few combinations of permissions. Depending on your tool set, therefore, you can select adding/removing pages plus form fill-ins.

I generally wouldn't spend too much energy in fine-tuning permissions, though, as it is trivial to remove encryption (and, therefore, permission restrictions) from PDFs with a known (e.g. empty) user password.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 26, 2022 May 26, 2022

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Yes, that's true. Using an external tool it's possible to set the actual permissions, not the generalizations Acrobat uses, but even those are not so fine-tuned as to allow inserting pages and nothing else. I believe that one will fall under the Modify Document Contents bit.

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Engaged ,
May 26, 2022 May 26, 2022

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In security handlers before revision 3 you indeed only had the Modify Contents bit. Since revision 3, though, there is the more finely grained Assemble Document bit ("insert, rotate, or delete pages and create document outline items or thumbnail images") which is controlling not much more than the desired adding/removing pages.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 26, 2022 May 26, 2022

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Interesting... Thanks for the info!

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New Here ,
Jun 09, 2022 Jun 09, 2022

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Can you please clarify which program it is you are using to modify the pdf outside of Adobe Acrobat?

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Engaged ,
Jun 09, 2022 Jun 09, 2022

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Can you please clarify which program it is you are using to modify the pdf outside of Adobe Acrobat?

 

I write a small program based on a PDF processing library like iText or PDFBox whenever I need specific non-standard modifications.

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LEGEND ,
May 26, 2022 May 26, 2022

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Whatever the fine details, Adobe apps will not combine documents when any have a password. 

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