How do I print an encrypted PDF file .... to PDF

New Here ,
Dec 04, 2017 Dec 04, 2017

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I have finished making a form fillable PDF.  I want to put some restrictions on the form, so that end users cannot edit the forms or add additional text/move text around.  When the users complete the form, I want them to be able to print the document to PDF.  My current encryption is as follows:

Printing = allowed at high resolution

Changes Allowed = filling in form fields and signing existing signature fields

Right now, when I print the document to a printer, there is no issue.  But, when I print the document to PDF, I get the following message:

%%[ ProductName: Distiller ]%%

This PostScript file was created from an encrypted PDF file.

Redistilling encrypted PDF is not permitted.

%%[ Flushing: rest of job (to end-of-file) will be ignored ]%%

%%[ Warning: PostScript error. No PDF file produced. ] %%

I have read countless posts about not being able to print an encrypted PDF file to PDF, but that just is not accurate.  I use form fillable PDFs all the time.  Those PDFs have encryption, yet I can somehow print them to PDF.

This is beyond frustrating, so I figured I would ask to see if anyone knew how to make this work.

Thanks!  

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

LEGEND , Dec 04, 2017 Dec 04, 2017

This is working exactly as designed, even if someone has found a loophole. Adobe will not change it.

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LEGEND ,
Dec 04, 2017 Dec 04, 2017

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This is working exactly as designed, even if someone has found a loophole. Adobe will not change it.

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New Here ,
Dec 04, 2017 Dec 04, 2017

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But the forms I am filling out and then printing to PDF -- without any hiccups, are not "in house" forms.  These are official forms used by thousands of people.  So, whoever created those forms, found a loophole to enable printing to PDF?

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New Here ,
Mar 07, 2022 Mar 07, 2022

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Absolutely useless answer by an adobe fanboy. The fact that this is the "intended" fucntion shows how absoultely incapable and behind adobe is. I can't wait for the end of this terrible company. Absolutely horrendous functionality, features, and integration. You devs should be ashamed for how far you have fallen. Crazy that any of us still use this crap.

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LEGEND ,
Dec 04, 2017 Dec 04, 2017

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why do you want to print PDF To PDF? Why would others? The chances are there is a better way.

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New Here ,
Dec 04, 2017 Dec 04, 2017

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It's a form fillable PDF.  Once the user completes the form, they need to be able to print it to PDF ... so that the fields go away, and it just looks like a regular PDF document.  Just saving it to PDF won't work, because all of the fields will be in view. 

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LEGEND ,
Dec 04, 2017 Dec 04, 2017

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Use JavaScript to flatten the form when it is complete. Quicker and easier than printing to PDF and having two files to manage.

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New Here ,
Dec 04, 2017 Dec 04, 2017

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The end users for the form fillable I am creating won't be able to navigate that way.  They are used to printing to PDF.  Am I just out of luck?

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LEGEND ,
Dec 04, 2017 Dec 04, 2017

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I certainly hope so. It shouldn't be easy to work around, for reasons that might (or might not) be evident.

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New Here ,
Dec 04, 2017 Dec 04, 2017

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Ok, that's ridiculous, but ok.  If someone wants to take my encrypted PDF ... print it to PDF ... and then use that PDF document (that now has zero form fields, calculations, etc) as a template ... and basically add back in all of the leg work (ie, new form fields, calculations, etc) ... then I say more power to them.  But in 99.999999% of all other situations, people will fill out these forms, print them to PDF (ie, to clean it up) and then move on with their life.  I'm not sure what we're protecting with this type of protection.

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LEGEND ,
Dec 04, 2017 Dec 04, 2017

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Adobe have a policy that _their_ software will not ignore the security settings in the PDF standard, even if everyone else's does. So they do not allow printing a secure PDF to PDF, since that would remove security. Simple. I suggest you examine the JavaScript route, it is the normal solution to this requirement.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 04, 2017 Dec 04, 2017

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That's not going to work, either. The security policy will prevent JS from flattening the file.

The best you can do is set the fields as read-only.

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LEGEND ,
Dec 04, 2017 Dec 04, 2017

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Nice catch. I suspect, though, that taking the security off will be the answer.

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New Here ,
Jun 03, 2019 Jun 03, 2019

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Here is another common frustration along the same lines:  I open a large secured PDF (call it several MB's worth of data in a single pdf) -- I want to excerpt and send via email only a couple of pages of the file.  Sure, I can do this by printing only the desired page range to a physical paper printer, then scanning those paper pages, then creating a pdf from those pages.  But excerpting directly from source pdf to destination pdf...fugetaboutit...this is just plain stooopid to me...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 03, 2019 Jun 03, 2019

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Acrobat Reader can't extract pages from PDF files (secured or not).

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LEGEND ,
Jun 04, 2019 Jun 04, 2019

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Adobe didn't make the rules. Wait, they did make the rules. But that was 20 years ago and now ISO took over the rules. Adobe follow them. The problem here is not that Adobe software offers security, or that Adobe software honours the security it adds, but that some people use security when it is not convenient or appropriate. Like, if someone puts a chain across the car park, and you're still parked in there, it's bad, but it isn't the fault of the people who made the chain.

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New Here ,
May 16, 2020 May 16, 2020

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Try opening in chrome browser and print to PDF. One of my banks and only one decided to owner protect my statement so I can’t combine them. Why? No idea. Adobe wouldn’t distill it. Many other programs did but it made the file grow 4x. 

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New Here ,
Feb 15, 2022 Feb 15, 2022

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This is really helpful. Thanks

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New Here ,
Nov 09, 2020 Nov 09, 2020

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As a note one of my users was recieveing this message and they need to fill out the form for a secured PDF then print the PDF to flatten it. What I ended up having them do is when they wnet to setting I would have them select print to PDF and then going to the Advanced setting and select "Print As Image". 

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New Here ,
Aug 13, 2021 Aug 13, 2021

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I tried it and it worked.  Simple but genius...
The person (Test Screen Name) seemed a bit obtuse to not consider the "poster" had a very legitimate reason they needed a work around the issue without the reflex response being seen as an attempt to hack the software.

I for instance needed to signed a fillable PDF and didn't have access to a printer.  Normally I would simply print to PDF, then sign the flattened document "on screen". I can do that with my Surface Book pen. 

However this simple workaround is NOT possible, because the secured fillable form could not be printered to PDF.  Alas TwisterAir clued me to a solution.

 

Thx.

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Explorer ,
Sep 01, 2021 Sep 01, 2021

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Best solution is instead of using Adobe PDF as Printer, on the same drop-down menu, use Microsoft Print to PDF. This will work better as it will flatten the image and make it as small as possible.

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New Here ,
Mar 07, 2022 Mar 07, 2022

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Yep. End of an era when we're using other developers features to make up for the completely unorganized and unusable ecosystem that adobe has created now. Terrible stuff. They should all be ashamed.

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New Here ,
Jul 02, 2022 Jul 02, 2022

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For others who may be searching, there is a "small" online PDF tool that will do this for you.

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