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how do I prevent download or sharing of a PDF file

New Here ,
Aug 09, 2019

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If I want to link my PDF file so people can view it, but not share it, download it or even comment, how do I do that?  What Abode product will let me setup the way a Pdf document can be used for only viewing and nothing else, no download, no sharing, and no comments?

Thank you.

Unless you host your own PDF viewer on your website such that the PDF file itself is not internally downloaded by whatever PDF reader the user has on their computer (i.e., your website displays a raster bitmap of the PDF content), there is absolutely no way to prevent the file from being downloaded and shared using Abode (sic) software.

          - Dov

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Install update and subscribe to Acrobat

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how do I prevent download or sharing of a PDF file

New Here ,
Aug 09, 2019

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If I want to link my PDF file so people can view it, but not share it, download it or even comment, how do I do that?  What Abode product will let me setup the way a Pdf document can be used for only viewing and nothing else, no download, no sharing, and no comments?

Thank you.

Unless you host your own PDF viewer on your website such that the PDF file itself is not internally downloaded by whatever PDF reader the user has on their computer (i.e., your website displays a raster bitmap of the PDF content), there is absolutely no way to prevent the file from being downloaded and shared using Abode (sic) software.

          - Dov

Topics

Install update and subscribe to Acrobat

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Aug 09, 2019 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 09, 2019

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This is not possible.

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Aug 09, 2019 0
Adobe Employee ,
Aug 09, 2019

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Unless you host your own PDF viewer on your website such that the PDF file itself is not internally downloaded by whatever PDF reader the user has on their computer (i.e., your website displays a raster bitmap of the PDF content), there is absolutely no way to prevent the file from being downloaded and shared using Abode (sic) software.

          - Dov

- Dov Isaacs, Principal Scientist, Adobe

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Aug 09, 2019 0
New Here ,
Aug 09, 2019

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Dear Dov, 

Thank you for the response. Please indulge me if I seem unfamiliar with certain terms..."host your own PDF viewer on your website" what does that mean, again?  My intention is to have PDF file on a page on the my website.  A viewer would click on a link and the PDF would open or is the PDF file open when the viewer clicks on that page?   The PDF file is from a Word document.  Can the Word document properties be changed to restrict access and then converted to PDF with those document properties?

Neil

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Aug 09, 2019 0
Adobe Employee ,
Aug 09, 2019

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Neil,

The issue is whether the PDF file itself leaves your website for its display. With conventional PDF viewers such as Adobe Reader or most if not all the web browsers with their native subset PDF display capabilities, the PDF file is downloaded to the viewer's system. At that point, you have totally lost control of the file. There is nothing you can do about that.

The only way you could apply the restrictions you want would be to somehow have a PDF renderer on your server showing the PDF residing on your server on the user's web browser screen. In that case the PDF file itself would not be transferred to the viewer's system, but only the visual display would be transferred as raster images on a web page.

          - Dov

- Dov Isaacs, Principal Scientist, Adobe

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Aug 09, 2019 0
New Here ,
Aug 09, 2019

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Dov,

Thank you for the information!  I appreciate you taking the time!  I'm understanding a lot more than before.  Again, thank you.

Neil

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Aug 09, 2019 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Aug 09, 2019

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Of course, if you went to the trouble and expense of ”rendering” a PDF on your server, anyone can still save what they see. It just won’t be a PDF.

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Aug 09, 2019 0
New Here ,
Mar 19, 2020

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Thanks s much for your insight, could you please expantiate more on what you said, "PDF renderer on your server showing the PDF residing on your server". I feel this is what I have been looking for.

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Mar 19, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 19, 2020

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On the server use a app which converts the PDF pages into images. Then display the images.

Info: You can't use Adobe Acrobat for this.

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Mar 19, 2020 1
Most Valuable Participant ,
Mar 19, 2020

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In other words, don't use PDF at all... And images can also be downloaded, of course.

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Mar 19, 2020 1
Explorer ,
Mar 03, 2020

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Confused by all the "thats impossible" comments. Can't you just share on google drive and disable downloading? What am I missing? -billb

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Mar 03, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 03, 2020

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When you disable downloading Acrobat Reader and Adobe Acrobat can't display the PDF file.

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Mar 03, 2020 1
Explorer ,
Mar 19, 2020

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It was not important to me that people use Adobe reader or actrobat to consume my content. I was trying to meet at need:

THE NEED:
Share the contents my PDF with select people, without allowing them to download, copy, or print.

THE SOLUTION:
Google drive with no download. It will display the PDF contents and not let them copy/download/print.

It's working great. I've been using it. I understand others may have different needs that this does not address.

-billb

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Mar 19, 2020 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Mar 20, 2020

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I think you're wrong, but let's test it. Post the link here and we'll see if we can download the file or not.

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Mar 20, 2020 0
New Here ,
Mar 24, 2020

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Hello Bill!

 

I am looking for the same thing. I need to share PDF file for viewing only. I was so glad to find your solution but it does not work for all device. Sharing with google drive works only on computers. I have tested on my Ipad mini and I could save it to the Ipad and even transfered it by email. I wish it was not possible.

 

If you find another simple way, I am willing to try it.

 

Jocelyne

Sorry for my English, I am French!

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Mar 24, 2020 0
New Here ,
Apr 26, 2020

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Hi Folks,

I appreciate this discussion as it probably saved me a lot of time looking for a viewer for my website that would prevent people from downloading the file.  The suggestion above to convert to images that do not display or print well at full size seems good.  And I think a common method that may be good enough is to place an annoying watermark logo or warning on every page.

Michael

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Apr 26, 2020 0
New Here ,
Jun 10, 2020

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Jocelyne,

 

I suggest you use InDesign. This allows you to publish your documents, but they cannot be downloaded.

 

Liam

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Jun 10, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 10, 2020

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Every published document can be downloaded!

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Jun 10, 2020 0
New Here ,
Jul 02, 2020

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Hi, could you please elaborate more on this?

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Jul 02, 2020 0
New Here ,
Jul 02, 2020

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How does Indesign prevent download? Is there a guide?

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Jul 02, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 02, 2020

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InDesign can't prevent download!

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Jul 02, 2020 0
New Here ,
Jul 14, 2020

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That is possible sir i'll show you provide me link

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Jul 14, 2020 0
New Here ,
Aug 05, 2020

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I am interested in this solution.   Can you send a pointer?

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Aug 05, 2020 0