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Canva strips security from any permissions locked PDF file - any solution??

Explorer ,
Dec 08, 2023 Dec 08, 2023

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This is also posted within the Acrobat section, but is also relevant to designers within inDesign.

 

Background:

We supply PDF files to our client (export from inDesign). On occasion, they like to make their own amends to these using Canva. The problems are obvious - our projects get re-appropriated for other use, the quality of the images, colours, and design is lost (images become mush, typographic formating lost), and we lose control of the editable master copy (artwork) - so whenever we have to make amends which the client cannot, we have to trawl through their Canva edited file to find the amends they have made and apply them. Furthermore, the Canva version looks terrible which makes our work look bad - a business risk.

 

The problem:

I thought that providing the pdf with all editing prohibited - no changes, no copying of text / images / no access for screen readers etc - all denied would fix this problem. However, when we tested this - bringing in this locked pdf into Canva it becomes fully editable.

 

Solution?

Apart from this being a massive security issue - where seemingly any copy within a locked pdf can be freely changed, is there another solution where the file can be locked down? Canva will not import a password protected pdf, however that is not a solution as the files we supply need to be distributed.

 

Many thanks for help.

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Bug , Experiment , Publish online

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Community Expert ,
Dec 08, 2023 Dec 08, 2023

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For starters, this has absolutely nothing to do with InDesign. It's also been the case forever.

There is nothing you or anyone else can do.

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Explorer ,
Dec 08, 2023 Dec 08, 2023

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This is everything to do with InDesign as is it a PDF exported from inDesign, using the security settings in the export dialogue.

 

The most common output from InDesign is PDF so if the document security / protection can be stripped off using a freely available web app that's not a problem and everyone is fine with that?

 

 

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Community Expert ,
Dec 08, 2023 Dec 08, 2023

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I gave you the answer and if you want to do a bit of research it'll take you no time at all to find out a)this has nothing to do with InDesign and b)PDF security has always been trash.

 

If you're that concerned, don't use PDF.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 08, 2023 Dec 08, 2023

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One other thing...when you export that PDF, it's not just a PDF, it's an Adobe PDF. If things work in Acrobat, that's it. There's no assurance it will work anywhere else.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 08, 2023 Dec 08, 2023

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It doesn't matter what created the PDF... everything is dependent on the reader, be it Acrobat, some third-party tool, something built into a browser or the PDF-interpretation feature built into a third party app like Canva. If that reader doesn't support security — or things like initial view, zoom, spreads, and other things you can assign to a PDF — then it's tough bananas. PDF is an open standard and most third-party readers emphasize small footprint, speed, fancy features or compatibility with a particular platform over full compatibility with the outlying standards.

 

If you're going to do work that a client can then hack on an amateur's tool, you're going to have to live with the limitations. That's true for so many kinds of creative and content documents I'm surprised you're so surprised at all this.


╟ Word & InDesign to Kindle & EPUB: a Guide to Pro Results (Amazon) ╢

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Community Expert ,
Dec 08, 2023 Dec 08, 2023

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This problem was with several other applications in the past. Therefore I do not consider any secured PDF as secure. Nothing the user or even Adobe can do. 

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Explorer ,
Dec 08, 2023 Dec 08, 2023

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The problem was that the copy from a 'secure' PDF can be edited in Canva.

 

The solution to the question asked, is to convert all copy to outlines in the print production tool within Acrobat - the text cannot now be edited in any application other than at source - in InDesign.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 08, 2023 Dec 08, 2023

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Suit yourself but it's a nothing procedure to OCR that text. And this still has absolutely nothing to do with InDesign.

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Explorer ,
Dec 08, 2023 Dec 08, 2023

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Thanks Bob, you've been really helpful.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 08, 2023 Dec 08, 2023

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I know sarcasm when I see but whether you like the answer or not changes nothing. My original answer stands.

This has nothing to do with InDesign and PDF security is and always has been trash. You're wasting your time, converting to outlines and you're destroying the integrity of the file, not to mention the accessibility for those with visual impairments.

Good luck; you're truly going to need it.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 08, 2023 Dec 08, 2023

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I sigh at the endless vitriol thrown at PDF and/or Adobe by creator/users who are unaware that it's not an absolute standard and that there are good reasons something created by Canva and viewed in Foxit doesn't measure up to a doc created in ID and viewed in Acrobat.


╟ Word & InDesign to Kindle & EPUB: a Guide to Pro Results (Amazon) ╢

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