FAQ: Restricting PDF actions

If you need help with any of the techniques described below, feel free to contact our support team.

Can you prevent people from modifying/printing/copying text from PDFs?

Yes, there are options for this on the PASSWORD parameter of the CVTSPLPDF command. When you create a PDF file you can optionally:

  • Require a password to be entered before the PDF file can be opened.
  • and/or
  • Restrict the actions that can be performed on the PDF.

The actions that can be prevented are:

  • Modifying the content of the PDF.
  • Printing the PDF.
  • Annotating the PDF.
  • Copying text from the PDF to the clipboard.

If you want to force entry of a password before the PDF can be opened, use PASSWORD(*YES), PASSWORD(*PWD40BIT) or PASSWORD(*PWD128BIT) and specify a user and/or owner password. If the user password is entered when the file is opened, only those operations that you define as permitted can be performed. If the owner password is entered, all operations are permitted.

If you want to restrict what can be done to the PDF, but don’t want to force entry of a password when the PDF is opened, use PASSWORD(*RESTRICT), PASSWORD(*RST40BIT) or PASSWORD(*RST128BIT), without any passwords, and specify what operations are allowed.

Whether a password is applied to the PDF or not, using any of these options will cause the PDF file to be encrypted.