PDF is a format that is easy to use, download, and print. It works on all types of computers. Most paper documents have been replaced by PDFs, which makes security even more important. Fortunately, PDFs have password-protected encryption built right into the format, so even if you’re running Windows or MacOS, you can still use them.
There are a lot of ways to protect a PDF file. A step-by-step guide is below. I’ll show you how to do each of them.
Using Microsoft Office to Create Password Protected PDFs
When you encrypt and protect a document you created using a Microsoft Office program (e.g., Excel, Word, PowerPoint), you can save it as a PDF that is also protected.
1. Open your Microsoft Office file in the respective application.
2. Click File > Save As…
3. Then Save as type list box, then select PDF.
4. Click the Options button, then check the option Encrypt the document with a password.
5. Please enter your key, then confirm it. Next, choose a password you don’t normally use if you plan to share the document with others.
That’s it! When you open the document in your PDF viewer, you will be prompted to enter a password.
Password protecting a PDF with Adobe Acrobat
If the document you want to protect is already a PDF, you can use Adobe Acrobat to add a password.
1. Launch Adobe Acrobat and open the PDF you would like to password-protect.
2. Click File > Properties, then select the Security tab.
3. Click in the Security Method list box, then choose Password Security.
4. Choose the level of compatibility you want. Depending on the version, you can enable support as far back as Adobe Acrobat 3.0. If the user you are sending your PDF to doesn’t have a compatible version of Adobe, they won’t be able to decrypt it and open it.
5. Check the Require a password to open document, then enter your key. Adobe Acrobat will give you an indication of how secure your password is. You can also restrict editing with a password if you so choose.
6. Click OK to confirm changes.
Password Protect a PDF on a Mac Using Preview
If you own a Mac, you can key protect documents natively in macOS.
1. Open your PDF file in the Preview app by double-clicking it.
2. Click File > Save.
3. Check the Encrypt box, then enter your password and verify it.
4. Click Save.
Conclusion. That concludes the three methods for this-protecting a PDF file. To begin with, this-protected PDF files are encrypted, which means there is no way to view the contents by “bypassing” the PDF. Second, in order to see the PDF, it must first be encrypted. This is a built-in feature of the PDF format that operates the same regardless of the software that developed the PDF or the program that is being used to read it.