Apply security restrictions to PDF documents

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A PDF file on its own is not as secure as you may think. Despite the versatility of PDF (as a universal file format) that preserves the look and feel of your original document regardless of platform or device, without security settings on your PDF publication, there is no way to prevent malicious users from tampering the file and taking credit for your content.

With Email to PDF add-in, you can lock down your PDF content (generated from emails and attachments) by setting a permissions password (also known as a master password) and restrict printing, editing and copying content in the PDF. Your intended recipients don’t need a password to open the document (unless a ‘Document Open Password’ or ‘User Password’ is enforced on that PDF). They do need this permissions password (master password) to change the restrictions you have set.

To apply restrictions and set Permission password, first, you have to define a security profile under Outlook > Email to PDF toolbar > Output Settings > Security tab.

Click the ‘New’ button to create a new profile. The security panel option shows up and has two sections – Document Open and Permissions.

Apply restrictions and set Permissions password to PDF

Under the Permissions section, check the option ‘Restrict Editing and printing of PDF‘ to add another level of security to your PDF content should your file be accidentally accessed. While people may be able to view it, ensure that viewing is all they can do with it. For instance, you can restrict activities from printing content to copying text. You can also set a master password so that in case you want your team members to perform unrestricted activities on the PDF material, they can do so by entering this master password.

Once done, save the profile. It is possible to define multiple security profiles. However, you will have to choose only one default profile that would be applied to the PDF generated by the add-in in Outlook. And you do that from the drop-down field.

Or, even simpler, you can choose or switch to the desired security profile quickly from the PDF toolbar in your Outlook.

Checking the PDF’s Properties > Security dialog in any PDF viewer, users can see what permissions are given to the file, if any.

Apply restrictions and set Permissions password to PDF

NOTE: If your PDF documents are secured with both types of password (i.e., Document Open Password and Permissions Password), they can be opened with either password. However, only permissions password would allow user to change the restricted features. Because of the added security, enabling both types of passwords is beneficial.

For more information, refer to the product page at

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