Is there an easy way to encrypt a PDF?
I need to be able to send my parents a copy of some documents I have in PDF format, but I want to ensure privacy and encrypt them first. Is there some easy way to do this?
You don't say whether you're running a Mac or Windows system, so I'll show you a solution for both. The Mac solution is quite a bit easier, but let's start with Windows because there's a nifty - free - application you can download to do just what you ask. I'm using Windows Vista for this demo, but the application works with both Vista and Windows XP.
Once you have it installed, launch the app and drill down to the folder that contains the PDF file you want to encrypt. As you can see in the below screen shot, the interface is a bit confusing, unfortunately, once you're ready to encrypt the file:
I've labeled the areas in red to make this easier: you need to check "Encrypt PDF File" and enter a password on the middle-right box (#1), move your PDF file into the "merge list" in the middle (#2) and you'll want to rename the resultant file on the bottom box (#3) -- I added "-encrypted" to mine.
Once you have that all configured properly, click on "Save" near the bottom and you'll see:
A few seconds later, your file will be encrypted under its new name and you're ready to go.
The Mac Alternative
If you're running Mac OS X, however, you don't need to download anything and it's quite a bit easier. Open up your PDF file in "Preview" and choose File --> Save As.... You'll face the following dialog box:
Give the new file a different name to the existing file, click on "Encrypt", the click on "Save" and a second or two later your file is encrypted and ready to transmit.
Either way, it's always a good idea to keep PDF files encrypted on your laptop especially. Just in case someone else gets their hands on it...
Update: Another application that offers the same functionality, though with a simpler interface is Smart PDF Converter Pro, which lets you encrypt PDF files including content copying, form filling, printing support and much more. A smart alternative choice.
More Useful Windows PC Help Articles:
✔ What's the easiest way to speed up my Windows PC laptop?
My Dell Windows 7 laptop is starting to drive me crazy. It's so darn slow! I've had it a few years and I...✔ Can I force a Windows 7 OS system update?
Every so often Windows 7 pops up a window and tells me that there are updates. That's nice, but how can I force...✔ Fix Google Drive (Gdrive) no longer supported (out of date)?
I'm a big Google fan and have been using Google Drive for quite a while as a cloud storage device. It's a breeze,...✔ How do I open or unpack a RAR archive on my Windows PC?
I have some ".rar" files on my Windows 8 PC and am curious how to unpack them to see what's inside. From a...✔ How can I shrink my Windows 8 Desktop file icons?
I've figured out most things in the new Windows 8 interface, except I can't see how to easily reduce or shrink the file...
Let's stay in touch!
Sign up for my weekly AskDaveTaylor Newsletter and you'll receive even more tech and gadget help right to your inbox, along with exclusive news and industry updates. It's good stuff. I promise!
I do have a comment, now that you mention it!
Check This Out Too...
Look for Answers
All Our Categories
Apple iPad Help
Articles and Reviews
Auctions and Online Shopping
Blogs and Blogging
Building Web Site Traffic
Business and Management
Computer and Internet Basics
d) None of the Above
Google Gmail Help
Google Plus Help
Industry News and Trade Shows
iPhone and Cell Phone Help
iPod, Sony PSP and MP3 Player Help
Kindle Fire Help
Mac OS X Help
Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Shell Script Programming
Tech Support Video Help
The Writing Business
Twitter, LinkedIn and Social Network Help
Unix and Linux Help
Video Game Tips and Help
Windows PC Help
Find Me on Google+
ADT on G+