How to Print a Secure PDF File

By Contributing Writer

PDF files have become the de facto standard for many electronic documents. Ebooks, corporate documents, product manuals and online receipts are commonly distributed in PDF format. Sometimes, these documents are sent as a secured document, which prevents you from printing it. In instances when you need a hard copy of a document that has no copyright restrictions, there are a few methods you can use to try to print a secured PDF file.

Step 1

Verify you have the legal right to print the document. Many PDF files are secured for a reason, such as to protect the copyright restrictions of an ebook or to prevent confidential information from being printed. The methods in this article should never be used to break the law by duplicating restricted documents.

Step 2

If possible, ask the document's author to send you an unprotected copy of the PDF file. Sometimes, the secured option is selected by accident. For example, there is no reason why a receipt for goods purchased should be protected. Usually, an email or phone call to the merchant can get you an unprotected copy of the document.

Step 3

Try sending the file to an online conversion service. One such service provided by Neevia Technology is free and can convert a secured PDF file into an unprotected PDF file or image file. But this free service has a limit of 1MB per file to be converted. For larger files, you can try finding a conversion service without the 1MB restriction, but you will likely have to pay a fee.

Step 4

Take screen shots of the document and print them using word-processing software. This works best for smaller documents because you will have to take a screen shot of each individual page. Open the PDF file. Maximize the PDF reader software and adjust the zoom setting until you have a single page viewable on the screen as large as possible. Hold the "Alt" key and press the "Print Screen" key, then release both keys. This will copy a screen shot to your clipboard. Open a word processing application such as Microsoft Word and hold down the "Ctrl" key and press the "V" key. This should paste the screen shot into the word processor. Enlarge and crop the image if necessary, trying to make it as large as possible while still keeping it on a single page. Repeat this procedure for each page in the PDF file, then print the word processor file when you are finished.

Tips & Warnings

  • When trying document-conversion services, some formatting might be lost from the original PDF file. Try different export formats and different conversion services until you find one that works best for your particular document.