How to Save a PDF File As Read-Only
To make a PDF file a read-only file, you adjust the security settings in the document using Adobe Acrobat. The settings allow you to prevent changes to document, printing, copying or extracting changes. You can choose a password security setting so that anyone can read it, but only someone with a password can change it. Other security choices restrict any access to the document to a select email list.
Use Adobe Acrobat to open the PDF file you want to restrict as Read-Only. You can adjust security settings only after you convert a file to a PDF.
Open “Properties” under the File menu. In the new window that opens, select “Security.”
Select “Password Security” in the dropdown menu for “Security Method.” This is the simplest method to create a read-only document. A new window opens for Password Security Settings.
Leave unchecked the option to require a password to open the PDF if you don’t want to restrict anyone from reading the file.
Checkmark the option under Permissions to “Restrict editing and printing of the document.” Enter a password that will be required to make any changes in the file or its security.
Select “None” in the drop-down options next to “Printing Allowed:” to prevent printing. Choose “Low Resolution (150 DPI) to allow low quality printing.
Select “None” for “Changes Allowed.” Your other choices include allowing a viewer to fill in form fields and add comments with attached notes.
Leave unchecked the option to enable copying of text, images and other content. Then click “OK.” In a new window, verify your password to enable the security settings.
Tips & Warnings
- While the security settings are good for anyone viewing the document using Adobe Reader, Adobe warns it can't guarantee against third-party software circumventing the security.