Home > Mac administration, Mac OS X > Creating password-protected PDFs on OS X

Creating password-protected PDFs on OS X

If you want to restrict access to a PDF document, one way to do this is by setting a password on it. Thanks to OS X’s built-in PDF creation tools, it’s relatively straightforward on OS X to add a password to an existing PDF document, or include a password as part of the process of creating a PDF. For more details on this process, see below the jump.

Adding a password to an existing PDF document

Apple has an existing KBase article describing the process of password-protecting a PDF:

1. Open the PDF you want to password-protect in Apple’s Preview.

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2. Under the File menu, select Export…

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3. Check the Encrypt checkbox.

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4. Type the password you want to use to protect the PDF, then retype it to verify.

5. Once finished entering the password, choose the filename for the password-protected PDF and then click the Save button.

Screen Shot 2016 02 20 at 8 56 27 PM

 

Adding a password as part of creating a PDF from a document

The process is slightly different if you want to create a PDF from a non-PDF document and add a password as part of the PDF creation process.

1. Open the document from which you want to create a password-protected PDF.

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2. Under the File menu, select Print…

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3. In the Print window, select the PDF drop-down menu.

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4. In the PDF menu, select Save as PDF…

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5. In the next window, select Security Options…

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6. Check the box for Require password to open document.

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7. Type the password you want to use to protect the PDF, then retype it to verify.

8. Once finished entering the password, click the OK button.

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9. Choose the filename for the password-protected PDF and then click the Save button.

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Once the password-protected PDF has been created, it should appear with a lock icon as part of the file icon.

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Now that the PDF has been password-protected, you should be prompted to enter a password before being given access to the contents of the PDF.

Here’s how it should appear in Apple Preview:

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Here’s how it should appear in Adobe Acrobat Reader DC:

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