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How to Make PDFs Non-Editable/Read-Only Without/with Passwords

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PDF files are widely used for sharing and distributing documents, such as contracts, reports, invoices, etc. However, sometimes you may want to make your PDF files non-editable or read-only, to prevent unauthorized changes or copying of your content. There are different ways to make PDFs non-editable, depending on whether you want to use a password or not. In this article, we will show you how to make PDFs non-editable without or with passwords, using various tools and methods.

how to make pdf non editable

 

Part 1. How to Make PDF Non-Editable Without Password-Protected

If you don't want to use a password to protect your PDF files, you can make them non-editable by changing the file permissions. Here are two methods for making PDFs non-editable without being password-protected on Windows and Mac.

1.1 How Can I Make a PDF Non-Editable on Windows?

One way to make a PDF non-editable on Windows is to use the file's "Properties" feature, which is built-in in Windows. This feature allows you to change the properties of a document, and you can change the file permissions to restrict editing.

Here are the steps to make a PDF non-editable on Windows:

1. Locate the PDF file and right-click on it. Choose the last option, "Properties".

2. In the "Properties" window, check the "Read-only" box. Then click on "OK" to save the settings.

set pdf read only on windows

3. The PDF file is non-editable now, and you can open it with any PDF reader to verify the restrictions.

the document could not be saved

1.2 How Do I Make a PDF Non-Editable on Mac?

Another way to make a PDF non-editable is to use the built-in feature on Mac. Here are the steps:

1. Choose the PDF file that you intend to make read-only and right-click on it.

2. Select "Get Info" from the drop-down menu. Go to the "Sharing & Permissions" tab, and change the privilege from "Read & Write" to "Read only".

set pdf read only on mac

You may also need:

Breaking the Lock: How to Handle a Forgot PDF Password Scenario

[Useful PDF Tips] How to Open Password-Protected PDF Without the Password

Part 2. How to Make a PDF Non-Editable with Password-Protected

If you want to use a password to protect your PDF files, you can make them non-editable by encrypting them with a user password or an owner password. (A user password is required to open the PDF file, while an owner password is required to change the file permissions or remove the encryption.) There are various tools and software that can help you make PDFs non-editable with password-protected, such as Coolmuster PDF Locker, Adobe Reader, PDF Editor, WPS Office, etc. Here are steps for making PDFs non-editable with passwords using different tools.

2.1 How to Make PDF Non-Editable in Coolmuster PDF Locker [Recommended]

Coolmuster PDF Locker is a professional and easy-to-use tool that can help you make PDFs non-editable in a few clicks. It allows you to encrypt your PDF files with a user password or an owner password and set the file permissions to restrict editing, printing, copying, or other actions. It also supports batch processing, so you can make multiple PDFs non-editable at once.

Key Features

  • User-Friendly: Coolmuster PDF Locker offers an intuitive, straightforward interface, making it accessible for users regardless of their technical proficiency.
  • User Password: Implement a user password to manage who can open and access your PDF document.
  • Owner Password: Establish an owner password to adjust permission settings, safeguarding your PDF against unauthorized use.
  • Multiple Encryption Options: Select from encryption strengths like 40-bit RC4, 128-bit RC4, or 128-bit AES to ensure the protection of your confidential information.

Here are the steps to make PDF non-editable in Coolmuster PDF Locker:

01Download and install Coolmuster PDF Locker on your computer, and launch it.

02Click on the "Add Files" or "Add Folder" button to import the PDF files that you want to make non-editable. You can also drag & drop the PDF files to the main interface.

make pdf non editable with coolmuster

03Set password and permissions:

  1. "Set Password": Choose the password type that you want to use and enter the password that you want to use.
  2. "Encryption Level": Choose the encryption level that you want to use, such as 40-bit RC4, 128-bit RC4, or 128-bit AES.
  3. "Set Permissions": You can choose the actions that you want to allow or disallow.

set password

04Click on "Encrypt" to start encrypting the PDFs. The new PDF files will be non-editable, and you can open them with any PDF reader to verify the encryption and the restrictions.

encrypt pdfs

2.2 How to Make PDF Non-Editable in Adobe Reader

Adobe Reader is a popular and widely used PDF reader, which also allows you to make PDFs non-editable with password-protected. You need to have the Adobe Acrobat Pro version, which is a paid software, to use this feature. Here are the steps to make PDF non-editable in Adobe Reader:

1. Open the PDF file that you want to make non-editable with Adobe Reader and click on the right panel to select the "Protect" tool.

2. Click on the "Protect Using Password" option.

adobe acrobat make pdf non editable

3. In the "Protect Using Password" window, choose the "Editing" option, and enter the password you want to use. Select the "Advanced Options" and choose "Encrypt with Password" (if a window pops up showing "Are you sure you want to change the security on this document?", click "Yes").

adobe reader make pdf non editable

4. In the "Password Security" window, check the box below "Permissions" saying "Restrict editing and printing of the document...". For the "Printing Allowed" and "Changes Allowed" options, you can customize them according to your needs.

restrict editing and printing of the document

5. Enter the "Change Permissions Password" and click on "OK" to save the encryption settings, and then click on "Save" to create a new PDF file with the restrictions applied.

The new PDF file will be non-editable, and you can open it with any PDF reader to verify the encryption and the restrictions.

2.3 How to Make PDF Non-Editable in PDF Editor

PDF Editor is a powerful and all-in-one PDF tool in which you're allowed to make PDFs non-editable with password-protected. It enables you to encrypt your PDF files with a user password or an owner password and set the file permissions to restrict editing, printing, copying, or other actions. It also supports batch processing, so you can make multiple PDFs non-editable at once.

Key Features

  • PDF Security: Secure PDFs with passwords and incorporate watermarks.
  • Batch Processing: Handle multiple PDF files simultaneously.
  • PDF Editing: Alter text, imagery, and pages within PDF files.
  • PDF Annotation: Insert comments, highlights, and various annotations into PDF documents.
  • Electronic Signatures: Electronically sign PDFs using digital signatures.
  • PDF Merging: Consolidate several PDFs into a single file.
  • PDF Conversion: Transform PDFs into different formats, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and others.
  • Form Filling: Complete and create PDF forms.
  • PDF Compression: Decrease the file size of PDF documents.

Here are the steps to make PDF non-editable in PDF Editor:

01Download and install PDF Editor on your computer, and launch it.

how do i make a pdf non editable in pdf editor

02On the main screen choose "Batch PDFs" and choose the "Security" tool.

batch pdfs

03Import the PDF files that you want to make non-editable. Click on the "+" icon under "Template" to create a new security template.

In the "Create Security Template" window, check the box next to "Permissions Password", enter the password and choose the actions that you want to allow or disallow.

create security template

04Name the template and click on "Save" to save the encryption settings. You can choose a different location for the new PDF file if you want.

05Click "Apply", and the new PDF file will be non-editable.

Read more:

[Hot] How to Encrypt a PDF - Prevent Unauthorized PDF Access

The Best Free PDF Security Remover Tools to Recommend [7 Tools]

2.4 How to Make PDF Non-Editable in WPS Office

WPS Office is a comprehensive office suite, which also allows you to make PDFs non-editable with password-protected. It enables you to encrypt your PDF files with a user password or an owner password and set the file permissions to restrict editing, printing, copying, or other actions. It also supports batch processing, so you can make multiple PDFs non-editable at once. Here are the steps to make PDF non-editable in WPS Office:

1. Download and install WPS Office on your computer, and launch it. Open the PDF file in this tool.

2. Click on the "Protect" tab and select "Encrypt".

make pdf non editable in wps

3. In the "Enryption" window, check the box next to "Set password of editing and extracting". Enter your password.

set password

4. Under "Encrypt the following functions", you can choose the actions that you want to disallow.

5. Click on "Confirm" to save the security settings. The PDF file will then be non-editable.

Conclusion

Can you make a PDF non-editable now? In this article, we have shown you how to make PDFs non-editable or read-only, without or with passwords, using various tools and methods. By making your PDFs non-editable, you can protect your content from unauthorized changes or copying, and ensure the integrity and security of your documents. Depending on your needs and preferences, you can choose the best way to make your PDFs non-editable, such as using Microsoft Print to PDF, Preview, Coolmuster PDF Locker, Adobe Reader, PDF Editor, WPS Office, etc. We hope this article has helped you learn how to make PDFs non-editable easily and effectively. Leave us a comment if you have any questions!

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