RE: how to restrict documents

From Will Farrell
DateMon, 21 Apr 2003 10:16:31 -0500
Subject RE: how to restrict documents
In-Reply-To (20030421111247-16414-qmail-webmail30-rediffmail-com)
G'day Deepak,

>in the course of building collection of PDF and word documents i
>feel need of some technique to restict the user [reader] to print
>the PDF documents or to restict to download of the documents. I
>want to give the read access of PDF documents to the
>readers[users] rather than downloading it.

As far as I am aware it is impossible to stop users downloading what
they can see in their browser without using a specialised Java applet.

I'm not so sure about Word documents, but I can help a little with

You can encrypt your PDFs in a way which allows the user (who doesn't
have the password) to view and save the document, but not to copy from
or print the document. The saved document cannot be copied or printed
either. A number of free (and $$$) pdf utilities allow you to do this.
I can't remember which utility I use, but I'll mail a follow up when I
do remember.

There is another (not so nice but more secure) option. PHParchitect
magazine had a free downloadable article in January about building a
"Web-based PDF Viewer". It basically creates images of the PDF page
the user wants to view on the fly. The user doesn't access the PDF
directly. The good news is that hardly anyone will want to copy then
OCR a pile of images - the bad news is that this will use up your
bandwidth and server resources if you have many users browsing PDFs
at the same time.
The link is:

Hope this helps,