How to Make a PDF Read-Only

Thu. 25 Jan. 20241453
Discover how to make PDF read-only with PDF Reader Pro. Secure your documents in simple steps to preserve content integrity and prevent unauthorized edits.
How to Make a PDF Read-Only

Are you tired of sending out important documents, only to have them altered or edited without your permission? Whether you're sharing a contract, a creative work, or an official report, ensuring that your PDFs remain as you intended is crucial. With PDF Reader Pro, you can easily secure your PDF documents and keep them read-only.

In this guide, we'll walk you through the simple steps to protect your PDFs using PDF Reader Pro, ensuring that your documents stay intact, just as you designed them.


How to Make a PDF Read-Only for Windows

Step 1: Click the "Editor", "Security", and then "Set Passwords"



Step 2: Enable your PDF security to make it read-only

Tick the following boxes:

  • Require a password to open the document
  • Restrict printing and copying of the document



Step 3: Set passwords for both functions



Step 4: Click "Encrypt" and save your new PDF version

How to Make a PDF Read-Only for Mac

How to Make a PDF Read-Only: Best Practices

In the digital age, ensuring the integrity of your PDF documents is crucial, especially when dealing with business documents, legal documents, or any digital documents that should not be altered after completion.

Creating a read-only PDF file helps in maintaining the original content, preventing unauthorized users from making changes.

Here are the best practices for making a PDF document read-only without Adobe Acrobat:

Utilizing Online Tools and Services

  1. Online Tools and Services: Numerous online tools and services allow you to convert your PDF files into read-only format. These platforms often offer a user-friendly interface where you can upload your PDF file, adjust permissions settings, and download the read-only version. It's vital to choose reputable online services to ensure the security of your documents.

Implementing Password Protection and Permission Passwords

  1. Permission Passwords: You can set permission passwords to restrict editing, copying, or printing of your PDF file. This method involves encrypting your PDF file and setting a permissions password that restricts certain actions unless the correct password is provided.

  2. Password Protection: Similar to permission passwords, password protection prevents unauthorized access to the document contents. Only users with the correct password can open and view the PDF document.

Setting Security and Permissions Settings

  1. Security Settings and Permissions Settings: Delve into the security settings of your PDF document to modify permissions. You can set the document to be viewable but not editable, making your PDF file a read-only version.

  2. Digital Signatures and Document Properties: Adding digital signatures to your PDF document or modifying the document properties can also enhance the security of your document.

  3. Digital signatures ensure the authenticity and integrity of the document, discouraging tampering and unauthorized modifications.

Managing Form Fields in Fillable PDF Forms

  1. Form Fields in Fillable PDF Forms: If your PDF document includes form fields, ensure that the fields are set to read-only after they are filled.
  2. This prevents any further changes to the form fields by the end-user, maintaining the data integrity of the fillable form.

Leveraging Document Management Tools

  1. Document Management Tools: Use document management tools that support read-only file formats and offer additional features like tracking changes, version control, and setting file permissions.
  2. These tools often provide comprehensive solutions for managing your business documents efficiently.

By following these best practices, you can effectively convert your PDF files into read-only versions, safeguarding the document contents from unauthorized alterations and maintaining the integrity of your important files.

Remember, while the methods mentioned do not involve Adobe Acrobat, it's crucial to ensure the security and privacy of your data when using online tools and services.

Always opt for trusted and secure solutions when dealing with sensitive and confidential information.

How to Make a PDF Read-Only: FAQ

Can I Make a PDF Read-Only without Adobe Acrobat Pro?

Yes, you can make a PDF read-only without using Adobe Acrobat Pro. Several PDF editors and PDF readers offer the ability to set editing restrictions. You can also use online tools, document management software, or even Google Docs to convert your PDF into a read-only format.

How Do I Use Password Protection to Make a PDF Read-Only?

To use password protection, open your PDF in a PDF editing tool that supports this feature. Look for the security or permissions settings, usually found in a dialog box or pop-up window. Set a strong password and choose the editing restrictions you want to apply. This makes the document a password-protected PDF, where the content can be viewed but not edited without the password.

What Should I Consider When Creating a Strong Password?

A strong password typically includes a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. It should be sufficiently long (at least 8 characters is recommended) and not contain easily guessable information like common words or your email address. The stronger your password, the better protected your PDF content will be.

Can I Set a PDF to Read-Only in Google Docs?

Google Docs allows you to view and share documents in a read-only format, but it doesn't natively support editing PDF content. You can convert your PDF to a Google Docs format, set the sharing settings to view-only, and then download it as a PDF. However, for more advanced features and direct editing of PDF content, you might need a dedicated PDF editing tool.

What are the Limitations of Using PDF Readers to Set Editing Restrictions?

While PDF readers can be used to view password-protected PDFs and respect the editing restrictions set in the document, they typically do not have the capability to set or change these restrictions themselves. You'll need a PDF editing tool or document management software with advanced features to apply or modify these settings.

How Can a Document Administrator Ensure an Active Document Stays in Read-Only Format?

A document administrator can ensure an active document stays in read-only format by setting the appropriate permissions and password protection. Additionally, using document management software with robust user access controls and audit trails can help administrators monitor the document's usage and prevent unauthorized attempts to change its format from read-only to editable.


Transforming your document into a read-only PDF with PDF Reader Pro offers the document owner a wide range of control options.

From restricting edit mode to setting document permissions, this document management software ensures that your brand-new PDF document or blank document remains in an uneditable format. Secure your work effectively, maintaining the integrity and intention behind every page.

Get Started with PDF Reader Pro Today!