How does a PDF prevent itself from being printed


I have a PDF for my camera's manual, and Adobe Reader won't let me print it (the print option is grayed out). SumatraPDF also does the same thing (it even says print denied). How does the PDF prevent itself from being printed? It seems that if the program can display it on the screen, then it can also print it. Maybe Adobe Reader respects the PDF not printing, but surely an open source PDF reader wouldn't be so restrictive. So is there something more to this than merely the PDF reader software respecting the PDF's request to not be able to be printed?

Best Answer

  • The print permission is in the pdf file itself and is mostly used by Adobe products. Some products pay it attention, and some others print it anyway.
    It is quite easy to remove.

    See the article How To Unlock Adobe PDF Files, where it explains how to use Freeware PDF Unlocker to remove this and other passwords.

    Warning : Comment by Chris Betti says

    As of Oct 7, 2013, the Freeware PDF Unlocker setup installs unwanted software without confirmation, and fails to install the product itself.

    Use older versions (if can be found) or search for another product.

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