Security

PDFCreator provides you with several options to secure your PDFs. You’re able to encrypt your PDFs and set a password to prevent readers from making changes to your documents.

PDFCreator will also allow you to digitally sign your documents to attest their authenticity. See Signature for further information.

Please see the following sections for more information on Security & Encryption.

Encryption

Passwords

For all secure task an “owner password” is required. It is also called “edit password”, because it will be requested for actions without a permission (see below).

Furthermore you can Require a Password to open PDF file. This is referred to “open” or “user password” and will be requested to open the PDF file.

You can set one or both passwords with Set passwords. The passwords that are not are not saved, will be requested before the conversion.

Note

The passwords are encrypted before they are stored by PDFCreator. The encryption can be reverted though and is only intended to avoid plaintext passwords to be seen in the Registry.

For automatic saving, you must set all required passwords.

To delete saved passwords, just press Remove in the Set passwords Dialog. Afterwards you must leave the Profile Settings with Save.

Encryption Level

Encryption prevents unauthorized copying of information contained in the PDF.

PDFCreator can encrypt in three levels:

Low (128 Bit),

Medium (128 Bit AES) and

High (256 Bit AES).

Note

“High (256 Bit AES)” is only available for the Plus and Business Editions. See PDF Tools.

We recommend to use “Low (128 Bit)” encryption only for compatibility reasons, because it is considered unsafe. Of course it’s still good enough, if you just don’t want your document to be directly viewable for everyone. We even still provide the “40 Bit” encryption in the Hidden settings.

Permissions

Define what a viewer/user can do with your PDF file by setting the according permissions. At the same time you disable everything that is not selected. With the owner password you can perform the disabled actions.

Allow the user…

  • … to print the document
  • … to copy content from the document
  • … to edit the document
  • … to edit comments
  • … to print the document in low quality (requires Medium or High Encryption)
  • … to fill forms (requires Medium or High Encryption)
  • … to use a screen reader (requires Medium or High Encryption)
  • … to edit the assembly (requires Medium or HighEncryption)

Signature

Signing PDF files enables the receipient to verfiy, that the document is from the proper person and has not been modified after signing. This is done with a private/public key mechanism. The private key is used to encrypt a fingerprint of the document (the hash). This can be decrypted with the public key and then be compared with a hash created from the present document. These only match, when private and public key match and the document has not been modified.

Certificate file: A digital Certificate in a PFX12 file that is enable to create digital signatures. It stores the private key which is used to encrypt the hash value. You can either type in the path or use the “…” button to search through your System.

Note

You can get free certificates at http://www.cacert.org. Please keep in mind, that this is not a register-and-go service. CAcert is based on a web of trust, where you are verified by people and can verify other people. It takes a bit of work to get enough points for a trusted status, but it really is free and you should give it a try.

Set password: You can save the password, to skip the request during the print job. The opened Dialog automatically checks if the password is valid for the certificate. To delete the saved password, just press Remove in the Set password Dialog. Afterwards you must leave the Profile Settings with Save.

Note

For automatic saving, you must set all required passwords.

Reason: The reason for the cerfitifacte. This is a piece of text, describing, why the document is signed.

Contact: The name of the contact person, that signed the file.

Location: Place (Country, City etc.), where the file has been signed.

Display Signature in document: Creates an icon in the PDF file showing the validity of the signature. Select on which page the signature icon will appear. Choose between first and last page or set a custom page. If the custom page is bigger than the number of pages, the signature will appear on the last page. Among the page you can set the coordinates for the icon. The icon is a rectangle defined by the LeftX/Y and RightX/Y values. The size of the icon results from the coordiantes.