How to make a PDF not editable

non-editable PDF

When working with PDF documents, many users value positively the possibility of being able to edit them for greater flexibility, or if it is about team work in which more than one editor will be involved. However, in other circumstances it is much more convenient make PDF non-editable, for greater security.

There are many examples of PDF documents that are intended to be non-editable. That is, they are read-only. This function is often blocked in certain files such as magazines, brochures or reports. The idea is to make sure that the content remains as it was created, without modifications.

See also: Convert PDF to PowerPoint: Best Pages to Do It for Free

To create this type of file, there are several tools such as Adobe Acrobat and Word, as well as other online resources. In this article we are going to see how to make non-editable PDF using different methods, all very simple and effective.

With Adobe Acrobat


How to make a PDF not editable with Adobe Acrobat

This is the most used method to convert a PDF into a non-editable document, valid for both Windows and Mac. If you don't already have it installed, you can download this software at this link. Then, these are the steps to follow. It is a bit long process, but simple:

  1. First of all, you have to start acrobat.
  2. Then we click on the options “File” and “Open” double-clicking to open the PDF we want to make “non-editable”.
  3. Then you have to open the menu "Tools".
  4. In this menu we first select "Protect" & AFTER "Code". At this point we will be shown a dialog box to decide if we want to adjust the security settings of the document text.
  5. The next step is to select an accessibility level for our PDF document. The more current the version of Acrobat, the higher the security level.
  6. Then we click on the option “Encrypt the entire content of the document” and uncheck the checkbox corresponding to the option «Require a password to open a document to make sure no one can access your PDF file».
  7. Now comes an important step: you have to click on the checkbox corresponding to “Restrict editing and printing of the document”. We will need to enter a new password to change the settings for these permissions.
  8. Click on the label Permitted Changes and we select the option "None" to shield the document.
  9. Finally, to add the read-only configuration to our PDF file, we will press «OK» o "To accept".

With Soda PDF

soda pdf

How to make a PDF non-editable with Soda PDF

The best alternative to Acrobat Reader for make PDF non-editable. It works very well and, although it is a paid program, it offers that we can download from your official website to enjoy these and other features. To make a PDF document non-editable using this software we will do the following:

Although Soda PDF Desktop it starts automatically after installation, it can also be opened from the desktop icon.

  1. To open the PDF that you want to make non-editable, click on "Files", click on "Open" and search for the document.
  2. Once open, we click on the tab "Protection and Signature".
  3. Then we click the button "Security permissions". A box will open in which we must check the box on the left to enter a password. Then select the option "No one«.
  4. To finish, we enter the password and confirm. This will prevent unauthorized modifications from occurring.

With PDFMate PDF Free Merger

pdf mate

How to make a PDF non-editable with PDFMate PDF Free Merger

Yet another alternative for Windows if you don't have Acrobat Reader. This program is available free from your Official website. It also allows us to establish a series of protections to avoid unauthorized modifications. After download and installation, this is how it works:

  1. To start we open the program PDFMate Free PDF Merger.
  2. We click on the button "Add files" to select the PDF file we want to make non-editable.
  3. Next we enable the Permission password, making sure before that the “Editing allowed” option is disabled. You must write the password in the text field that appears on the right of the screen. We validate it by pressing "To accept".

Online resources to make non-editable PDF

In addition to the programs listed above, there are also online tools of great utility that allow us to protect unauthorized PDF changes by means of a password. These are the two most recommended:

  •, a completely free online service. It works quite well, although you have to know that it only allows five operations of this type per day.
  •, an online service that offers numerous file conversion and protection features. In addition, its system fully guarantees our privacy.

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