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How to Secure Your PDF ~ A Bright Idea!

Here's a quick, Bright Idea for all the Teacher-Authors out there...  How to secure a PDF.
Read on to Secure PDFs for free

Why would you need to secure a PDF?  Well, if you are creating materials to share or sell, and they contain clipart, most of the time the Terms of Use state that your PDF must be "flattened" or "secured."  One method is to "flatten," which creates only one layer for the user, so they are unable to easily copy/paste the clipart or content.  To "flatten" your slides in MS PowerPoint, using a PC: save as jpeg, all slides, and then create a new PPT, and insert each slide as the background on blank slides for every page, which you save as a PDF.   Downsides - time consuming, and  it can result in your graphics/text looking blurry.  This is why I choose to "Secure" the PDF instead...

Full disclosure: I actually created these screenshots using an old version, in November, 2013. I wrote this blog post, then forgot to publish it, yet I subsequently convinced myself that it was a published post... for seventeen months, I have been telling people to check it out if they needed a free way to secure PDFs. I'm an Adobe Pro user now, and it is much, much easier! Still, if you only need to do this occasionally, here is the tutorial... if you really feel like trusting a lady who thought this was done seventeen months ago, but just realized yesterday that the post was unavailable, and who obviously did not plan ahead for this month's Bright Ideas post.

First step, download and install

Install PDFill Free PDF Tools

Open PDFill, click File

Select PDF Tools

Option 3, Encrypt Options

Select the PDF you want to secure

Make sure the Printing box is not checked if you want folks to be able to print!! 

Owner Password - It's good to write that down, just in case. ;)  Encrypt As...


You can tell it's secured when you see the word (SECURED) in the file name
Done! If you found this useful, please consider joining me on Facebook, TPT, or view my other Bright Idea posts for more ideas.

For more bright ideas from other bloggers, please browse through the link-up below and choose a topic/grade level that interests you. Thanks for visiting!


  1. Jen, I am so excited you wrote this post!!! I sincerely need this in my life! Thank you so much for sharing.... now off to secure some old files:)

    First Grade Fairytales

  2. Thanks so much for sharing this post! It is very necessary as TPT seller.
    Kathleen from Not So Wimpy Resources,LLC

  3. Thank you so much, I knew there must've been an easier way. This will make my life a million times easier. You're a star.
    Sheri :)

  4. This is a good tutorial! Thank you for sharing!


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