Thursday, June 30, 2011

Save encrypted PDF as plain / unencrypted PDF

Note: If you don't have the password for the PDF file, this post is not what you're looking for.


You have a PDF file that's encrypted and you already know the password.
Say you need to send this PDF file to someone without them needing to use a password to open it, or you just need to store it in an unencrypted format. How do you do this?


As always with software, there are options:
  1. Option 1: Buy an commercial product (like Adobe Acrobat or Foxit PhantomPDF )that is able to strip the encryption from the PDF file- Not for El Cheapo types (like me)
  2. Option 2: Use a product to save the file to JPEG (or any image) format, either manually (using screen prints) or using a free/commercial product (like SnagIT) that takes a screen shot of the entire document, not just the visible window. - Not for the lazy (like me)
  3. Option 3: The quick, simple and free and high quality way - Now that's what I like
As you guessed, I'm going for Option 3 :)


Option 3 - A surprisingly simple way of doing this while preserving the quality and format of the document:


  1. Install a free PDF Printer (I'd recommend PrimoPDF, but that's purely a personal choice).
  2. Open the encrypted PDF file and type in the password.
  3. Invoke the 'Print' option (File->Print) and use the PDF Printer as your choice.
  4. (in case you encounter an error, go to your temp directory (%TEMP%), sort by date-latest and look for a randomly named file with about the same size as your pdf. Rename that extension to .pdf and you're good to go)


Enjoy!

3 comments:

Karsten Spang said...

Tried using PDFCreator, but...
It failed with the following PostScript
ERROR: undefined
OFFENDING COMMAND: eexec
STACK:
/quit
-dictionary-
-mark
It seems that Acrobat Reader puts in some PostScript commands to prevent this :(

Ryan Fernandes said...

You're correct.

Updated. See point 4.

Jenice said...

Surprising. The ideas which you have suggested to perform this task are simply amazing. I like the third option because its quite easy and simple as compared to other options.
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