Friday, July 12, 2013

How to password protect PDF before emailing in OS-X

By SheebaSudeep

The new print-to-PDF feature in OS X is convenient if you want to preserve a document's layout in the PDF format, making it possible to be viewed on most computers and tablets. If you have to send some formatted document containing sensitive information to someone,then it is best to password protect the document.

To do this,normally one have  to use a container format such as a ZIP file or an encrypted disk image (using the Disk Utility program in OS X); but, these might be difficult to be managed by both the sender and recipient.

An alternative to this approach  is to send the PDF file as an encrypted PDF file by protecting it using  a password which needs to be entered by the recipient before the PDF can be read.

There is no particular option to directly print a pdf document to its encrypted pdf format in OS-X,but it can be acheived using simple procedure.
  • Use  PDF menu in the print dialog box and choose "Open PDF in Preview."
  • Click Command-S to save the PDF.
  • In the  save dialog box, press the "Encrypt" check box and type a password for the PDF file, and then save it to your desired loaction.
  • Press the sharing button in the preview and choose the Email option.
This action will create the encrypted PDF and provides an easy way to attach a pdf file to new e-mail message. But if you are to use this feature quite often  then you may want a slightly more streamlined approach.

Luckily, OS X  is supporting  an option for custom print plug-in workflows which can be used to encrypt a PDF directly from the PDF menu in the print dialog window. To do this, open the Automator program (in the Applications folder) and follow these steps:

  • Create a new workflow.
  • Use "Print Plugin" as the type of workflow to create.
  • Select the "Encrypt PDF Documents" action and drag it to the workflow area.
  • In the Options button for this action and select the option to "Show this action when the workflow runs."
  • Press the "New Mail Message" action and drag it to the workflow, below the encryption action (you can optionally use the "Add Attachments to Front Message" action, or have this in a separate workflow altogether).
Save the workflow with a name like "EmailEncrypted PDF" and its done. Now whenever you wish to print the  document  all you need to do is to choose this workflow from the PDF menu and once you provide the password, the system will generate the secured PDF document in a new e-mail message.

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