How to Prevent Copy & Paste in PDF – Block Content Theft

Written By Kumar Raj
Anuraag Singh
Approved By Anuraag Singh  
Published On September 5th, 2023
Reading Time 6 Minutes Reading

Many people want to protect their PDF files from unauthorized copy-paste to block content theft. After all, it is a common practice to copy and paste text from one document to another and use it for commercial purposes. In this article, we will show you how to prevent copy and paste in PDF files and keep your content secure.

4 Easy Ways to Prevent Copy & Paste in PDF

There are many ways to disable copy-paste in PDF documents. Some methods include copyright protection, while others directly restrict the use of copy-paste in a PDF file. You can go through the following four methods and choose the best one for your needs.

  1. Use Password Protection
  2. Watermark the PDF
  3. Convert to Image
  4. Use Encryption Tool
  5. Combine Different Methods

Use Password Protection to Disable Copy Paste in PDF

This method includes using a password to prevent the use of copy and paste in PDF files. You can do this by using the PDF LOCK Tool. This tool is an excellent software that incorporates Adobe Acrobat premium password protection techniques. It allows you to password protect a PDF file and prevent its use by unauthorized users. You can use this tool in two ways to block copy and paste in PDF files:

  • Setting an open password
  • Restricting editing and printing

You can try the tool for Free with some limitations. Download it below.

Free Download  Purchase Now

Here’s how you can do it:

#1 Setting an Open Password

Many people use this method to prevent unauthorized access to their PDF files. By doing this, you can ensure that the file is only opened by you or those with whom you have shared the password. Since you are trusting them with your password, you can also trust them with your copy-and-paste functions. The method goes like this:

  • Launch the software on your system.

launch the tool

  • Click on the Add Files button and add one or more PDF files in which you want to prevent copy and paste function.

add pdf files

  • After that, go to the next window.
  • Here, set the “Apply document open password” and type a strong password for the PDF files.

apply open password

  • Choose the encryption type as per your choice.

choose encryption type

  • Click the Lock button to disable copy and paste in PDF file.

disable copy paste in pdf

#2 Restricting Editing & Printing

PDF documents have the option to restrict some actions performed by the users including copy-paste. This is the BEST method to prevent copy paste in PDF files. The method goes like this:

  • Run the tool on your system.

run the tool

  • Hit the Add Files button and import one or more PDF files in which you want to block copy and paste function.

add PDF file to the software

  • After that, go to the next window.
  • Here, set the “Apply document restrictions” and set both dropdowns to “Not Allowed”.

set all to not allowed

  • Set a strong password and apply encryption type as per your choice.

apply password

  • Click the Lock button to prevent copy and paste in PDF file.

block copy paste in pdf

Note: Do remember to set a strong password for your PDF file. If it is easy to guess then there is a high chance of it getting hacked. Use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters randomly to make your password strong.

Watermark the PDF to Discourage Copy-Paste

PDF owners often use watermarks as a visual deterrent against copying. You can also add watermarks to your PDF to discourage such behavior:

  • Firstly, open the PDF in Adobe Acrobat Pro.
  • After that, go to Tools and select Edit PDF.
  • Then, click on Watermark and then Add Watermark.
  • Now, customize the watermark text or use an image.
  • You can adjust the transparency and position of the watermark.
  • Finally, save the PDF file. The watermark will discourage copying.

Note: You can use custom images for watermarks and place them in creative positions to balance aesthetics with security.

Convert to an Image to Block Copy & Paste in PDF

Once you convert your PDF pages into images, you can block any copy-paste attempts of your text content. Here is the method to get it done:

  • Firstly, open the PDF file.
  • Then, take screenshots of each page or use a converter.
  • After that, save the images in a separate folder.
  • Now, insert these images and create a new PDF.
  • Once done, you now have a non-text PDF file from which people cannot copy and paste any text.

Note: To do this, you can use all kinds of methods. Whether online or offline tools, PDF editors PDF viewers, whatever you have access to.

Use Encryption Method to Prevent Copy Paste in PDF

There are various tools available to encrypt the files. This method uses Adobe Acrobat Pro or other PDF editors to prevent copy and paste in PDF files. To do this, follow these steps:

  • Firstly, open your PDF file using Adobe Acrobat Pro.
  • Then, click on File and then select Properties.

go to pdf properties

  • In some versions, you will need to click on Menu and then select Document Properties.

go to pdf document properties

  • Now, go to the Security tab, click on Security Method, and choose Password Security.
  • After that, check the box that says Restrict editing and printing of the document.

prevent copy paste

  • Now, enter a strong password and confirm it.
  • Finally, save the PDF document. Now, it will now require a password to copy and paste content.

Note: If you want to reverse the process at a later date, you can convert password protected PDF to normal PDF by removing the password using the same method.

Combine Different Techniques

You can also combine different methods to disable copy paste in PDF. For example, you can use the password protection method along with the encryption method to add a double security layer to the PDF document. You can also use watermarking to discourage the readers from copying the content.

Final Thoughts

It is not difficult to prevent copy and paste in PDF documents and block theft of valuable content. Whether you choose password protection, watermarking, image conversion, or encryption tools, you can keep your PDFs content safe. Now you know how to disable copy-paste in PDF files and keep your information secure.


By Kumar Raj

Kumar Raj has more than 14 plus years of expertise in migration technology. He likes to create, edit, and optimize web material on topics conversion of email data, and migration of email data. For the majority of the past ten years, he has been a devoted fan of the technology scene.