Acrobat experts needed

  Kate B 13:27 19 Aug 2007

A question for Acrobat whizzes: we want to create numbered invitations to an event that can't be copied or forwarded on. Is there a way to do this in Acrobat so that everyone turning up can be told to have their invite printed out and that it will have a unique number on it?

  octal 13:29 19 Aug 2007

Without resorting to paying out a lot of money OpenOffice which is free will export documents to PDF that can't be changed.

  Kate B 13:31 19 Aug 2007

I've already got Acrobat - so my question is, can I create pdfs that have unique serial numbers?

  recap 13:34 19 Aug 2007

click here it may help?

  Rich_B 13:45 19 Aug 2007

Why not do it as a mail-merge in MS Office and print to PDF?

But as far as forwarding is concerned, if they are being sent by email the PDF will be an attachment. So I don't think you can stop it being saved and re-attached to a new mail.

It may be better to create it as an HTML email with restrictions set that it can't be forwarded.

  €dstowe 13:58 19 Aug 2007

Whatever you try and do to secure these invitations, someone will have a method of circumventing it - especially if it is worthwhile attending.

One of the original objectives of the PDF format was to prevent alterations being made but now there are several programs around which will read your PDF file and transcribe it to Word.

  Simsy 19:56 19 Aug 2007

I dont have the answer, but are you forwarding the invites as .pdf files? Presumably that will mean a different file for each invite?

Good luck,



  Kate B 20:08 19 Aug 2007

That's kind of what I want to avoid, Simsy. I want to generate one pdf that can be resent to each person but with a different number each time.

  skeletal 21:06 19 Aug 2007

This is irritating Kate! You may be aware that you can go to File/Document Properties/Security and make changes there so that you cannot copy a pdf. I have just tried this, and sure enough, Adobe will not allow a copy. However, I also use PDF-XChange Viewer by Tracker Software, and opening the “protected” file in that does allow a copy to be made. This has surprised me, I have to say, but it looks like you can no longer protect a pdf.


  Kate B 21:22 19 Aug 2007

Thanks for doing that research, Skeletal - I guess we'll just have to hope that our recipients don't know about that software.

  skeletal 12:45 20 Aug 2007

Further to my earlier note, it just so happens that I am working with some pdfs today. I wanted to cut and paste a few words from a British Standard which are often protected. I was using the PDF XChange software that opened up my “protected” pdf as described in my earlier post. This time when I pasted the words, I only got squares, i.e. this time the protection remained intact.

I then opened up my Adobe writer to check the document security settings. It said “No security” i.e. it could be edited/copied etc.

So, in my case, adding security did nothing, but a document with no security cannot be copied!!!

This may be because my version of Adobe writer it is actually version 6 which is getting on a bit. If you have a more recent version Kate, you could try setting security; I guess a newer version will have the document settings similar to mine (as described).

Then try to open it with XChange viwer:
click here


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