What is Protected View?

Protected View (PV) is a new feature for Adobe Acrobat 10.1 and Reader 11.0. It extends Adobe's rapidly evolving defense-in-depth security strategy for mitigating and preventing security vulnerabilities. PV leverages Reader's sandboxing implementation (Protected Mode) to protect your applications, data, and machine by limiting what malicious files can do and access. 

This document lists what Protected View does not support. To learn more about sandboxing and Protected View, see the online Help or check out the other resources:

Protected View in the stand-alone application

Stand-alone application behavior is similar the Protected View provided by Office 2010. When you open an untrusted file, Acrobat displays a warning bar at the top of the viewing window. The view is read-only, and the disabled features prevent any malicious content from tampering with your system. If you trust the PDF, choose Enable All Features to exit PV, reenable all menu items, and provide permanent trust for the file.

In general, any feature that modifies the PDF is unavailable in Protected View. For example, the following features are blocked until you assign trust to the PDF:

  • Dragging PDF files into the reading pane or navigation pane
  • Printing and saving the PDF
  • Pan and Zoom tools and the Loupe tool
  • Reading mode or full-screen view
  • PDF creation of untrusted (and therefore potentially unsafe) sites
  • JavaScript execution and form filling

Protected View in the browser

When a PDF is opened in a browser, Protected View provides a streamlined experience that doesn’t use a warning bar. Instead, browser-based PDF files provide a Reader-like experience for documents that have been rights enabled. That is, all Reader features are available in addition to features that become enabled when a document author uses Acrobat to extend features to Reader users. These features include signing existing form fields, adding new signature fields, saving form data, and so on.

The following features do not work for PDF files in a browser with Protected View enabled:

  • Advanced printing
  • Pan and Zoom, Loupe tools
  • Features that wouldn't normally be available for a rights-enabled PDF viewed in Reader, such as adding attachments.

Unsupported configurations

Protected View is subject to the same configuration limitations as Reader. If you see an Unsupported Configuration dialog, see Protected Mode Troubleshooting | Adobe Reader.

In Reader, Protected View is only supported when Protected Mode is enabled. There can by no HKCU or HKLM Protected Mode registry preference set to 0 (off) when Protected View is enabled.


Protected Mode

Known issues

The following list contains the known issues surrounding Protected View in this release.

  • Read out loud doesn't work.
  • The signature status button of signed iStatement shows an incorrect signature validation status.
  • PDF email attachments in Lotus Notes open outside Protected View even when it's enabled.
  • Selecting a search hit (result) in the search pane does not take the user to the search hit location.
  • MSexcel and MSWord links to PDF files opens the PDF outside Protected View.
  • No way to view a list of articles.
  • The Look Up Selected Word option is disabled on selecting a word in a PDF document.
  • Drag out of the browser from a PDF Portfolio does not work; however, the workaround is to right-click and choose extract.

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