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Enhanced security setting for PDFs

  1. Acrobat User Guide
  2. Introduction to Acrobat
    1. Access Acrobat from desktop, mobile, web
    2. What's new in Acrobat
    3. Keyboard shortcuts
    4. System Requirements
  3. Workspace
    1. Workspace basics
    2. Opening and viewing PDFs
      1. Opening PDFs
      2. Navigating PDF pages
      3. Viewing PDF preferences
      4. Adjusting PDF views
      5. Enable thumbnail preview of PDFs
      6. Display PDF in browser
    3. Working with online storage accounts
      1. Access files from Box
      2. Access files from Dropbox
      3. Access files from OneDrive
      4. Access files from SharePoint
      5. Access files from Google Drive
    4. Acrobat and macOS
    5. Acrobat notifications
    6. Grids, guides, and measurements in PDFs
    7. Asian, Cyrillic, and right-to-left text in PDFs
  4. Creating PDFs
    1. Overview of PDF creation
    2. Create PDFs with Acrobat
    3. Create PDFs with PDFMaker
    4. Using the Adobe PDF printer
    5. Converting web pages to PDF
    6. Creating PDFs with Acrobat Distiller
    7. Adobe PDF conversion settings
    8. PDF fonts
  5. Editing PDFs
    1. Edit text in PDFs
    2. Edit images or objects in a PDF
    3. Rotate, move, delete, and renumber PDF pages
    4. Edit scanned PDFs
    5. Enhance document photos captured using a mobile camera
    6. Optimizing PDFs
    7. PDF properties and metadata
    8. Links and attachments in PDFs
    9. PDF layers
    10. Page thumbnails and bookmarks in PDFs
    11. Action Wizard (Acrobat Pro)
    12. PDFs converted to web pages
    13. Setting up PDFs for a presentation
    14. PDF articles
    15. Geospatial PDFs
    16. Applying actions and scripts to PDFs
    17. Change the default font for adding text
    18. Delete pages from a PDF
  6. Scan and OCR
    1. Scan documents to PDF
    2. Enhance document photos
    3. Troubleshoot scanner issues when scanning using Acrobat
  7. Forms
    1. PDF forms basics
    2. Create a form from scratch in Acrobat
    3. Create and distribute PDF forms
    4. Fill in PDF forms
    5. PDF form field properties
    6. Fill and sign PDF forms
    7. Setting action buttons in PDF forms
    8. Publishing interactive PDF web forms
    9. PDF form field basics
    10. PDF barcode form fields
    11. Collect and manage PDF form data
    12. About forms tracker
    13. PDF forms help
    14. Send PDF forms to recipients using email or an internal server
  8. Combining files
    1. Combine or merge files into single PDF
    2. Rotate, move, delete, and renumber PDF pages
    3. Add headers, footers, and Bates numbering to PDFs
    4. Crop PDF pages
    5. Add watermarks to PDFs
    6. Add backgrounds to PDFs
    7. Working with component files in a PDF Portfolio
    8. Publish and share PDF Portfolios
    9. Overview of PDF Portfolios
    10. Create and customize PDF Portfolios
  9. Sharing, reviews, and commenting
    1. Share and track PDFs online
    2. Mark up text with edits
    3. Preparing for a PDF review
    4. Starting a PDF review
    5. Hosting shared reviews on SharePoint or Office 365 sites
    6. Participating in a PDF review
    7. Add comments to PDFs
    8. Adding a stamp to a PDF
    9. Approval workflows
    10. Managing comments | view, reply, print
    11. Importing and exporting comments
    12. Tracking and managing PDF reviews
  10. Saving and exporting PDFs
    1. Saving PDFs
    2. Convert PDF to Word
    3. Convert PDF to JPG
    4. Convert or export PDFs to other file formats
    5. File format options for PDF export
    6. Reusing PDF content
  11. Security
    1. Enhanced security setting for PDFs
    2. Securing PDFs with passwords
    3. Manage Digital IDs
    4. Securing PDFs with certificates
    5. Opening secured PDFs
    6. Removing sensitive content from PDFs
    7. Setting up security policies for PDFs
    8. Choosing a security method for PDFs
    9. Security warnings when a PDF opens
    10. Securing PDFs with Adobe Experience Manager
    11. Protected View feature for PDFs
    12. Overview of security in Acrobat and PDFs
    13. JavaScripts in PDFs as a security risk
    14. Attachments as security risks
    15. Allow or block links in PDFs
  12. Electronic signatures
    1. Sign PDF documents
    2. Capture your signature on mobile and use it everywhere
    3. Send documents for e-signatures
    4. About certificate signatures
    5. Certificate-based signatures
    6. Validating digital signatures
    7. Adobe Approved Trust List
    8. Manage trusted identities
  13. Printing
    1. Basic PDF printing tasks
    2. Print Booklets and PDF Portfolios
    3. Advanced PDF print settings
    4. Print to PDF
    5. Printing color PDFs (Acrobat Pro)
    6. Printing PDFs in custom sizes
  14. Accessibility, tags, and reflow
    1. Create and verify PDF accessibility
    2. Accessibility features in PDFs
    3. Reading Order tool for PDFs
    4. Reading PDFs with reflow and accessibility features
    5. Edit document structure with the Content and Tags panels
    6. Creating accessible PDFs
  15. Searching and indexing
    1. Creating PDF indexes
    2. Searching PDFs
  16. Multimedia and 3D models
    1. Add audio, video, and interactive objects to PDFs
    2. Adding 3D models to PDFs (Acrobat Pro)
    3. Displaying 3D models in PDFs
    4. Interacting with 3D models
    5. Measuring 3D objects in PDFs
    6. Setting 3D views in PDFs
    7. Enable 3D content in PDF
    8. Adding multimedia to PDFs
    9. Commenting on 3D designs in PDFs
    10. Playing video, audio, and multimedia formats in PDFs
    11. Add comments to videos
  17. Print production tools (Acrobat Pro)
    1. Print production tools overview
    2. Printer marks and hairlines
    3. Previewing output
    4. Transparency flattening
    5. Color conversion and ink management
    6. Trapping color
  18. Preflight (Acrobat Pro)
    1. PDF/X-, PDF/A-, and PDF/E-compliant files
    2. Preflight profiles
    3. Advanced preflight inspections
    4. Preflight reports
    5. Viewing preflight results, objects, and resources
    6. Output intents in PDFs
    7. Correcting problem areas with the Preflight tool
    8. Automating document analysis with droplets or preflight actions
    9. Analyzing documents with the Preflight tool
    10. Additional checks in the Preflight tool
    11. Preflight libraries
    12. Preflight variables
  19. Color management
    1. Keeping colors consistent
    2. Color settings
    3. Color-managing documents
    4. Working with color profiles
    5. Understanding color management

PDFs have evolved from static pages to complex documents with features such as interactive forms, multimedia content, scripting, and other capabilities. These features leave PDFs vulnerable to malicious scripts or actions that can damage your computer or steal data. Enhanced security lets you protect your computer against these threats by blocking or selectively permitting actions for trusted locations and files.

When enhanced security is enabled and a PDF tries to complete a restricted action from an untrusted location or file, a security warning appears. The type of warning depends on the action and your version of Acrobat or Reader. (See Security warnings.)

For technical details about enhanced security, primarily for administrators, see the documents at www.adobe.com/go/learn_acr_appsecurity_en.

Enable enhanced security

Acrobat and Reader X, 9.3, and 8.2 enable enhanced security by default. Adobe recommends that you enable enhanced security if it is not already enabled, and that you bypass restrictions only for trusted content.

  1. Choose Preferences.
  2. From the Categories on the left, select Security (Enhanced).
  3. Select the Enable Enhanced Security option.
  4. (Optional—Windows only) Select Cross Domain Log File for troubleshooting problems if your workflow involves cross-domain access using a server-based policy file.

Bypass enhanced security restrictions

With enhanced security enabled, only the files, folders, and locations that have been trusted are exempt from enhanced security’s restrictions. You can specify trusted locations and files in several ways, depending on the action the PDF is attempting to complete.

  • Use the privileged locations feature in the Enhanced Security panel to trust files, folders, and host domains (root URLs).

  • Configure Internet access using the Trust Manager. (See URL settings.)

  • For certified PDFs, trust the signer’s certificate for privileged network operations, such as networking, printing, and file access. (See Set the trust level of a certificate.)

  • Control cross-domain access using a server-based policy file. (See the Cross Domain Security document at www.adobe.com/go/learn_acr_appsecurity_en.)

Specify privileged locations for trusted content

Enhanced security provides a way to specify locations for trusted content. These privileged locations can be single files, folders, or host domains (root URLs). Content that resides in a privileged location is trusted. For example, enhanced security normally blocks PDFs from loading data from unknown websites. If you add the data’s origin (its host domain) to your list of privileged locations, Acrobat and Reader allow loading the data. For details, see the Enhanced Security document at www.adobe.com/go/learn_acr_appsecurity_en.

  1. Select Preferences > Security (Enhanced).
  2. Select the Enable Enhanced Security option.
  3. Specify a list of locations in the Privileged Locations section, and then click OK.
    • To trust any sites you already trust in Internet Explorer, select Automatically Trust Sites From My Win OS Security Zones.

    • To add only one or two PDFs from a location, click Add File.

    • To create a trusted folder for multiple PDFs, click Add Folder Path or Add Host.

    • To allow data to load from a website, enter the name of the root URL. For example, enter www.adobe.com, but not www.adobe.com/products. To trust files from secure connections only, select Secure Connections Only (https:).

    Note:

    The setting Automatically Trust Sites From My Win OS Security Zones is applicable when Protected View is set to Files From Potentially Unsafe Locations

    If the Protected View is set to All Files, the trusted sites will open in the protected view by default unless you add it to the Privileged Locations list.

Cross-domain access

Enhanced security prevents a PDF in one host domain from communicating with another domain. This action prevents a PDF from getting malicious data from an untrusted source. When a PDF attempts cross-domain access, Acrobat and Reader automatically attempt to load a policy file from that domain. If the domain of the document that is attempting to access the data is included in the policy file, then the data is automatically accessible.

For more details, see the Application Security Guide at www.adobe.com/go/learn_acr_appsecurity_en.

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