How to Protect Your PDF: 5 Ways to Protect PDF When You Sell or Distribute PDF Documents

If you sell or distribute PDF documents then can help with protecting your documents from unauthorized access, modification, or data extraction. It can be as simple as adding a watermark to your document. So if someone just copies your file, your watermark will stay. There’s a more advanced feature such as PDF file built-in encryption.

Here are five levels of protection that you can implement with Web API.

PII or Sensitive Data Removal/Redaction

The first level of protection is removing sensitive information such as Name, Social Security Number, Credit Card Number, etc., in a PDF document. This can be accomplished using the Replace Text function or the /pdf/edit/replace-text endpoint. The replacement or text removal is very straightforward. You only need to specify the text that you want to remove, and the engine will do the rest.

Document Watermarking

The second level of protection is adding a watermark to your document. Watermarking not only highlights your ownership but also the image overlay makes it hard to extract the contents of the document. With, you can use the /pdf/edit/add endpoint to add either a text watermark or an image watermark.

PDF built-in Security

The third level of protection is leveraging the built-in PDF security options. These options include file content encryption, user and owner passwords, content extraction restriction, and more. With’s /pdf/security/add function, you can have access to tons of security features that gives you control over your document.

Make PDF Unsearchable

The fourth level of protection is making your PDF unsearchable. This function replicates the process of printing the PDF document and scanning it back without the text recognition. This can easily be done using the /pdf/makeunsearchable endpoint.

Convert PDF to Image

Aside from turning your PDF into an unsearchable PDF, you can also convert the document into a set of images. The /pdf/convert/to/jpg endpoint will convert your PDF document into JPG. Other supported formats are PNG and TIFF.

The key here is to review JPG images output quality. Try different levels of quality for the output image. For example, try to set this pretty low resolution that will make it hard to recognize text using computer applications but still can be readable with human eyes. You can control the quality via the profiles parameter. For example, set the low quality of 50 dpi (50 dots per inch):

"profiles": "{ 'RenderingResolution': 50 }"

You can try all these functions at the Request Tester. The Request Tester is a no-code online tool with ready-to-use samples.