How to copy text from a secured PDF document that restricts the printing or copying of text


I wrote a pdf file years ago and password protected it. Now I would like to copy the text and create an updated pdf file but have forgotten the password.

After many attempts to try and copy the text I found a method that works well and meant that I didn’t have to retype 10 pages of content!

1. Download and install Ghostscript. Ghostscript is an interpreter for Adobes’ Portable Document Format (PDF) page description language.

2. Download and install GSView which is a graphical user interface front end for Ghostscript

3. Open GSView and select File and Open. Open your secured adobe document

4. Select File and Convert

5. In Device select pdfwrite, a resolution of 600 and ensure your pages are highlighted. Click OK

6. In the Output Filename include the name and file extension ie) document.pdf and select a location to save to

7. Click Save

8. Open your converted file and the text is now unprotected

As is always the case, shortly after I found this method I found an easier method. Send the pdf as an attachment to your Gmail account if you have one. Open it by clicking View and then once opened select Save in Google Docs. You can then copy text from the Google Doc copy without issue.

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