Print protected pdf

I’ve downloaded a pdf that has some protection. It was 94 pages length and I had to read it.

What? 94 pages to be read on a screen? It will make my eyes like two fog lamps! πŸ™‚ Yes I know that if I red it on the screen I got less pollution but I can’t read long papers on the screen.

Now in order to print it (or even only some pages) you need the ghostscript.

If you are on a *nix system things are easier ’cause surely there is a packaged version of the scripts.

Instead if you are running windows, surely there’s a porting for windows but I’ve used the one provided with cygwin. So install cygwin with the ghostscript package (choose it by the installer).

Now convert the pdf to a postscript file and the the postscript file to a pdf. Open the new pdf with Acrobat Reader and that’s all πŸ™‚

~$ pdf2ps protected.pdf unprotected.ps
~$ ps2pdf unprotected.ps unprotected.pdf

You’ll get a pdf with less resolution that is hard to read on the screen but that print well.

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15 thoughts on “Print protected pdf

  1. Well, one has to wonder what the point of PDF protection is. Is all data retained when converting to PS, though? I must admit, print protection sometimes annoys the hell out of me, but then so does font subsetting, which means I can’t edit a document without having some font or other first.

  2. Dmitri, I agree. I haven’t tried this conversion with pdf with some strange font. Maybe if you wont have right fonts installed, you’ll get some sort of errors in editing the ps file. Or maybe the information is kept but the presentation is lost. I really don’t know πŸ™‚

    If you find answers or solutions, let us know πŸ™‚

    Anyway I don’t like pdf protection too

  3. manosynu says:

    There is a pretty neat solution to print the protected pdf. A software that makes printable pdf out of the protected one (Copistar) – kind of screen-capture. Worth checking out, well, it worked for me anyway.

  4. alain sabard says:

    Ghostscript uses proprietary character codes. They are useless for other softwares. To unprotect a PDF files, the best is to use the Elcomsoft program. It creates an uncrypted file that you can print afterward.

  5. Rafael Sordi says:

    Elcomsoft program works great.. it unprotect the pdf file in on-click.. right after the file was selected..
    The Ghostscript works too.. and is free… πŸ˜€

  6. john says:

    Guys that was a solution given for Linux os but any one get me a solution for Windows Vista or xp format for Acrobat reader 8.0???

  7. Marcello says:

    You can find the pdf2ps and the ps2pdf programs also in the MikTeX installation (the LaTeX porting for Windows). So if you already use LaTeX (I think everybody should… πŸ˜‰ you have what you need for free!
    Bye and Happy New Year!!

  8. Kevin says:

    This solution worked like a dream. Having only Windows experience I accidentally installed the wrong version of ghostscript, but once I got the right one everything worked perfectly. If you convert with a high enough resolution, it comes out almost as clean as the original PDF.

  9. Aggr says:

    Installing ghostscript and gsview for windows did the trick. Thanks for excellent tip. Reading print-protected pdf from screen would have been a pain. Wasting paper though, but UI of A4 paper is pretty good for reading…

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