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Removing security from multiple PDF files

Removing security from PDF filesPDF files are omnipresent in today's medical translation world. Medical device and pharmaceutical companies use them for print proofs, CMC documents, patient reports, exhibits in regulatory submissions, and many other things. Medical translators are used to receiving files in the universal PDF format, and use OCR to streamline the translation of "dirty" PDFs.

The downside of PDFs is that, well, just about everybody can view, edit, and manipulate them. IN response, we have seen a steady increase in clients who password-protect their PDF files, trying to limit the distribution of their confidential documents.

The security of PDF files may not be all that strong [PDF link] but the bigger challenge for medical translation service providers and clients is removing passwords from dozens or even hundreds of PDF files.

Adobe's own Acrobat for Life Sciences blog has just posted step-by-step instructions on how to do this. Removing Security from PDFs: Individually and in Batch outlines how to check on the security used and create a batch sequence to remove security from multiple files.

There are some limitations to their approach and confusion is sure to surround the use of different levels of passwords permitted by Acrobat. But for drug and device companies that can agree on standard processes with their medical translation service providers, this is a nice time-saver.

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  1. Anonymous said...
    This only works if you have the passwords used to protect the files. If the password is not provided, then the files remain secured.
    ForeignExchange Translations said...
    @Anonymous: Thank you for your comment.

    You are absolutely correct. This post isn't about how to hack a password-protected PDF file but rather how to un-protect a large number of PDFs when transferring files between parties (with the password known).

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