Set the permission of modifying content of a pdf file using command line

A pdf owner password is the password used to set document restrictions in pdf files. As of the latest PDF version, document restrictions include printing, changing the document, document assembly, content copying, content copying for accessibility, page extraction, commenting, filling of form fields, signing, and creation of template pages. In Adobe Acrobat, the pdf owner password is called the change permissions password.  Therefore, setting an owner password allows you to protect your copyrights. And if you want to set particular permission of your pdf file, for example set the permission of modifying content, you could use Advanced PDF Tools Command Line. Just add -S "-permission=2" to the command line of setting owner password, you can finish setting the permission of modifying content of a pdf file. See details below.

Step 1 click the following link to download Advanced PDF Tools

please unpack it when download is finished.

Step 2 launch the MS-DOS command prompt window. Because the command line is bound to be operated under the MS-DOS environment. The procedure is easy, and the following pictures will guide you.

1) click “start” and then go to “Run”


2) input cmd into the following


3) press “ok”, you will find MS-DOS command prompt window popping up

command prompt

Step 3 input command line to set the permission of modifying content

it goes below

pdftools.exe -i C:\*.pdf -o D:\*.pdf -S ownerpwd=love -S keylen=2 -S permission=2


  • -i is to specify a pdf filename or a directory for input,
  • -o is to specify the pdf file name for output,
  • -S ownerpwd=love to encrypt owner password as love,
  • -S keylen=2 refers to 128 bit AES encryption (Acrobat 7 or higher),
  • -S -permission=2  : Allowed modify the content of the document

when the input is done, press “enter” key, you will see


Step 4 open the file to check the result


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