Set the printing permission for 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 while if you do not deny anything, for instance, you entitle people viewing your pdf file to have the right to print, so you have to set the print permission. Based on this, the command line of setting the printing permission is

pdftools.exe -i C:\*.pdf -o D:\*.pdf -S ownerpwd=123 -S keylen=2 -S permission=1

below is detailed operation.

First step—Downloading

Follow this link you will obtain Advanced PDF Tools

The whole package is just of 3.04 MB, making the download swiftly, do remember to extract it, for it is a zipped package.

Second step—Launching

You are bound to launch 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”

click start

choose run

2) input cmd into the following

run dialog

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

command prompt

Third step—Inputting 

input command line to set the printing permission for a pdf file

it goes below

pdftools.exe -i C:\*.pdf -o D:\*.pdf -S ownerpwd=123 -S keylen=2 -S permission=1


  • the option -i is to specify a pdf filename or a directory for input,
  • the option -o is to specify the pdf file name for output,
  • -S ownerpwd=123 to set owner password as 123,
  • -S keylen=2 refers to 128 bit AES encryption (Acrobat 7 or higher),
  • -S permission=1— allowed print the document.

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

detailed command line inputting

Fourth step—Checking

open the file to check the result

result picture

So, the setting of the  printing permission for a pdf file is finished.  The usage of Advanced PDF Tools Command Line is easy and effective, if you are interested, you can try other permission command lines.

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