Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Solid PDF to Word for Mac vs. Apple Automator App (Part 2)

Should PDF converters respect PDF security? Solid Documents says yes. Adobe PDF Reference states that anyone is free to use the PDF standard as long as they abide by PDF security settings. Solid PDF to Word for Mac respects all PDF security settings as do all Solid Documents products.

We tried two simple tests with the Apple Automator application (PDFtoRTF). First we tried to push a user password protected file through our Automator PDF app. The tool looked like it created a RTF file from the PDF but then we could not open the file with EditText or Pages (error message: The document x could not be opened.)

We then tried a owner password protected file that did not restrict copying, but did have a password. The automator application created a RTF file but the data in the file is garbage. It looks like it could not un-encrypt the file.

PDF file with some text

RTF file created by Apple Automator app (PDFtoRTF)

Solid PDF to Word for Mac works with user and owner passwords in the following way:

1) if the PDF file has an user password then the program will prompt for you to enter the password before converting.
2) if the PDF file has an owner password but there are no restrictions for copying content then the program will convert the file without asking for a password.
3) if the PDF file has an owner password and copying is restricted then Solid PDF to Word will prompt for the password before converting the file.

This behavior is how PDF file security is meant to function. All PDF users should be happy with software that respects their PDF security settings. Bypassing security violates the PDF standard.