How to collaborate and review using Acrobat whilst keeping your content safe

Adobe Acrobat PDF mock-up
Paras ilmainen PDF-lukija on hyödyllinen lisä arkikäyttöön (Image credit: Kaspersky)

Many of us now work in a hybrid world and need to share documents within our teams and clients - whether that be for proofreading, comment or final sign off. That’s where the best PDF editors come into play. 

Collaborative editing has become the gold standard for working on documents, both with professionals and students. It’s easy to see why — everyone involved can see all changes and make their contribution without delay. But what exactly is collaborative document editing and how can it be achieved in Adobe Acrobat

Collaborative editing uses an online platform to allow multiple people to work on a document, such as a PDF, simultaneously, enabling increased efficiency, improved communication, and enhanced productivity. 

How to create a shared document online

  • First create the document in a tool that supports collaboration
  • Then, navigate to the sharing settings for the document and select the option to allow anyone with the link to edit which can be opened in any browser, on any device – whist being stored securely in Adobe Document Cloud
  • Recipients get sent an email with a link, and they just need to click the link to view and comment on the document in a browser; it's effectively a free PDF reader with no sign-in required

How to share an invitation to a PDF for viewing or commenting

  • Click the Share This File with Others icon  
  • The Name and Message fields are just like the ones you use for sending an email and appear to your recipients in the same way. Enter desired information, and then click Send 
  • Your recipients get an email notifying them that the file is shared with them
  • The email notification with a link to the shared document  

How can I password-protect a PDF

If you’re working with sensitive information, you have to protect it. It’s easy to encrypt with password and apply permissions to PDF files when working with multiple users and access points is also important. Here are some tips to help you make sure you are using secure document collaboration: 

  • Open the PDF in Acrobat
  • Choose File Protect Using Password. Alternatively, you can choose Tools Protect Protect Using Password 
  • Select if you want to set the password for Viewing or Editing the PDF 
  • Type and retype your password. Your password must be at least six characters long. The password strength is displayed next to your password to indicate whether the chosen password is weak, medium, strong, or best 
  • Click Apply. Acrobat displays a confirmation message that the file was successfully protected using password 

How to restrict printing, editing and copying PDFs

Whilst sharing documents, you may need to prevent certain users from printing, editing, or copying content in a PDF. As the author you are able to set the restrictions you want to apply to the PDF. 

The good news is that users cannot change these restrictions unless you give them password. For Illustrator, Photoshop, or InDesign users need to be able to enter the permissions password to open the PDF.

  • Open the PDF in Acrobat - then either choose Tools > Protect > More Options > Encrypt with Password or choose File Protect Using Password, and then choose Advanced Password Protection from More Options 
  • If you receive a prompt, click Yes to change the security
  • Select Restrict Editing and Printing of the Document