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Secure your PDFs with FoxitPhantomPDF

Hey there :) Welcome! This tutorial has been created with TeachersPayTeachers resources in mind, but the process is the same for using this software to secure any document - though the permissions may change. Foxit is currently only compatible with PCs, but I've heard they are branching out.

Selling curriculum, or anything downloadable, in a digital marketplace is a tricky business. At the top of the list of reasons why is SECURITY. Securing your files is a really important aspect of selling downloadable content for a lot of reasons:

- It protects your copyright as an artist/author

If you are adding your copyright information to your work (and you should! You worked hard!) you want to be able to control what people see with your name on it. Quality Assurance. It also creates a significant roadblock to anyone who would try to re-work or re- sell your resources with malicious intent.

- It protects the copyright of any artist's work you've used to enhance your resource

Make sure you are familiar with the Terms of Use (TOU) of any artistic elements you have purchased or downloaded to use in your work. This includes clip art, borders, digital papers, fonts, stock photos, and anything else your have obtained from another artistic source. Almost all of them will require a resource to be "flattened" so their work can not be lifted (copy/pasted or otherwise) from your document and re-used by your buyer. Good news! This process fulfills that requirement. :)

- It preserves the format in which you created the document

Have you ever downloaded something in PPT or Word and the text doesn't line up, the photos are askew, or it otherwise appears wonky? Annoying right? Save your customers! I know what you are thinking - "Kristin, just saving as a PDF does the same thing." You are right! But it doesn't keep people from lifting things out of your resource to try and re-create it. (Mostly done by innocent meaning teachers who would like to tweak a sentence or piece of the directions. They share it with a colleague, who puts on the staff shared drive for next year, and Bam! there it is in a Google search!) You don't want these versions floating around out there with your name on them. (So this is also an extension of #1, haha)

Formerly, I believed the only accessible software around to do this was AdobePro - but thankfully I was mistaken. I've been using Foxit PhantomPDF for nearly a year and a half now, and it has been excellent for my TpT purposes. So this tutorial will take you step-by-step, with photos, through how to navigate securing your documents with Foxit PhantomPDF.


1) Make your resource. First things first, you have to create a resource in your favorite program. Whether that be Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, or something like Adobe Illustrator or InDesign - when you are finished with it you'll need to Save As: PDF. I created this document in PPT:

Image of PPT Document

As you can see - this document uses some fun Kimberly Geswein fonts, a Tangstar Science digital paper, a Photo Clipz clipart image, and my brand logo. If I sold this document as a PowerPoint, the fonts and formatting would not be preserved and anyone could copy/paste the graphics. Once you complete this process, all of those graphic elements will be preserved in every download and protected from re-use. :)

Now, you need to save this document as a PDF. (If you are an old Pro at this, skip to Step 2) You'll need to head back to "Save As" and this time, select "PDF" from the drop down menu:

Save As: PDF

When done correctly, you should have two documents saved side-by-side in two different formats:

Open up that PDF - the rest of this tutorial will take place in Foxit PhantomPDF.

2) Set Up Your Security Policy Find the tab labeled "PROTECT" across the top menu bar and then click on "Security Policies."

This is what you should see when you open up Security Policies:

Click "New" Security Method should be "Password Protection" Make the policy name something you will remember. "TpT" or "No Edits" are good examples.

The name and description will only be used by you. Then click "Edit Details." Make your permissions match this one (or edit them as you like for what fits your needs):

Make sure "require a password to open" is UNCHECKED. This is very important. "Add Document Restriction" should be CHECKED. Make a password you will remember. You will need this password to make edits in the future, if you need to. Use the "Permission" button to control what is allowed and what is not.

When you click "Permission..." this is what you will see. These are my suggested permissions for TpT resources that will allow no editing at all. These may change for editable resources or for purposes outside TpT:

Once this is done, click "Ok" until you are back to this "Manage Security Policies" window:

3) Apply Your Security Policy The great thing about setting up your security policy is that it is done forever. Whenever you want to secure a document from now on, it's only a matter of 3 clicks and it's done. :) So now, with the above "Manage Security Policies" window open - you click "Apply to this document" and then "Close"

Now save your document. If this step worked, the word "(SECURED)" should appear next to the title of the document at the top of your screen.


Your document is now secure.

#TpT #ForSellers

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