View Full Version : Printing restriction from within a pdf

03-11-2011, 08:17 AM
1) Project Details: (be as specific as possible):

Looking for a way to restrict the printing from a .pdf file to a physical printer (at low resolution)

2) Payment Amount:


3) Payment method/ details (Paypal, check? Timeline?):


4) Additional Info (about project or potential bidders):

Adobe only restricts printing completely, or at low resolution, but does not make it possible to prevent printing to a virtual driver. Since there are relatively few physical printer manufacturers in existence (HP, Epson, etc.) it should be possible to add something to a pdf (perhaps a wrapper) to check if the printing is to a non-physical printer. If so, no go.

What do you think? Possible? Please let me know...

03-12-2011, 04:42 PM
Are you generating the pdf dynamically using some server side language or are you just asking in general e.g. using Acrobat Professional?

03-13-2011, 09:42 AM
I am probably asking for too much! I am speaking generally.

EBook security is a minefield. I have researched this quite thoroughly and all the eBook security solutions have various shortcomings. Not even the very expensive DRM solutions (LockLizard etc.) let you print because if you do, you can print the secured pdf to a virtual printer driver and...it's gone!

So I am looking for a way to make a .pdf in Acrobat, and add something which detects when printing to a virtual device.

The only eBook solution I can find that checks for a virtual device and refuses to print (yes! it can be done!) is:


...but apart from that the system has many downsides which make it unsuitable for all but the most basic .pdfs. But is does check for virtual devices.

I use Secure eBook - which pretends it is secure but isn't if you allow printing to an image .pdf printer. Other than that it is a very good system.

Do you think I will ever get something to work? I am sure it would be quite a winner with some publishers if it could be done!