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Scope for No Content Modification in PDF Encrypted Files Generated Using Affinity Apps


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Unless it's hiding somewhere it doesn't appear as though the help files have been updated yet to include PDF encryption in the current Beta.

Does anyone happen to know the scope for 'No Content Modification' in PDF encrypted files generated using Affinity Apps?

My 'assumption' is that at the most basic level it would preclude the following without access to the Permissions Password:

  • Rearranging pages
  • Inserting pages
  • Deleting pages
  • Splitting pages
  • Collating pages
  • Redacting pages
  • Annotating text (highlight, underline, strikethrough etc.)

While certain functions do appear to be restricted in some PDF Readers that doesn't appear to be the case in all or when editing the PDF via the command line, hence the question.

Affinity Designer 2.3.1.2217 | Affinity Photo 2.3.1.2217 | Affinity Publisher 2.3.1.2217
Affinity Designer Beta 2.4.0.2294 | Affinity Photo Beta 2.4.0.2294 | Affinity Publisher Beta 2.4.0.2294

Affinity Designer 1.7.3 | Affinity Photo 1.7.3 | Affinity Publisher 1.10.8
MacBook Pro 16GB, macOS Monterey 12.6.8

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10 minutes ago, Hangman said:

or when editing the PDF via the command line

What do you mean by editing via the command line?

And which functions have you found that can be done?

And why isn't this topic in the Beta section of the forums?

-- Walt
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15 minutes ago, walt.farrell said:

What do you mean by editing via the command line?

For example, opening an encrypted PDF using its 'Open Password' in QPDF permits full 'Content Modification' despite independent 'Permission Password' protection, though I'm unsure whether this is expected. PDF Editing Software, e.g., pdfToolbox is still restricted by the PDF Permissions encryption so I had (rightly or wrongly) assumed the same would be the case at a command line level.

20 minutes ago, walt.farrell said:

And which functions have you found that can be done?

With QPDF pretty much any content can be modified (see above), but even with Apple Preview, it's possible to do the following with a Password Protected PDF that includes an independent Permissions Password where Content Modification is restricted when opened using its Open Password:

  • Insert Pages
  • Annotate text
  • Redact text

Yet it's not possible to:

  • Rearrange pages
  • Delete pages
  • Split Pages

My assumption (again, hence the question) is that Inserting, Deleting, Splitting or Rearranging pages all constitute 'Content Modification'.

24 minutes ago, walt.farrell said:

And why isn't this topic in the Beta section of the forums?

I felt at this stage it was more of a generic question as it may be that the PDF standards have certain definitions in terms of what constitutes 'Content Modification' (though I'm still reading the relevant parts of the spec) and I wanted to make a like-for-like comparison before committing anything to either the Beta forum or Bug forum if certain functionality is a given in respect of 'Content Modification', i.e. not specific to Affinity Apps.

If a potential bug I would look to raise a bug report in the appropriate Beta forum. If the above is expected as part of the respective PDF Standard then I'm happy with it being asked as a general question but if the feedback turns out to be specific to exported files from Affinity apps then I'm sure someone in the moderation team can move the post to the appropriate forum.

Affinity Designer 2.3.1.2217 | Affinity Photo 2.3.1.2217 | Affinity Publisher 2.3.1.2217
Affinity Designer Beta 2.4.0.2294 | Affinity Photo Beta 2.4.0.2294 | Affinity Publisher Beta 2.4.0.2294

Affinity Designer 1.7.3 | Affinity Photo 1.7.3 | Affinity Publisher 1.10.8
MacBook Pro 16GB, macOS Monterey 12.6.8

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