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Export to PDF without allowing access to layers when opened in another program

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I create and sell printables. They are the best quality and smallest file size when I export vector files to PDF. Unfortunately, when the PDF file is opened in Affinity or Photoshop programs, the layers reappear, thus allowing the graphics to be stolen. I don't really want to rasterize the file because it makes my files huge. Is there another option?

When I export, I use the preset for print. I get the same result whether I leave the include layers button checked or unchecked.


*Edit. I just tried flattening the file and then opening it back up in affinity publisher. The layers are still available.

Edited by momsthewordus
I added more information
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Are your "printables" final print-results or are they data that may get printed by your customers? In the first case the use and goal of a PDF in high resolution and size is unclear to me, in case of the latter you can't avoid to deliver high resolution + quality, regardless of any preferred file size, while it seems to be the purpose to make the data accessible to the person who gets the PDF send.

The PDF file format may have some security options set which can prevent the user from certain actions without entering a password (e.g. open, print, edit, copy content, et al.). A password protection for PDF export appears to be part of the next Affinity release v.2.3.

Apart from that nowadays the possible ways to prevent delivered data from being misused, edited or converted to other file types get more and more reduced by the extended and improved methods to access data as much as possible. So even if you would fully rasterize the content in a PDF it might get vectorized again by various tools (some online for free), while rasterized content in low resolution may get 'simply' upscaled with KI based tools in very high quality. – With other words, there is no way to fully exclude one of several workflows for "the graphics to be stolen".

macOS 10.14.6 | MacBookPro Retina 15" | Eizo 27" | Affinity V1 only

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8 hours ago, DWright said:

We have just release update 2.3 which allows you to add passwords for PDF files to prevent editing or copying of content within the PDF

@momsthewordus, there is more about that & several other new features & improvements in 2.3 in What’s new in Affinity? 

All 3 1.10.8, & all 3 V23.0 Mac apps; 2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
Affinity Photo 
1.10.8; Affinity Designer 1.108; & all 3 V2 apps for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 15.7

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