Create a secure PDF file

I have said it many times… a PDF is the way to send a document via email. It can be read by any device, on any platform and the look, the formatting, you intended is never lost.

Fortunately for us Mac users the ability to create a PDF from any document has been part of the operating system since 2001 and the feature was introduced into Windows 10 last year.

I just wish you could see me rolling my eyes.

However, email is not very secure or private. So sending an email with a scanned copy of your birth certificate enclosed would be like putting your bank login details on a postcard and mailing it to the Russian mafia.

Of course there is a better way and that is to password protect your PDF before sending it on its way.

I am going to be using Pages in this example but it works in any and every application.


  1. Open Pages.
  2. Write the great Australian novel.
  3. Click on the File menu and choose Print.

4 .Click on the PDF menu and choose Save as PDF. (you’ll notice that there are lots of other PDF related actions as well, like saving directly to iCloud, or sending it straight to Mail… it’s all very cool)

5. From here you can click on the Security Options button and nominate a password and these passwords can even prevent printing or copying the text to another file.


6. Then you save it to the desktop and attach it to your email.

In my view if you are sending any document it should be in PDF and now, if you want it to remain private, you can add a password as well.

But please don’t get me wrong. This isn’t full proof and there are applications out there that reckon they can  remove passwords from a PDF. But just like the lock on your front door, this will protect you against honest people or just opportunist. If the ASIO want to read your novel there isn’t a lot you can do to stop them.

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