How to create protected pdf/a files

Good afternoon,
I’m new in this forum, but I’m an old man, over 65, with very poor and awful english writing capabilities, and low end IT knowledge :-(.  So, please, be patient.

I’m successfully using PDF Creator at home and at office since 2008 (presently version 1.7.1 on Windows 7/64b) to create PDF files (generally from MS Word / Excel) protected by a password, in order to prevent text and images copy, and to prevent doc’s annotations / contents alteration.

I own a small building company that very often works for pubblic administrations and governement departments, and since we have 10 PC’s at office, I decided to write down a simple registry edit (see it below) that could have two functions:
1. After installing a new version of your program, I can speed up the registry “upgrade” in one second. No other configuration is required.
2. People at office don’t know nor can change the protective password I adopted.
and, believe it or not, everything is working fine.

But from now on, pubblic administrations want us to send them (via e-mail) only “PDF/A-1” files (not normal PDF)… and my questions are:
A.  Is the PDF/A-2b format (that I find in yr program) compatible with PDF/A-1?  I mean: if people who receive such files make some test, can refuse this more recent format?
B.  Is it possible to protect PDF/A-2b files in the same way I’m now protecting “normal” PDF files (as described above) ?  If yes, how can I reach this result?

Thanks in advance for your kind help.
Best regards


PDF/A files can’t be password protected by definition of the PDF/A standard.
If somebody tests a PDF/A-2b file with an PDF A-1 validator, it will most likely work as the PDF/A-2b format is stricter. But better test this yourself, I am not 100% sure it will work.



I didn’t know that PDF/A files cannot be protected.
Even if I know that a good programmer can override my password protection, I thought that one should leave only the “open” and “print” functions unprotected, but (for example) I don’t see any good reason to let anyone copy/paste/download images, logos and text included in my PDF/A docs. I don’t agree with this “policy”.

As far as compatibility between PDF/A-2 and PDF/A-1 format is concerned, I’ll let you know if the most recent type (-2) can successfully be tested by -1 readers.

Thanks a lot, Robin, for yr kind answer.