Setting so text can not be highlighted, I tried everything

Hello, I was wondering if there is a setting that when you save the PDF it takes away the ability to highlight all together. The reason is that I had crossed out sensitive information with Adobe Fill & Sign but when I save it you can still simply highlight what’s behind the blacked out text and paste it to see what it is. I tried to use the Security Settings in pdfforge to save and eliminate the ability to Copy where the is an option for that. But this only stops the user from using the mouse hold left button, drag and right click to Copy but not Ctrl + C. I know another option would be to save in a different format, but those formats either don’t look good or take up way to big as I have to do this with about 120 pages. Thank you for your help.


the best safe way to do this is to properly redact the document in the first place (PDF Architect has a tool for this where the content will actually get removed completely from the PDF data, so even looking at the PDF source with a text editor won’t bring back the redacted data). All security settings in PDF are technically only recommendations on how the opening application should treat the PDF, some viewers just ignore them and allow the user everything.

Another option would be to convert it to a lossless image format like png in the first place (which will be huge), redact the information there and afterwards convert it back to PDF. This will however convert all text to images of text which can’t be searched or copied.

Best regards,


Hi Robin,

Thank you for your response. I don’t want to buy PDF Architect for whatever $$$ they charge. And honestly, I believe the data is somewhat buried in their somewhere.

After trying things, I figured the easiest way was to use the Sign and Fill in Reader cross out line to redact the information, then reprint the PDF in PDF creator and check Print as Image Only in the advanced options from the printer driver menu. Sure the file is much much bigger but it almost looks as good and I can be certain the data is gone.