Quick and Easy Way to Make Your PDF Read Only

When share or email PDF files to others, you may need to lock the content of PDF to avoid be changed or deleted data by accident. Someone may choose Google Doc to share a non-editable document, but they are not in PDF format, and it can’t be viewed offline. In fact, creating a read only PDF is not that hard. We’ll introduce some program we experienced by ourselves that can truly help you make PDF read only.

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make pdf read only

Two Methods to make PDF Read Only

  1. Add Permission Password on PDF
  2. What about Fillable PDF? Flatten it!


LightPDF is a lightweight PDF editing software. Different from other professional PDF editors, functions it provides are enough for daily PDF file processing only. Personal and small business users can choose it as an alternative Adobe Acrobat.

Steps to add a permission password with LightPDF:

Step 1: Download LightPDF and launch it. Load your PDF file in it.

Try LightPDF

Step 2: Go to “Tools” > “Set Password”, and check “Permission Password”.

Step 3: Enter password and select “None (read only)” under “Change allowed”. See the screenshot attached:pdf read only

Steps 4: Save those changes.


i2PDF is a free online PDF tool that features the same as LightPDF but also support make fillable PDF read only. It’s a new product, but functions work well. With this online tool, you can make your PDF non editable quickly, information can be protected greatly as well. Files you uploaded would be deleted within 30 mins.

How to save fillable as read only

Step 1: Visit Flatten PDF page in i2PDF.

Step 2: Choose your file to upload and click flatten.flatten-pdf-i2pdf

Step 3: After converted, click download to save it. Don’t remember to check it if works~flatten fillable PDF


Why don’t I recommend you to convert PDF to image?

Somebody may try to turn the PDF to images and then batch convert images into a single PDF. Though the PDF can be saved as read only, it will blur the whole PDF content. Obviously, this kind of operation is not fit for sharing, isn’t it?

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We have YouTube, Twitter and FB official account, and always share PDF tips and tricks, if your think a long article is a patient killer, you can follow our social platform account. Moreover, you can raise comment us with your PDF problems. We’d love to help you!

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Posted by: Elise Channing on to PDF Conversion, Productivity Tips.Last updated on August 11, 2022

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