Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

My brokerage kindly decided to mark my account statement as read-only for my benefit. But, now when I open the statement in Acrobat Pro X in Windows 7, the Encrypt option is grayed out. How can I make this pdf file modifiable so that I may encrypt it inside Adobe Acrobat Pro X? I'd rather not create a zip file to enclose and encrypt if it possible.

share|improve this question
1)I made a suggestion to change your title per the answer you have given. 2)The supplied answer you provided will not always work on certain encrypted files, your answer is a "work-around" and should not always be relied upon based on the encryption. – Darth_Vader Mar 29 '13 at 14:18
@graphicsman: Why on earth would you change the title to "DEcrypt", when the question, the tags, the answer, etc., mentions "ENcryption"? – TFM Mar 29 '13 at 14:24
Because his answer is incorrect. Acrobat will not allow you to add a second level security feature (per my understanding) upon a .pdf file set to read-only. You must remove the read-only feature and then add your encryption. His answer displays how to go about removing the read-only by technically creating a new file. – Darth_Vader Mar 29 '13 at 14:33
also, as stated in my answer, if his .pdf file was a true encryption for read-only he would not be allowed to do any modification with the document. – Darth_Vader Mar 29 '13 at 14:37
@graphicsman One of the most important aspects of editing posts is to keep the original intention. The OP clearly means encryption, as can also be read in the question's body. Please respect that. Thanks! – slhck Mar 29 '13 at 16:57
up vote 1 down vote accepted

With the read-only file open in Acrobat, under the Create menu choose Combine Files into a Single PDF... then is the dialog choose the menu Add Files... -> Add Open Files... and choose the read-only file, click Add Files button then click Combine Files button, and voila, your file is no longer read-only and can be encrypted.

share|improve this answer

I will use Mikhail's XmlStarlet in Adobe Acrobat 9 as an example:

Open PDF: enter image description here

Use the shortcut Ctrl+D (for windows) and this screen will pop-up

enter image description here

It is to be noted depending on the encryption type you can remove the secured feature in Change Settings

enter image description here

To secure a .pdf

enter image description here

Password Security

enter image description here

Certificate Security

enter image description here

There is a 3rd option that requires Adobe LifeCycle.

share|improve this answer
This does not work for me. – WilliamKF Mar 29 '13 at 16:43

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.