As the title says I found a particular pdf in wich okular's review function is not working. Whenever I press F the review menu doesn't show, and by trying to access it via tools -> menu it looks like the function is disabled. Why does this happen in a particular pdf (all other pdfs I've read in okular didn't have this problem).

  • Okular now offers an option to edit DRM-locked pdfs as mentioned here. So, the other two answers are now obsolete. – user Jul 8 '20 at 11:59

I believe that there are PDF's that have flags that set them as readonly. Use

pdf2ps foo.pdf; ps2pdf foo.ps foo.pdf

This uses Ghostscript to print the PDF into Postscript and then back into PDF, thus circumventing the readonly mechanism.

  • 2
    After this transformation review works. However, I was not able to search in or copy text from the new pdf. I recommend the solution of Todd Blumer – cknoll Jul 15 '14 at 10:08

new123456's answer works, I used this method for a long time. The problem I found however was that in the translation from pdf to ps to pdf, the pdf's metadata and bookmarks were lost. A solution that doesn't lose this data:

$ qpdf -decrypt readonly.pdf editable.pdf

If you can read readonly.pdf without a password, but simply can't edit (or okular review) it, this will give you an editable copy of that file.

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    You can do the same thing with pdftk: pdftk readonly.pdf output editable.pdf. They even give you a message explaining to "please respect the copyright"... – srs Mar 18 '15 at 10:16

I had this issue with a pdf, Motorola 68000 Programmer's Reference Manual.

You shouldn't need to modify the pdf. To overcome this issue you only need to untick a checkbox in the settings. Go:

Settings -> Configure Okular...

Now untick Obey DRM limitations under Program Features in the General tab.

Click OK and restart Okular. You can now review the pdf like any other.


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