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Every once in a while, I receive an email that has me scratching my head a bit, such as this one:
When you PDF a document that you generate in MS Word, is there a way to produce an "image-only" PDF, with non-searchable text? The only way I know how is to print out and scan the document back into Acrobat.
Why would someone want to take a perfectly good, fully-searchable document and turn it into an image-only PDF which is just a picture of the page in a PDF wrapper?
The answer is that in the course of vigorously defending a client, some firms desire to make using documents as difficult as possible for the other side.
Of the various PDF flavors, an image-only PDF:
"Dumbing down" a PDF to an image probably doesn't cripple the other side very much. Using OCR, the other side can quickly make the document searchable.
It is not without some trepidation that I share this tip. After all, compact, searchable PDF should be what we all aspire to create.
However, since I suspect that many firms are printing out documents and rescanning them, I want to offer a greener alternative.
It's not for me to comment on whether this is fair game or not as you work with the other side, but following is a workaround that will create an image-only, non-searchable PDF from an existing PDF document.
A likely follow-on question is "How can I take lots of good searchable PDFs and cripple them so I can really stick it to the other side?"
You can automate the process by combining all of your PDFs into a PDF package and choose File > Print All and following the steps above.
In order to avoid having to name each file during the process, follow these steps:
|Apply PDF passwords and permissions get electronic signatures from others sign and send documents|
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