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Secured PDFs can't be compared

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  • Secured PDFs can't be compared

    Lately, I often encounter 'Conversion Error' when trying to compare the contents of PDFs.

    I think this is mainly (only?) happening with secured/protected PDFs.

    Does Beyond Compare 4.3.5 not support opening these kinds of PDFs?

  • #2

    No, BC4 does not support detecting protected PDF files or providing a prompt to unlock them. They can be binary content compared, but to view the file you would have to first unlock with Adobe itself. This is something on our wishlist, but isn't supported by our current conversion method.
    Aaron P Scooter Software


    • #3
      To clarify, they are not locked and therefore they do not require unlocking. They are simply secured in the sense that they can't be modified. They open automatically in any PDF viewer. I don't see why Beyond Compare wouldn't be able to extract the contents if any other PDF viewer can freely view/display the contents.


      • #4
        What you're seeing is due to document restrictions placed on the PDF by the original author. If you open the affected file in Acrobat Reader DC and go to Edit > Protection > Security Properties, you can see what's allowed under "Document Restrictions Summary". The application we use for PDF support (pdftotext.exe) is converting the PDF to a different format, and it respects the "Content Copying" and "Page Extraction" restrictions, so if the document doesn't allow it, it won't convert it.

        It's not a restriction we like either, but the author of pdftotext relies on Adobe for up to date versions of the PDF spec and following those restrictions is part of staying on good terms.
        ZoŽ P Scooter Software