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How To Copy Text From A Protected PDF

How To Copy Text From A Protected PDF

Authors and companies often secure their Portable Document Format (PDF) files to protect their content from being replicated or copied. In fact, they implement these privacy measures to safeguard their confidential documents and/or data from being misused. However, sometimes you might need to copy text from a protected PDF. This is related to unlocking a PDF, as you will need access to the text to be able to copy it somewhere else.

You must've gone through various situations where you're required to unlock protected PDF files to copy something from them, an action that allows you to copy text and edit the file. It might be because you've forgotten your old password, and now you need to copy text from the same. If you want to print your PDF file, which is password-protected, you first need to unlock the PDF file. No matter the reason, you should know how to copy text from a protected PDF.

In this article, we'll talk about different techniques you can implement to copy text from a protected PDF file. As we already know that PDF files are the best way to share documents, and sometimes we've to extract text from the same. So, walkthrough to know the methods.

How To Copy Text From A Protected PDF

Online tools such as "Unlock PDF" is one of the best tools that enable anyone to remove copy-text PDF protection, allowing you to copy text from a protected PDF file. That's not all; you can even release a protected PDF file without having to download any kind of program for the same. Isn't it awesome? You just need to follow the following simple steps to easily unlock PDF documents using the "Unlock PDF" tool:

  1. Go to formatpdf.com/en/unlock-pdf/.
  2. Click on the red button that says "Select PDF files" at the top of the screen.
  3. Choose the PDF file that you need to unlock and upload the same on the tool. Once the uploading is done, click on the "Open" button on the screen.
  4. When viewing your protected PDF file on the platform, tap on the "Unlock" button. Give the platform a couple of seconds to unlock your protected document.
  5. Once the tool unlocks your PDF document, you can download the same. Although it generally downloads the resulting file automatically, if not, you can quickly get your file downloaded by clicking on the "Download PDF" button.

Unlocking a PDF to copy text from a protected document


At some point, maybe you will also need to convert the PDF to Word in order to make the changes needed to your file. But if you are only looking to copy the protected text and paste it somewhere else, these steps are fine.

What Do You Need To Know About Copy Text From A Protected PDF

In this section, we'll talk about some tips and considerations you should keep in mind while copying text from a protected PDF file. These are as follows:

  • The first and foremost thing that you need to remember is that if a PDF is protected, it must be because the file contains sensitive data and can't be seen by anyone. So, you must ask for permission from the PDF file owner, and if they give you the access code, you can easily access the file. Moreover, it's illegal to access someone else's protected PDF without their permission, so it's vital to have their permission.
  • Of course, it's good to password-protect the PDF file again after unlocking it so that the file with sensitive content remains protected.
  • The password-protected PDF file generally includes a digital signature to make things even more secure. If not, you can sign it anytime using an online PDF signature tool.
  • Although various great tools can help you access a password-protected PDF file, it isn't always possible. In fact, if a file is a highly encrypted document, you might not get the expected results.

Which Programs Allow You To Copy Text From A Protected PDF

While secured PDF files add security measures, you might need to copy text from these protected PDF documents at times. Online tools are, without any doubt, best for carrying out this action, but sometimes you may also need different programs for different operating systems.

Copy Text From A Protected PDF From The PC

There are a range of different tools and methods that anyone can use to copy text from a protected PDF file on a PC (Windows, Mac, and Linux). However, the thing is that it entirely depends on the restrictions applied to the secured documents. You can copy text from a secured PDF on different computer operating systems.

Windows 10 And Prior Versions Of Windows

If you've ever found a secured PDF, chances are you already know that you can't copy text from that file. Though PCs with Windows operating systems don't have any native tool for carrying out this activity, various applications are available that you can download anytime you want. One such program is Adobe Acrobat.


Luckily, Mac users have an effective method to unlock a secured PDF and copy text from the same. There are different applications available that are entirely free to use. All you need is to download and install a suitable app on your device and register yourself using a Google email account. Once your registration is over, you can easily use the tool.


Linux users can copy text from a protected PDF file using Okular, created by the KDE open-source community. It's a free multi-platform document viewer and is licensed under the GPLv2+. The program supports many document formats like PDF, MD, PNG, CBR, etc. Along with copying text from a protected PDF file, you can also make changes to your file.

Copy Text From A Protected PDF From The Smartphone Or Tablet

With the right tool, you can easily copy text from a secured PDF file on your smartphone or tablet (iOS and Android). Let's explain this one after another one.


To copy text from a protected PDF on Android devices, you've to download and install any of the applications that let you carry out this action from Google Play Store, its official application store. You just need to search for the text "Unlock PDF" on the search bar, and a list of apps suitable for the task will appear on the screen.

iPhone (iOS) Or iPad

Like Android users, iPad and iPhone (iOS) users can easily download a range of applications that allows you to copy text from a protected PDF file from the App Store. However, before unlocking any PDF file, make sure to take permission from the author of that PDF file. That's because the PDF document must include sensitive material for which it's protected.

Husain has been around the internet ever since the dial-up days and loves writing about everything across the technosphere. He loves taking tech apart and see what makes them tick, without necessarily putting it all back together.