User Opens the Protected PDF File in a Web Browser
Vitrium Security offers two types of secure file outputs:
- Secured web link which requires a web browser to open on any device (desktop, tablet, or mobile)
- Protected PDF file which requires Adobe Reader or Acrobat to open on a PC or Mac (desktop only)
One of the most common issues that a user will make will be to try and open the protected PDF file within the Chrome browser or another browser’s built-in viewer which WILL NOT WORK – below is an example.
How to Resolve the Issue
If this scenario occurs, the user has two choices:
- Open the file with Adobe Reader or Acrobat. The user can probably find this protected PDF file in their ‘Downloads’ folder or wherever they saved the file, then right-click and select Open With, then select Adobe Reader or Acrobat. If they do not have Adobe Reader on their machine, they can download it for free at https://get.adobe.com/reader/
- Click on the hyperlink that shows on the login page to view the web version of the content – this may be the only choice if the user is trying to access the content from their tablet or mobile device.
How to set Adobe Reader as the default PDF viewer:
For Windows Users
- Find any PDF document on your computer, right-click on the document name and click Properties
- In the window that pops up:
- If you already see Adobe Reader in the “Opens with” section, click cancel
- If you DO NOT see Adobe Reader, click “Change”, then find Adobe Reader and click OK
For Mac Users
- Find any PDF document on your computer, click on the document name, right click and click Get Info
- In the window that pops up, click the arrow next to Open With and choose Adobe Reader
- Change the default for all PDFs by clicking on "Change All"
Diagonal Watermark is not fully supported in a downloaded PDF
When a user clicks on a diagonal (45°) watermark in Adobe reader or Acrobat, the watermark may become invisible. It will reappear when the user changes pages, but will become invisible again should they click the same diagonal watermark on subsequent pages.
This issue occurs because PDF "form fields" can only be rectangles and have to be parallel to the page. A watermark "form field" is required when a "User Specific" watermark is defined AND the placement is diagonal or 45°. A "User Specific" watermark is one where field variable placeholders are referenced as opposed to only static text.
We recommend using vertical or horizontal "User Specific" placed watermarks instead of diagonal watermarks if you are distributing downloaded PDFs to your customers.
Instruction for Users to Open their First Vitrium Protected PDF File
Only first-time users will see a security warning message. This message appears due to a fire wall issue. To learn more check the section User Has Encountered a Proxy Server or Firewall Issue.
To not encounter this message again, Click Allow and check the box "Remember this action....". this will allow the communication to the server that is authenticating you so you can log in and access your content. You should not see this again if you checked the “Remember this action…” button.
Vitrium’s protected PDF files were designed to work exclusively with Adobe Reader and Acrobat without requiring the User to download any plug-ins or extra software. However, the User does need to disable Adobe’s “Global Object Security Policy” in order for this to work and in order to track the cookies (or Tracking ID) from the User. This is a key element if you have a PDF /computer limit set in your DRM policy.
Note: This only applies if the Acrobat Cookies in the Content Settings are set to PromptAndCloseDocument (default setting) or PromptOnly.
Instructions for the User to Disable the Global Object Security Policy
For Windows Users:
- Open Adobe Reader
- From the top menu bar, select Edit > Preferences
- Uncheck or de-select the "Enable global object security policy" option
- Click OK, then re-open the protected PDF file and log in
For Mac Users:
- Open Adobe Reader
- From the top menu bar, select Adobe Reader > Preferences
- Uncheck or de-select the “Enable global object security policy” option
- Click OK, then re-open the protected PDF file and log in
User Cannot Login to a Protected PDF File
If nothing happens when the user tries to login to a protected PDF file, it could be a number of things depending on what application they’re using:
If the User is trying to login from a web browser and nothing is occurring, it’s possible they are trying to open the protected PDF file in the browser’s built-in viewer (which won’t work as they require Adobe Reader). They can try one of two things:
- Click on the web viewer link that appears on the login page:
- If there is no link showing, get the web viewer link from your Vitrium account and send the link to them
- If you wish to update your PDF login form to show the web viewer link for these scenarios, email the Vitrium support team at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Open the file with Adobe Reader instead – instruct the user to find the PDF (often in their “downloads” folder) and have them right-click on the file, select Open With, then Adobe Reader
- If they don’t have Adobe Reader installed, they can download a free version from: http://get.adobe.com/reader/
- If the User is not allowed to download software on their computer (due to an IT policy), send the user the web viewer link instead – if the user is concerned about not being able to access the content offline, instruct them how to use the “Save to Browser” feature in the web viewer which provides offline access
- In Adobe, from the top menu bar, select Edit > Preferences
If the User is using a Mac, it’s possible they are using Mac Preview instead of Adobe Reader. Instruct the user to follow these steps:
- Use Adobe Reader to open the file as the protected PDF files will not work with Mac Preview
- If they don’t have Adobe Reader installed on their local computer, they can download a free version of “Adobe Reader for Mac” from here: http://get.adobe.com/reader/
If the User is using Windows 8, it’s possible they are using the built-in “Modern Reader” or “Adobe Reader Touch”. Instruct the user to follow these steps:
- Use the desktop version of Adobe Reader as the protected PDF files will not work on these other Adobe versions
- If they don’t have the desktop version of Adobe Reader installed on their local computer, they can download a free version from here: http://get.adobe.com/reader/
User Cannot Print the File
The first thing to check is whether printing is allowed for this file? You can check this in your Vitrium account by going to the Content tab, clicking on the file in question, and check the ‘Content Settings’ – does it say “Yes” beside Allow printing?
If YES – refer to the next question
If NO – check with the person responsible for adding this content – if printing is not allowed then you will need to let the user know this is intentional as it’s part of the organization’s policy; if it was a mistake and should be set to yes, then ask the person responsible to change the Content Settings to one that allows printing.
If printing is allowed, then you’ll need to ask if the user is trying to print the PDF version (in Adobe) or the web version (from a web browser)?
Assistance for Printing the PDF Version
Is the user able to print but seeing black printed pages?
If YES – ask the person to make sure the “Save ink/toner” in their print settings is unchecked
If NO – refer to the next question
If neither of these options above resolves the user’s printing issue, send a support ticket to Vitrium (email@example.com) and including the following:
- A screenshot of the user’s print properties box
- The version of Adobe Reader they’re using
- The operating system and version they’re using
- A copy of the protected PDF file along with a set of test credentials that the Vitrium team can use
Assistance for Printing the Web Version
Is the user trying to print from a Mac?
If YES – ask them to click the “Show Details” button from their Print window and make sure the Page Headers and Page Footers are set to --blank-- then they can print the document
Is the user trying to print from Internet Explorer (IE)?
If YES – the user will need to change their print settings; instruct them to do the following:
- On the top-right hand corner of IT, click on icon (or press Alt + x on keyboard)
- A dropdown menu should appear, select Print and click on Page setup…
- Ensure that all the Headers and Footers are set to -Empty- and click OK
Is the user trying to print from a mobile device?
If YES – ask them to print using the Google Chrome browser; they can download the Chrome app for free from App store (iPad/iPhone users) or Play store (Android users)
Is only 1 page or a limited number of pages printing at a time?
If YES – this occurs if the content has different page sizes or layouts (portrait + landscape, letter + legal, A4 + A5) or if the document/image was scanned; instruct the user to go back and click the “Continue Print” button and the rest of the pages should print out. Alternatively, you could also inspect the original content (the InDesign or Illustrator version) to see how you can adjust all the pages so they’re the same size.
If you’ve exhausted all avenues or you’re still unsure why the user cannot print, you may escalate the issue to the Vitrium support team.
User Has Encountered a Proxy Server or Firewall Issue
All Vitrium protected files (the PDF version and web version) require communication to a server to authenticate and authorize a user to gain access to protected content. This is also how the DRM policies (or rights management information) are implemented and tracked.
The communication from the content to Vitrium’s server uses the HTTP protocol over port 80 or port 443 (depending on system configuration).
Who does this affect?
This primarily affects people (or companies) who are using older versions of Adobe: Adobe Reader version 9 or earlier, or Adobe Acrobat version 8 or earlier, as these earlier versions were not designed to deal with proxy servers. This is becoming rarer these days as more companies are upgrading their programs to Adobe’s latest version, DC. However, there may be occasions where you might encounter this.
What’s required if a user encounters a proxy issue?
- The proxy MUST allow direct communication
- With the DNS address https://protectedPDF.com/ or http://protectedPDF.com/
- On ports 80/443
How to check for a proxy server?
- Open Internet Explorer (not Firefox or any other browser)
- Select Tools > Internet Options
- Select the Connections tab
- Click the LAN Settings button
- Check to see if the "Use a proxy server..." box is selected
What’s required if a user encounters a firewall issue?
The firewall MUST allow communication with the following domains:
Update your anti-virus software:
- It is recommended for the user to remove any blocks in their anti-virus or other firewall software (the user’s IT department may have get involved)
- Add these domains to Adobe Reader’s Trust Manager:
- Open Adobe Reader and the from the top menu bar, select Edit > Preferences
- Under Categories, click Trust Manager
- Click the Change Settings button
- Enter each domain here (one at a time) and click Allow