How to block copy & paste

Updated April 04, 2017

The words you write and the images you choose for a document are unique to you. You can keep them in context and not allow every reader the opportunity to copy and paste your words and images at will. Protect your text and your photos and maintain the integrity of your documents by blocking copy and paste functions. Secure your documents as "read only" or as Adobe PDF files.

Use the Microsoft Office button to open your Word document. Use the "Review" tab to access "Protect Document."

Select the format, edit and start time for the restrictions. Protect the style of your document under "Formatting Restrictions."

Choose "No changes (Read-only)" under the "Editing Restrictions." Click "Yes, Start Enforcing Protection" under "Start Enforcement."

Open your Word document. Use the "Tools" tab in your tool bar. Under "Options," select "Security."

Check the "Read-only recommended" box and hit "OK."

Save your document and it will automatically save as a "read-only" document. Both your text and images will be protected.

Open your Microsoft Office document, in Word, Excel or Power Point. Click on the Microsoft Office button to save the document as a PDF file.

Scroll down to "Save As." A list on the right provides available format options to save a copy of the document

Right click on PDF or XPS "publish a copy of the document as a PDF or XPS file." Verify or change the file name. Confirm, next to "Save As," that the PDF option appears as the default option.

Right click on the "Publish" button. The document will automatically save and open up as a PDF in Adobe Reader.


Print your PDF file to verify proper formatting, even for electronic applications.


Many public computers in libraries, school or offices do not have the latest versions of Adobe PDF or Adobe Reader. Plan ahead.

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About the Author

Based in Los Angeles, Victoria McGrath has been writing law-related articles since 2004. She specializes in intellectual property, copyright and trademark law. She earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Arizona, College of Law. McGrath pursued both her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Fine Arts at University of California, Los Angeles, in film and television production. Her work has been published in the Daily Bruin and La Gente Newsmagazine.