How to Copy and Paste a Secured PDF File

Written by quinn marshall
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A PDF can be either password-protected so that the entire file is inaccessible, or it can be secured so that only certain features are disabled, such as copying and pasting. In order to copy and paste a PDF file that has had those features locked or disabled, you will need to first unlock the security feature on the file. This can be accomplished using an online unlocking service, such as and Ensode's PDF Unlocker, or with an application such as Free PDF Unlocker.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Download a PDF unlocking application such as Free PDF Unlocker, or choose an online service, such as or Ensode's PDF Unlocker. If you download an application, install it onto your computer by double-clicking it, then selecting "I Agree" next to "Terms and Conditions." Follow the rest of the prompts, then restart your computer if necessary. If you choose an online service, open your browser and enter the service's website address into the URL field, then press "Enter".

  2. 2

    Load the secured PDF file into the application or service by clicking the "Browse," "Add" or "Upload" button; the exact sequence may vary depending on which service or software package you're using.

  3. 3

    Unlock the PDF file using the service or program. Online applications typically require you to click a button titled "Unlock," "OK" or "Extract," while an application may automatically unlock the PDF and prompt you to choose a save location.

  4. 4

    Save the unsecured PDF file. Click "File," then "Save" in a PDF unlocking program to save a copy of the file, or wait for a "Save" prompt to appear. Choose "Download" or "Save a Copy" if you're using an online unlocking service, then choose a location to save the file, such as "My Documents." Some applications may automatically save the file to the same folder in which the original document is stored. For example, if the secured PDF is located on the desktop, some services or applications may automatically save the unsecured file to the desktop for your convenience.

  5. 5

    Open the unsecured PDF file by double-clicking on it. The default PDF viewing application installed on your computer will open the file. Press "Ctrl+A" on your keyboard to select the PDF's contents, then choose "Edit," then "Copy," or press "Ctrl+C" on your keyboard to copy it.

  6. 6

    Open the application you want to paste the PDF into. For example, if you want to paste the PDF's text into a word processor, open the word processor installed on your computer. Create a new document by pressing "Ctrl+N" on your keyboard, then paste the PDF file by pressing "Ctrl+V".

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