Rights-enabling PDF document for form-filling & commenting in Acrobat Reader

Q: We are aware that the new version of Adobe Acrobat 8 Pro enables
additional rights that allow PDF files to be modified and saved locally
using free Reader. If we use your PDFNet SDK product to open,
pre-populate, and re-save the PDF file, would these additional rights
be preserved or would they be overwritten in essence disabling the
additional "Reader save rights" which were included in the original
Unless you explicitly edit Adobe's 'rights enable' data, PDFNet will
not touch this information.
'rights enable' data is located under
'trailer/Root/ViewerPreferences/Rights' in a PDF document (you may want
to use CosEdit - http://www.pdftron.com/cosedit or PDFNet itselft to
inspect this data).

The problem is that Adobe is also setting a digital signature which
will most likely render the 'rights enable' dictionary invalid (you may
want to give it a try). Although it would be straightforward to
reverse-engineer Adobe's proprietary algorithm for tagging rights
enabled PDF documents, this would most likely amount to software
'cracking' and would be illegal. As a result, I doubt that there is any
third-party PDF solution that will allow you to 'rights enable' PDF.

As a workaround, we have several clients that have implemented Acrobat
Pro like form-filling functionality using PDFNet SDK and are offering
their solutions as free downloadable ActiveX/.NET components or as part
of custom applications to their clients.

Q: Thanks for the info. As a test, I used PDFNet SDK and performed a
simple Open operation (on a rights-enabled PDF), followed directly by a
Save operation without modifying any of the PDF content.
Unfortunately, when I reopened the PDF in Reader, as you stated, the
rights-enabled dictionary was invalidated and as a result was presented
with a message box indicating such and the "Save" functionality in
Reader was no longer available. This is quite frustrating for us. I
am not too clear on what some out your clients are doing as a
workaround? After the "Save" operation performed by the PDFNet SDK,
the rights are removed, so how do they continue to offer "edit"
capability? Is there a way to revalidate the rights dictionary.

Thanks for all your help. Adobe should not be doing this.


Unfortunately, for legal reasons, there are absolutely no commercial
third-party PDF components on the market that will allow you to
'rights-enable' Acrobat Reader. The only possible workaround is to
'break free' from Adobe (and their rights enabled Reader) and to
develop your own version of 'Acrobat'. Using PDFNet SDK
(http://www.pdftron.com/net) you could implement a .NET component (or
an ActiveX control) similar to Acrobat ActiveX component that will
allow your users to fill-out forms, add comments, markup, edit the
document, etc. This way you are not locked-in other Adobe solutions and
are free to implement any other functionality that is not even
available in 'rights enabled' Reader. Many of our clients
(http://www.pdftron.com/customers/customers.html) have implemented this
type of functionality in their applications and workflows. We are also
in the process of releasing additional pre-packaged components that
will make the entire process even simpler.