Ubuntu: Is there a tool that can add a password to a PDF file?


I've found lots of info on decrypting PDF files, but none on encrypting them. What tool can do this for me?

Edit: There are two good answers below, but in my specific case the PDF was a scan, not a document that I'd created.


Use pdftk. From its man page:

Encrypt a PDF using 128-Bit Strength (the Default) and Withhold All Permissions (the Default)

$ pdftk [mydoc].pdf output [mydoc.128].pdf owner_pw [foopass]  

Same as Above, Except a Password is Required to Open the PDF

$ pdftk [mydoc].pdf output [mydoc.128].pdf owner_pw [foo] user_pw [baz]  

Same as Above, Except Printing is Allowed (after the PDF is Open)

$ pdftk [mydoc].pdf output [mydoc.128].pdf owner_pw [foo] user_pw [baz] allow printing  

pdftk has a lot of other uses as well and is worth installing if one works extensively with PDF files. To quote from the write-up in Synaptic:

If PDF is electronic paper, then pdftk is an electronic stapler-remover, hole-punch, binder, secret-decoder-ring, and X-Ray-glasses. Pdftk is a simple tool for doing everyday things with PDF documents. Keep one in the top drawer of your desktop and use it to:

  • Merge PDF documents
  • Split PDF pages into a new document
  • Decrypt input as necessary (password required)
  • Encrypt output as desired
  • Fill PDF Forms with FDF Data and/or Flatten Forms
  • Apply a Background Watermark
  • Report PDF on metrics, including metadata and bookmarks
  • Update PDF Metadata
  • Attach Files to PDF Pages or the PDF Document
  • Unpack PDF Attachments
  • Burst a PDF document into single pages
  • Uncompress and re-compress page streams
  • Repair corrupted PDF (where possible)


If you use LibreOffice and export a document as PDF (Menu > File > Export as PDF), there's the option to set a password:

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qpdf can encrypt and decrypt pdfs. And linearize them, too.


PDF Chain is an awesome tool for this. It is a GUI for pdftk


One possible solution is to use jpdf Tweak.


Master PDF Editor is a very good GUI for editing pdf also can encrypt. It also uses latest PDF standard. Used PDF Chain and Master PDF editor, both to encrypt a pdf, With PDF Chain the PDF outputed was larger and lost bookmarks, was almost double the size.

Note:If u also have question or solution just comment us below or mail us on toontricks1994@gmail.com
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