April 8, 2022

Guarded macOS PDF Hack

Sneaky ways around the PDF Text Copy permissions

One of the things I don't like about macOS Monterey is the additional security features. When you try to copy text from some PDF documents you may encounter this dialog box:

PDF Box Monterey

All I am doing is copying the text. Why should this be prevented? How do I know who the document owner is? Do you think that they would just give me the username/password to unlock this document?

This all worked fine in previous versions of macOS. But the new rules make a simple copy and paste a crime.

FireFox Solution

One creative way around this security restriction, is to open the PDF file in Firefox. You can open the PDF, go to the page and copy the text. You can then paste the content of the text into any document (as text data.)

Fire Fox P D F Blur

Duplicate File!

If you're going to be frequently referencing data from this PDF, you can bypass the copy/paste permissions by duplicating the file! Yup. Simply duplicate the file in Preview and you'll be able to copy text like it was macOS 11 (Big Sur)

Who knows if Apple will make future changes with the ability to duplicate PDF documents?

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