Q: I want disable the “Download” and “Print” options in the browser when streaming PDF files. I do not want users to be able to print or download my PDF files. Is it possible to do so by using PDF encryption and permissions?
A: There is no way to disable the download button on the PDF viewer that displays the document. Different browsers use different viewers, and to our knowledge none of them have a feature to disable downloading.
Print Permissions Support
Some viewers may enforce the “Print” permission saved within the PDF document and disable the “Print” option if the print permissions is off.
How can I avoid the PDF from being downloaded?
The only way to really protect your PDF documents is by not sending them to the user.
Option 1: Create Your Own Custom Viewer
It is possible to publish your digital content without directly serving the PDF document by converting the PDFs to HTML5 on the server and then serve the HTML5 content for viewing, instead of the original PDF document.
Qoppa has two products for this:
Note that in this case, users will still be able to print the HTML pages using the browsers print function.
Option 2: Use Cloud Services With Control Access
You could also look at what solutions are offered by cloud document storage companies or publishing platforms and see if they offer protection when serving your PDFs. We heard about a sophisticated DRM solution by Adobe but this comes at a steep price. There are usually monthly or per document fees associated with this kind of services.