Secure PDF

Article:TECH149064  |  Created: 2007-10-22  |  Updated: 2012-02-01  |  Article URL
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Technical Solution


This article details Secure PDF which is one of the new features available in PGP Universal Server 2.7. PGP Universal Gateway Email enables users to send secure content to recipients who do not have PGP software installed using Portable Document Format (PDF).

PGP Universal Server 2.7 and above provide the storage of copies of messages sent as Secure PDFs on the PGP Universal Server. This option allows recipients to access the messages through PGP Universal Web Messenger.



PGP Universal Gateway Email can encrypt existing PDFs sent by the user, or also create secure PDFs out of normal email content. The design of this system enables secure delivery certification, ensuring that successful delivery of the message content to the recipient can be recorded at the PGP Universal Server if selected by an Administrator.

Recipients receive Secure PDFs delivered to their mailservers. PGP Universal Server converts plain text email to PDF format and encrypts to the PGP Universal Web Messenger passphrase, then attaches the PDF to a message generated by the PGP Universal Server.

If the email already has a PDF attachment, the PDF is encrypted to the recipient's passphrase, and the message body is not converted. If the email has a non-PDF attachment, the plain text body of the email is converted to Secure PDF. The non-PDF attachment is not converted, but is attached to the Secure PDF. The recipient can read the attachment by first opening the Secure PDF.


Note: Secure PDFs work best in Adobe Acrobat 7.0 or later. Mac Preview does not support Secure PDFs.

If a Secure PDF recipient does not have an existing PGP Universal Web Messenger account, the recipient receives a message generated by PGP Universal Server requesting that the recipient create a passphrase. After the recipient creates the passphrase, the Secure PDF is delivered.

When the recipient opens the Secure PDF, a password dialog appears in Adobe Acrobat. The recipient enters his passphrase, and the PDF opens. Existing PGP Universal Web Messenger users who receive a Secure PDF for the first time will receive a notification email requiring confirmation of the passphrase.


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