Why you should always set one kind of password on your PDF (but not the other)

There are two passwords you can set on a PDF when you secure it (either using Flat Pack or using Adobe Acrobat Pro). The one you will always want to set, but the other one, rarely if ever.

Owner Password

The one password you will always want to set, is called “Owner Password”. An owner password is a password only you as the creator should know. Whenever someone will try and edit or change something on the PDF beyond what you specified they can, they will be prompted to enter the owner password to prove that they are allowed to do it.

This is the password you will ALWAYS want to set when you secure a PDF.

User Password

The user password on the hand will prompt anyone who opens the PDF to enter a password. This means before the user can even read any page, they will need to enter a password. You will often see this on bank statements or other financial documents, where you might have to enter your ID in order to open the PDF. This will prevent any user who should not be reading the PDF from opening it in the first place.

When you are selling PDFs to lots of people on TPT though, it is not needed to set the owner password, and most often frowned upon by buyers that they need to enter another password, just to view the PDF that they purchased.

Where do I set these passwords?

In Flat Pack, you go to the preferences tab, then PDF Settings. You can set both the user and owner password there.

In Adobe Acrobat Pro, Tools → Protect → Encrypt → Encrypt with Password


You always want to secure your PDFs with an owner’s password. Once you secure your PDF with an additional user password, you will need to be prepared to answer customer e-mails asking about what the password is, as they won’t be able to even open the PDF without a password.

So take this rule of thumb for TPT products for 99% of all your products:

Set an owner’s PDF password, but don’t set a user password.