Processing jobs with encrypted PDF files

RICOH ProcessDirector can receive encrypted PDF files, but must decrypt the files to process the jobs.

Most steps cannot process encrypted files. As a result, you must decrypt the file before the first step in the workflow that needs to open the PDF file. Use a step based on the DecryptPDF step template to remove the encryption from a PDF file.

  • The DecryptPDF step template cannot process PDF files inside a ZIP file.

When you encrypt a PDF file, you can specify one or two passwords. The Owner password is the master password. It completely unlocks the file, so the recipient can read it, fill in form fields, and even edit the contents of the file. RICOH ProcessDirector steps need the level of access provided by the Owner password when they process jobs, because they often make changes to those PDF files.

The User password is a more limited password. It unlocks the file so that it can be read, but not edited in any way. This password is only needed if both of these statements are true:

  • The recipient must enter a password to open the file to read it.
  • The recipient must be prohibited from changing the document, such as by filling in forms or editing the contents.

If the file does not contain secure information, you can encrypt it so that it can be opened without a password, but require the Owner password for editing functions.

To decrypt a PDF file, you must use the Owner password that was set when the file was created. Work with your customer to determine the best way to manage these passwords. You can choose to use the same password for every PDF file that a customer submits. In that case, you can record the Owner password value in the DecryptPDF step without updating it.

Alternatively, you can choose to set a different password for every PDF file that is submitted. If the password changes with every job, you must provide a way for the operator to enter the password for each job. You can add a manual step to the workflow before the DecryptPDF step and give it a name like EnterOwnerPassword. During processing, the job stops at that step. The operator can open the job property notebook and enter the Owner password in the Enhance PDF tab. Then the operator can complete the manual step so the password is available when the DecryptPDF step runs.

The Owner password can also be submitted in an overrides file along with other job properties. However, this method is not recommended because it is not secure.