Set Security to Permit Accessibility

If you will be publishing your PDF document to a web page or any other online location and have decided to enable security so that your document is not copied, printed, etc., you need to make sure that screen readers and other assistive technology used by the visually impaired can still access the content in your document.  You can verify that Adobe Acrobat 9 or Adobe Reader 9 security settings do not prohibit access to assistive technology by checking the security preferences tab of the document properties dialog.

  1. Go to File > Properties.  The Document Properties dialog box displays.
  2. Select the Security Tab.
  3. From the Security Method drop-down menu, select "Password Security."  The Password Security - Settings dialog box displays.

    Screenshot of the Document Properties dialog box. The Security tab is selected and Password Security options are visible.

    Screenshot of the Password Security Settings dialog box.  The "Enable text access for screens reader divices for the visually impaired" checkbox is selected.
  4. Under the Permissions section, verify that the checkbox labeled "Enable text access for screen reader devices for the visually impaired" is selected.
  5. If it is not selected, you can select the "Restrict editing and printing of the document" to edit permissions and select the "Enable text access..." checkbox.
  6. Enter the security password you will be using and click the OK button when you are done.
  7. The Document Properties dialog box re-displays.  Click the OK button.

Please Note: Enable security to restrict extracting, copying, or printing of PDFs only in situations where the material is sensitive or where required by campus policy or law.

Video Tutorial - Set Security to Permit Accessibility (2:45)


  • This training has been funded in part by the EnACT (Ensuring Access through Collaboration and Technology) grant. 
  • Written and developed by Sacramento State Online Learning professionals, Monica Range and Cryssel Vera and technical crew, Ivan Vajar, Ken Young, and Jennifer Wicks with guidance from the CSU Professional Development Work Group.


If you have difficulty accessing any material on this site or need an alternate format, or you just have questions and want to give feedback, contact the Accessible Technology Initiative.

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