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||The most secure document protection solution on the planet.
|User-Guide : Troubleshooting Document Quality
CopySafe PDF Reader Differences
The first thing to realize is that the CopySafe PDF Reader is
the most secure document reader on the planet and that it should not be
confused with other applications like Adobe Reader. Unlike all other PDF
readers, the CopySafe PDF Reader does not utilize Adobe resources or any
of the free open-source resources. Instead, the CopySafe PDF Reader uses
proprietary code and resources and that is what makes it the most secure
solution for document protection and also why it cannot be exploited.
File Naming Convention
While a lot of today's applications can be forgiving and allow the use
of all types of characters and spaces in file names, it is not good
practice for any files distributed via the web. Also, the use of many
non-alphabet characters in file names can cause errors when being
processed by server-side applications. The fact that some applications
have no limitations with file naming does not suggest that CopySafe PDF
is improperly designed but rather that those applications are much more
simple and have been designed for simple people with little no computer
To prevent errors the CopySafe PDF Protector software will replace
problem characters and spaces when converting a PDF document to
protected format. When uploading a document via the DRM control panel
all illegal characters will be replaced prior to conversion so that the
embedded file name (the file name compiled into the encrypted document)
is acceptable. Some character usage to note:
Documents uploaded via the DRM control panel will have the author's
ID number prefixed automatically, for example "100251_Document.ENC". The
use of the ID number prevents the chance of any conflicts caused by
different authors uploading or using the same file name.
- Always use alphanumeric letters (a-z) and numbers (0-9) only without
- Brackets, apostrophes and inverted commas should never be used in a
- A dot (.) can only be used once as part
of the file name extension, ie: ".doc" and ".pdf".
Changing File Names of DRM Documents
If your company is using their own DRM portal and uploading .ENC files
for DRM protection then those file names should never be changed after
they have been encrypted by the CopySafe PDF protector software. This is
because while the real file name may be embedded inside, the upload
process can only see the physical file name. For this reason we no
longer allow the upload of .ENC files to the free DRM service that we
provide from our own server. All documents uploaded to our server are
converted by the server-side version of the Protector to ensure that the
file names used are acceptable and that the embedded file name is the
one registered in the system.
When a document is uploaded to the server, prior to conversion its file
name is checked to ensure that it complies with naming convention and
any illegal characters and spaces are replaced to create a more suitable
name. Then the file is encrypted and saved as that new file name with
the new name embedded inside. It is this "embedded" file name that the
reader sends to the DRM server for authorization.
Embedding the file name inside the document ensures that users cannot
exploit the system by altering file name. The .ENC document is most
securely encrypted, including document header, and only the CopySafe PDF
Reader can interpret it and thus send an encrypted request to the DRM
server. The response from the DRM server is also encrypted so it cannot
After a document has been uploaded to the DRM portal and recorded in the
system, its file name can be changed, however we strongly recommend
adhering to our acceptable file name convention to ensure that your
users do not suffer broken downloads and 404 error messages when
downloading. For example your DRM file may look like
"100254_prof_jane_blakely_-_maths_0001_a3.enc" but you can now change it
to something more easily recognized by your students. So you can down
this file, rename it to something like "MySchool_Maths_Term3.enc" and
then deliver that file by email or download from your website. Here it
is safe to change the name because the Reader will use the "embedded"
Acceptable Media and Content
CopySafe PDF is a secure document solution
and it is ideal for protecting documents created by Microsoft Office
tools such as Word and Publisher. Acceptable content includes most
images and text, but other media such as audio and video files are not
supported. If sound and video is to be protected then one should choose
another solution, one that is purposefully designed and better for
protecting that particular media. For example, embedded video and 3D objects are not supported
and if your media is video
then CopySafe Video will be the best choice.
While most image file types can be displayed on your computer, some are
not suitable for use in web applications. See the section on
Original Documents and PDF Converters
Today there are many different applications available for converting
documents to PDF and not all of them comply to the PDF standards used by
everyone else. For
example, some special
effects that Adobe Acrobat version 9 and later use for transparency and CSS style are
only supported in Adobe Reader version 9 and later. Our PDF resources do
support Adobe Reader features but only to version 8, after which Adobe
has been employing many new tricks that only their reader can interpret,
most of which are commonly used in "advertising" brochures and thus for
general (unprotected) publication.
If using Adobe InDesign or Adobe Acrobat version 9 or later, the missing
information (shorthand) can sometimes be restored by saving or "optimizing" the document
for compatibility with Adobe Reader version 8 or less. While the latest
version of Open-Office seem to produce compliant documents, it was not
always the case and documents created by older versions of Open-Office,
while they may have been legible in Open-Office reader, they did not
All documents created in Microsoft Word or Publisher and
converted to PDF using Acrobat 8 or earlier will be perfect replicas of the original.
Watermarks, Bookmarks and Hyperlinks
Watermarks, bookmarks and hyperlinks are supported. Bookmarks provide hot
spots for jumping from one page to another page within the same
document. Hyperlinks point to resources outside of the document such as
a web page on the Internet. Bookmarks or hyperlinks in one document
cannot be used to link to bookmarks contained within another document
even if they are in the same folder or disk.
Sometimes transparent images are used for watermarks, by starting with a
black and white logo and then applying transparency until it appears
lighter in color and less obtrusive. As already mentioned, image
transparency is not supported in our PDF resource so if your grey
watermark now appears black, you will need to replace it with an image
that is already grey.
Originally a watermark may have been applied to a document as a form of
protection or to signify ownership. However when using CopySafe PDF you
no longer need any other protection so it may be easier to simply remove
the offending watermark. If the PDF is not locked you should be able to
edit it with Adobe Acrobat and remove the watermark.
If the converted file differs to the original, check the methods used in
the original document.
The most reliable tools for standardized output are Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat
version 8 or older.
Image Quality and Resolution
Images of poor quality, ie: over-compressed images are not recommended.
However attention should be paid to their size and resolution, otherwise
the document can end up being an unnecessarily huge download size and a
nuisance to your subscribers. . For example, a resolution higher than
96 DPI (dots-per-inch) is wasteful as most computer monitors are only
good for 72-96 dpi. Images that come directly from cameras and scanners
can be up to 600 dpi and need down scaling. GIMP is a popular and
sophisticated image editor that you can use and it is free to download.
The overall dimensions of the image may also need some attention as
editors like Word will auto-fit an image to a page, regardless of
whether it is 800, 1000 or even 3000 pixels wide. As a rule, an image
that is roughly 800 pixels wide will fill the width of an A4 page.
You should also find that an image quality setting of 80% looks as good on a
computer as one at 100% quality but with a dramatic reduction in file
size. For example by reducing image quality to 80% you can reduce the
image file size from 400-600k down to only 40-100k.
File type format is also important. Acceptable image types are BMP, GIF,
JPG, JPEG and PNG however GIF images do not always look as good
when the document's page has been rescaled to a different size.
Do NOT use any images that have
transparent backgrounds or have been had transparency applied by a
File format is also most important as images of
CMYK are meant for commercial printers and should not be used in
encrypted documents or web projects. The proper image format to use for CopySafe
PDF and other web projects is RGB.
Document Displays a Blank
If the .ENC document shows in the CopySafe PDF Reader as a blank page,
go back to the original file to see which application was used to write
it and which application was used to convert it to PDF. If a watermark
was applied with transparency then the watermark may need to be removed.
Otherwise see the notes on originals and conversion.
Document Displays Odd Characters
Most languages are supported by the CopySafe PDF Reader so if some
letters are being replaced by odd characters then perhaps the font used
was not a common font and was not embedded with the document.
However if the document is open-source or an amateur development then
the only solution will be use a proper editor. Please note that when
copy-n-pasting from a questionable document editor to Word or a
similarly professionally made editor that the errors in style and font
formatting can also be copied across. In such cases it is most
recommended to copy from the original editor to Notepad and then copy
from Notepad to the new editor. This method will lose any unseen font
formatting which may be the root of your problem.
Document Displays a Different Font
If the .ENC is displaying a different to that used in the original
document then it may mean that you have used a non-standard font and you
did not opt to embed the font in the document. Not everyone may have the
same fonts installed on their computer, especially when considering
different languages and locales. Both professional and amateur writers
need pay careful attention to the extent of their audience, and while
there will always be a tendency to make things look a little more
special, the general KISS principle should be observed (keep it simple
Some points to note about font selection are that a) it may not be
installed on the user's computer; b) it may not look so good or be
legible when the document is rescaled; c) the user's screen resolution
may not be as fine as yours; and most importantly d) fonts like Times
Roman are used as default fonts because they are the most legible when
it comes to reading bodies of text. Now the average amateur may like to
argue this point and the first thing that they need to realize is that
as the author they know what it says so to them it will always be
legible regardless of the font style used. So if you really want your
end user to be able to comprehend what they are reading, start by using
the most legible font. Question: why is it that after a few hundred
years of print and font development that newspapers and paperbacks are
still printed in the same old font? Answer: because those fonts will
always be the most legible!
Watermark Appears Too Dark
If your watermark appears in a light color in the original but looks too
dark in the .ENC document then it may because the watermark used
transparency to lighten it which is not supported here. The simplest
solution is to remove the watermark completely. By using Adobe Acrobat
you can edit the original document and remove the watermark.
Images Showing Dark Background Instead of Page
If an image looks too dark or is showing unwanted image area then it may
be because transparent GIF or PNG images have been used. GIG and PNG
images are supported but their transparency is not. The remedy is to
replace the image with one that has no clear areas. The same applies if
the document editor has applied some sort of transparency or cropping of
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