Adding Protected PDFs and Documents to WordPress – Or Should I?
There might be a time when you want to add a PDF document or a regular Microsoft Word document to your WordPress site. You may not want this information available for download and want to allow Read-Only access from your site. Although PDF documents can be password protected and you can also restrict editing and printing of the PDF, there are times when neither of these options may be quite what you need.
Restricting or Password Protection
If you don’t mind viewers downloading your PDFs as long as they don’t print or change them, follow the steps in Thor Benson’s post. He also suggests a way to prevent visitors from seeing your PDF unless they have a password, but that would be very frustrating for most readers.
The only way to prevent the average visitor from downloading or copying your content, is to make a new post or page and either typing your content there or pasting it in from your original document. Then you will need to install a copy protection plugin such as the WP Content Copy Protection plugin. This will prevent visitors from right-clicking to copy text or images. I did say average visitor, because hacker-types have other means of accessing your content. However, using a copy protection plugin is the most reasonable method for preventing most unauthorized copying.
If you decide that you don’t mind if someone downloads your PDF after all, or that you will just password protect it, follow these steps to create a PDF and upload it.
How to Add a PDF:
1. Prepare your document in Microsoft Word as follows:
- Give it a Title that will be helpful to readers.
- Make sure that it is as you want it to appear on the internet.
- Do a last minute Spell Check.
- Click File and then Save As.
- Under the title box, there is a box that probably says, Save As type : Word Document.
- Click the arrow in that box and select PDF (*.pdf). (It will save in the same location as your original Word document.)
2. Open the WordPress post or page where you want it to appear and click your cursor in exactly that place.
3. Click the Add Media button just above the Tool Bar. This opens the Media Uploader and the Media Library.
4. Click Upload Files to get them from your computer. (Nothing will happen if it was already selected when it was opened.)
5. Click Select Files to browse your computer and select the PDF file.
6. Click on the PDF file on your computer, then click Open.
7. Type the title of your document in the Title box (on the right).
8. Retype the title in the Alt Text box (on the right) and add the word link. For example, if my title was 2014 Catalogue, I would type 2014 Catalogue Link. This primarily provides information for visually impaired visitors; however, it also provides a helping hand for your Search Engine Optimization. (If you are curious about Alt Text, check out this description by David Ball.)
7. Next, in the Media Uploader, click the Insert into Post button.
8. The file appears as a text link on your page or post. When your readers click on this link, the document will open up in a new browser page with a download bar overlay near the bottom.*
*If you have password protected the PDF, a prompt will appear asking for the password instead of opening the document.