Thursday, January 8, 2015

Tech Thursday {1/8/15} Saving and Securing your Products

Technology Thursday is a weekly linky dedicated to all things technology related. After you read this great tip, link up your own tech posts at the end. Check out our Linky Parties page for details on how to link up!

So you've used our PowerPoint tips to create a fabulous resource, and you're ready to share it with the world! The last thing you absolutely MUST do is secure your document. Almost all clip artists require their art to be "flattened or secured" if you are selling digital files of any kind. (Side note - Be sure to read and KNOW the terms of use before you use clip art in your products!)

I am always amazed at how many people think saving your file as a PDF makes it secure. This is NOT the case! As an example, I'm going to show you one of Cassie's products (so you know it's not one I created), and show you what can be done to it if it is not secure. Ready to have your eyes opened? (Don't worry, I have a fix for you!)

DISCLAIMER: Cassie always, always, always secures her files! She sent me this unsecured product file specifically for this post, and I promise, I did not save any of the art I lifted!

I'm not going to tell you how I did it, but it was beyond easy to snag the adorable clip art on this unsecured page and save it. You might notice that I opened the file in Adobe Pro, but the free reader will do the same thing. So you're not safe thinking that most people don't have the software to do this.

Why should you care? It is against the terms of use for nearly every clip artist I have ever purchased from to sell files with their graphics unsecured. It allows your buyers to steal their work. It is morally and legally wrong!

In this picture, you can see that I can type whatever I want over her product title. This goes for other areas of the product too. I would hate for someone to (a) take my product and try to resell it as their own by removing my information, or (b) change parts of my product. If it's not up to my standards, and a prospective buyer sees it, my reputation goes down.

Now that you understand why we HAVE to secure our files, let's learn how to do it!

I'll be showing you how to secure files in Adobe Pro, which costs $119 for educators. In my opinion, it it 100% worth the cost, but I will also link another option at the end of the post.

First, you need to save your file as a PDF. The process is the same no matter which Office program you use to create, but these images are from PowerPoint.

Click File > Save As and choose PDF from the File Type menu. From here, you can give your file a name and click save. If you want to save only certain slides rather than the entire document, you can do that by clicking Options. I have seen tutorials that say you can secure your file right here in PowerPoint, but when I tried this, my file was definitely NOT secure, so I recommend going the extra step to secure directly in Adobe or another PDF program. I've also seen some recommendations to save the PowerPoint slides as flattened JPG files, but this sometimes makes your graphics fuzzy.

Once your file has saved as a PDF, it will likely open automatically. To secure your file, click Tools > Protection > Restrict Editing.

A popup will appear for you to enter a password. I recommend using the same password for all of your TPT products, because you will need to enter it if you ever want to remove the security.

Once you enter your password, you will see a warning that your security settings will not be applied until you save the file again, so my next step is always to click Save!

A note about editable products...
If you create editable PDF files, you will need to secure your PDF using a slightly longer process that accomplishes the same thing.

Click File > Properties > Security tab. Change the dropdown menu from "no security" to "password security." A popup will appear for  you to select security settings. Under "permissions" check the box next to "restrict editing & printing."

Beside "printing allowed" choose high-res. Beside "editing allowed" choose "commenting, filling in form fields, etc." Then type your password in the password field. You will confirm the password on the next popup window and will need to save your file to save the changes.

When you've done it right, you will see (SECURED) at the end of your file name. Now you can rest easy, knowing that your work and the graphics you used are all protected!

As promised, here's a link to Cassie's post on her blog, Funky in Fourth, about how she uses PDF Connect Suite to secure her files.

Link up below with your own Website or App recommendations, Tech Tips, Tutorials, or anything else tech-related! We can't wait to learn from you!


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  1. Alright, I've downloaded a trial of Power Point so that I can actually start using many of your tips. Thanks for sharing and providing this weekly linky:)

    4th Works

  2. Thanks, Kristen. I used to love Powerpoint and used it all the time. Then, our district stopped purchasing it, and I moved over to Keynote which was free on a Mac. Maybe I'll look at Powerpoint again and give it a try. Thanks for the tips on securing images. That was new to me.

    Math is Fundamental

  3. Thank you for showing all the steps. I went out and bought Adobe Pro so now I need to make everything secure. Thanks again so much!

  4. Thanks for this post! I'm pinning right now!


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