I created a modal input form that allows people to enter data, and upon submit creates a PDF document that gets stored in a document library. From there, it goes through a workflow based on people in various departments editing the document. When the document gets to the final stage, it is complete and gets stored in an "archive" document library. Once in here, I want the PDF to no longer be editable, and have the document and the library be read-only.

I was easily able to make the library "read-only" by assigning read access to every group other than admins, but when logging in as other users I can still edit the document.

I have read suggestions online about checking out all document to an admin account so users cannot edit the file or using an event receiver of some kind, but I really want to shy away from those approaches if possible. I am wondering if anyone has any clues as to how to make PDF documents in a document library read-only.


1 Answer 1


I am not sure if I understand exactly what you mean with read-only, but have you considered applying PDF security to the archived PDF using third party libraries such as iTextSharp? You can restrict all the usual PDF facilities such as content copying, modifying content, printing etc using a little bit of code and an event receiver.

If you don't want to go down the custom development path then have a look at this off-the-shelf SharePoint product that can do the work for you. Disclaimer: I worked on this product.

  • Thanks for the comment. It's been a while since I looked at this, but I did indeed go the itextsharp route. By "editable read-only" PDF, I meant that the PDF file had text boxes in it that users can add content to, but once the file has gone through a workflow and has been archived in our system, those text boxes would no longer be editable and read-only. This was essentially trying to create a form, but I created an application page that lets users enter content and export a PDF to our network instead. Thanks for the help!!
    – J-man
    Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 20:51

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