how to save a NON-EDITABLE pdf

I want a flat PDF that I can send to people, that cannot be further edited.
(you know, the original purpose of a PDF)

LibreOffice seems to lack this functionality, regardless of which combination of PDF formats, passwords or settings is used.
The saved file continues to be full of little text boxes, all of which can be edited or deleted.

During saving (FILE / Export As PDF / PDF/A), the PDF Options dialogue (SECURITY tab) says that the form will not be able to be edited:

PDF Options/ SECURITY (tab) / CHANGES (not permitted)

But this seems to be wishful thinking.

Is there another check box that I am missing?


…LO Version, Windows 8.1, x64

Your question contains the lengthy description of what you think LO doesn’t do, but it lacks a small detail: how to see that. Specifically: what sample steps to do to see the problem?

Note that no matter what you configure your PDF, LibreOffice does not ever edit any PDF. It might import any PDF into its internal “ODF”, and after that, you may create another PDF from this. But that is not an original PDF with edits, it’s a new PDF created from ODF created from imported old PDF. So if you meant that you are able open PDF in LO and change the result while that should had been denied, that is misconception.

@Numbawan: Would you, please, make available a .pdf that is “uneditable” in the sense you want to talk of?
I would like to try to “edit” it.
In my understanding an uneditable pdf is one that cannot (easily) be edited and saved with changed content by pdf-editing software as if it is the original.
You never should expect any software to respect any convention concerning means of weak protection.
If your concern is about the possibility to create fakes based on what you originally saved: This is always possible, imo, if not specific means of authentications are used - and checked for.

Cheers Mike for the reply:

I kinda see where you are headed with your answer, but it avoids my original question.

If I save an ODF (or DOC or whatever) I expect it to be in an editable format by default.

But when I save a PDF, (especially when using LibreOffice settings that specify that the final document will be uneditable), then I would expect that at some level the software will render the composite parts of the document in ways to make them moderately difficult to edit with run of the mill word processors, including the one that created it.
That surely is the point of a non-editable format.

If I save a PDF on Nitro or Word (for e.g.) using the security settings set to “prevent edits”, then when I reopen and try to modify the document with those same application I am prevented from doing so. Any renamed copies also retain this edit-bar.

Are you saying that Libre Office does not respect this convention?

That would be odd, because the security settings in the, Save As PDF / PDF Options window seem to suggest that it does.

Which is why I am still asking whether I am missing something, or maybe it’s just that that window is not working?

Do not answer your own question unless you give a real answer. Modify or comment the original posting.

… and when doing what @gabix said, please try to address my question. Additionally, when writing “or maybe it’s just that that window is not working”, do you say that you tested the PDF created with LibreOffice with those programs that are known to honor the “prevent edits” setting of PDF (you mentioned a couple), and that PDF is editable in them?

For the test, I have just tried to create a protected PDF with Word 2016. And I couldn’t find an option to do that in Word, except for setting encryption password (which is totally different from “prevent edits”). Which steps should I do in Word to see that?

Sorry to revive an old topic, but this popped up when I searched for something else, so I’ll answer for others who see it.
When exporting to PDF, there is an option “Hybrid PDF”. Clicking this embeds in the PDF the original .odt or .ods, so it can be edited in Writer or Calc as the original.
If you want to not have this functionality, a “flat” PDF, make sure to un-click “Hybrid PDF”.
Note that it will still be editable by LibreOffice Draw, the suite’s PDF editor, or any other PDF editing software, just not by an, as you put it, run-of-the-mill word processor or spreadsheet program.

… please first write, which specific question you were answering, and why is it important to answer a completely opposite question here compared to what was asked long ago?

… like MS Word, that would edit it just fine?