It's as simple as that: I need to view the permissions of a PDF file. Not the file system permissions, but the permissions specific to PDF Security, e.g.,

  • Printing
  • Document Assembly
  • Content Copying
  • Page Extraction
  • Commenting
  • Filling of Form Fields
  • Signing
  • Creation of Template Pages

I know I can set permissions and view annotations, data fields, etc. with pdftk. But I need to see what the security permissions are. A friend can do so on Mac with Acrobat Reader (I believe) and gets this:

Security Permissions - Mac

If I look at the document properties with the built-in Document Viewer (Evince), it doesn't even get the security right:

Evince Document Viewer Properties

I'm open to installing new software, but I don't need anything fancy. How can I view a PDF document's security permissions on Ubuntu 18.04.3 LTS?

  • Are both the images relating to the same pdf file?
    – DK Bose
    Oct 11, 2019 at 14:16
  • @DKBose Yep, they are. He took the screenshot on Mac, then sent me the PDF file and the screenshot.
    – AJ.
    Oct 11, 2019 at 14:32

1 Answer 1


Open the terminal and type qpdf --show-encryption filename.pdf command to show the document's permission details.

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