Password-Protect Emailed Attachments Using the "Password" Keyword
This tutorial explains one way to password-protect attachments being emailed via the AutoDocMail™ plug-in. The software offers various ways to protect files so that only the intended recipient can open them. This method assigns passwords to files by using a keyword located within the file, that the software is able to recognize. The text "Password:" followed by the required password must be located somewehere within the document (e.g.- password: sample123) for this to work. Using this example, the emailed document would require the password "sample123" to be entered in order to view it. This is a simple way to add passwords to many files and easily distribute them.
This text may even be invisible (i.e.: white text on a white background) or be concealed by other page components, if it is not suitable for the files to feature them. The text simply needs to be 'readable' by the software.
Sample Documents Description
The documents being distributed in this tutorial are single-page PDF pay stubs. Each one contains an embedded password using the password keyword text: "password: sample 123/456/789". The pay stubs are combined into one source document - the plug-in will also split these into separate files and send the correct document to each email recipient, using email addresses extracted from each pay stub. See more detail on how to configure these general distribution settings here.
You need a copy of Adobe® Acrobat® (Standard or Pro) along with the AutoDocMail™ plug-in installed on your computer in order to use this tutorial. Both are available as trial versions.
Step 1 - Open the "Auto-Email Documents" Dialog
Start the Adobe® Acrobat® application. Now select “Plug-ins > Auto-Email Documents…” from the main Acrobat menu.
Step 2 - Open the Email Settings
In the "Auto-Email Documents" dialog, press the "Settings..." button.
Step 3 - Edit Settings
This opens a dialog showing a list of saved settings configurations. Either click the “New…” button to configure new settings, or double-click on “Default” settings to modify these. The default settings can also be changed by selecting "Default" and pressing the "Edit..." button.
Step 4 - Configure Required Settings
This tutorial will focus on password-protecting emailed attachments. Click here for more detail about configuring general AutoDocMail™ settings.
In this example, we will be sending individual PDF attachments to multiple recipients. The plug-in is used to 'split' a source file containing all pay stubs combined as one file. To instruct the plug-in to do this, some settings must first be configured. Proceed to the "Document Processing" tab by selecting it in the settings bar.
Ensure that the "Split input documents into separate files..." option is checked. Optionally specify a number of output file pages in the entry box below. In this example, single-page documents are being sent ("1"). The user can also set an additional safeguard using the settings below to ensure that documents of a specific length are emailed to recipients. (If you are sending documents that are already separated for each recipient, simply leave the "Send input documents ‘as is’…” option selected).
To access the security settings for creating passwords, open the "Security" tab.
Step 5 - Edit "Security" Settings
On this screen, check the “Secure all e-mailed documents with passwords” option, and select “Use‘Password:…’ text keyword” from the drop-down list.
Once this is done, press "OK" to close the settings window.
Press "Close" to proceed to processing your documents.
Step 6 - Select the Files to be Sent
In the "Auto-Email Documents" dialog, press the "Add Files..." button to select the PDF file(s) that need to be distributed. In this example, this is the PDF file containing pay stubs that feature the "password: XXX" text.
Locate and select the file(s), then press "Open".
The input file paths and total numbers of pages will now be listed in the dialog. Press "Next >" to proceed.
Step 7 - Review and Send Emails
Once the documents have been processed, the “Confirm Email Recipients” dialog opens. The plug-in will have extracted the embedded email addresses and passwords, split the files, and assigned the emails that are to be sent.
Select the “Show Passwords…” option on the lower left to display the extracted passwords. You can scroll through the parameters using the horizontal scroll bar when this dialog size is minimized. Re-size the window and expand columns to view all the necessary data clearly.
Double-click on a record to preview the attachment and/or manually edit the email message for this recipient (this is not essential, but recommended to verify that any sensitive documents were assigned to the correct recipients).
Use the checkboxes to control which recipients will receive emails/attachments. Press "Send" to proceed to sending the documents.
Once the emails are sent, the results dialog opens, informing the user of how many emails were successfully sent and if any errors occurred. If any errors are encountered, optionally press the "Save..." button to save a processing report in *.txt format. This file displays detailed information about emails sent successfully and any errors that occurred.
Click “OK” to finish.
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