How do I remove an identical password from hundreds of protected PDFs?
November 27, 2007 5:30 PM   Subscribe

Is there anyway to remove the same password (which I have) from multiple PDFs at once?

I have to remove the password from several hundred files and the thought of doing it one at a time breaks my heart. If it makes a difference, the password is to open it outright.

Any thoughts?
posted by codswallop to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
You could use some scripting/automation tool such as AutoHotKey to take care of this. Basically, you write a script to open this and that file, go to a certain menu item and enter the password string. Besides AutoHotKey, there are more visual alternatives.

Could you please describe the exact process of removing passwords, which application you use and your OS. Are all files protected by the same password? Maybe I can figure something out using AutoHotKey, not that I'm that great at it, mind you.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 6:10 PM on November 27, 2007

Sorry, just read the title and got my question about the password answered.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 6:14 PM on November 27, 2007

Best answer: You might try this freeware pdf unlocker if the passwords are 40 or 128 bit. I have never used it and I don't know if it does batch work, but the description says "[it] uses a simple drag and drop method."

Might be worth a shot. Has some good reviews as well.
posted by B(oYo)BIES at 6:18 PM on November 27, 2007

Response by poster: Great Caesar's ghost!

It works _great _ thank you B(oYo)BIES, love the name. You have to drag and drop each file individually but that's no big deal. My life just got a bit easier.

Thanks also to Foci for taking a stab at it; something like that was what I was afraid I'd have to try to do, a bit beyond my current skills.
posted by codswallop at 8:25 PM on November 27, 2007

For the record, the full version of Acrobat Pro can do it too in Batch Processing mode. I use this to password-lock (and unlock) documents for our web site.

Advanced->Batch Processing....
...then build a sequence and, using the "select commands" button, add the "Security" task (in the Document folder). the security task then edit,
...choose password protection, then the settings window will open. Here you can remove the password.

Then, back in the "batch processing" window, run your new sequence on the list of files you need to process.
posted by bonehead at 6:44 AM on November 28, 2007

Also for the record, pdftk can do this.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 6:53 PM on November 29, 2007

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