What is PPDF and When Should You Use It?

Security is one of the main reasons why someone would use PDF software to create a document. Using PDF software provides you with security features such as the ability to:

  • Redact sensitive information from a document
  • Request a digital signature
  • Encrypt the content of a file
  • Apply permissions to a document

Certain applications, like PDF Editor Foxit PhantomPDF, allows you to work within Microsoft Rights Management Services (RMS) to give you more control over how you secure document files. Using RMS, .ppdf takes the place of the .pdf extension in some cases.

When a .ppdf gets created

When you use RMS to protect a document and share that document by email, a .ppdf file is automatically created for you. The file itself becomes a read-only document that has usage restriction enforced. If the recipient has permissions to read the file, they can open the document even on a mobile device as long as they have the RMS sharing app installed. Anyone who receives the document without authorization will not be able to open the file and read the content.

When you use .ppdf files

The PPDF file is used whenever the security of a document exceeds what you can do within the PDF software itself.

Using RMS, you have the ability to control actions such as forwarding the document, extracting information from a file, saving a file, or printing a document. You’re able to manage and apply these security controls through RMS templates stored on the RMS server itself. And these security controls lock the document down tight; even saving a .ppdf file to the computer and renaming it won’t remove the security settings. Trying to recreate a new PDF file using your PDF software will not allow you to bypass the security controls set up using rights management services either.

With this much security, there are a number of use cases for the .ppdf file. Whenever you need to share sensitive information but don’t want the recipient to share the content with anyone else, that warrants using a .ppdf. Sensitive health information, financial data, intellectual property or anything else that falls under legal, regulatory or ethical protection benefits from having the RMS security applied to it. The only restriction is that the recipient must have support for rights management on their computer or device in order to open the file.

All that said, in many cases, using the security features in your PDF software is sufficient. Most PDF software, such as Foxit PhantomPDF, allows you to add adequate protection to your content without requiring the recipient to have additional software. When you really need to be sure that your document will not fall in front of the wrong set of eyes, however, the added security from RMS and the .ppdf is a great way to go.

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