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restricting viewer copying, printing, and/or downloading

Level 2

Is it possible to restrict the ability to copy content from a pdf file that is shared in Dropbox?  Is it possible to restrict the ability to download the shared file? I am trying to provide the ability to view a file without granting permission to either download the file or copy and paste the text within the pdf.

It appears from my testing that downloading a shared file is permitted.

It also appears that the copy, paste and print restrictions I placed on the original file are not present in the dropbox shared file.  Am I correct?

 

 

3 Replies

Re: restricting viewer copying, printing, and/or downloading

Dropboxer

Hey there @Dynastydan - great questions you got there.

How are you putting those restrictions in the first place? 

The Dropbox app allows you to create a read-only link to any file or folder in your Dropbox folder. People who click the link will get a preview of the file or folder. They'll also have the option to download a copy of the file.

You can read more in our Help Center: 

https://www.dropbox.com/help/files-folders/view-only-access

I'm not sure if this helps, yet, our Professional and Business plans also offer the ability to set a password to your shared links and even an expiry date or disable downloads for them whatsoever. You can have a further look into these features here:

https://www.dropbox.com/help/files-folders/set-link-permissions

I hope this information is helpful to you and please let me know if you have any further questions. 

 




Walter
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support


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Re: restricting viewer copying, printing, and/or downloading

Level 2

Great question @Dynastydan!  I'm wondering the same thing myself.  In my case, I would like to share with my students answer keys to assignments for self-grading, but I want to keep the document as secure as possible--no downloading, copying, or printing. 

Google Drive can do this, but viewers can still add the documents to their personal Google Drives (unless I remove sharing altogether, which defeats the purpose).  So I'd like to see if Dropbox offers an alternative solution.

@Walter -- Dropbox's link expiration & disabiling downloads is very nice, even if restricted to higher level plans, but what about disabling the ability to print or select & copy from the view-only document?

@Walter -- could you also clarify this, which came from the set-link-permissions page you shared:

"Important note: Disabling downloads for a shared link prevents people from downloading the contents of a link through Dropbox. This doesn’t prevent people from saving the content using other methods."

What other methods might this consider if it is only viewed in a browser?  There is no getting around screenshots, but what else?

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Re: restricting viewer copying, printing, and/or downloading

Dropboxer

As you said, this probably refers to printing the page which is a browser specific (also machine specific) action and can't be restricted by us @SJanzenUMD

In any case, I'll pass your comments to the dev team as suggestions to improve the service - thank you for your feedback.

Should you need anything else, or you have anything to add, in the meantime, please let me know.

Happy Monday!

 




Walter
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support


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