Copy protection



I noticed that in some documents the text is copied as an image.
It is not convenient, could you please fix it?

For example, in the pdf viewer Evince does not have such problems. I really like your program, and I would like SumatraPDF not to have such problems.


In some PDFs what looks like text is actually an image. Sumatra doesn’t do any text -> image conversion on extraction.

To do image -> text we would have to do OCR but Sumatra can’t do that (because it’s hard).


It is likely 11Mihaylov is referring to “protected” text (from other user comments re no-copy DRM “Evince supports copy protection, but it can be turned off, some distros may turn it off by default”.)

In such cases standard SumatraPDF indicate it will only copy the text as an image (respecting the authors “wishes”)


See also Why I have switched away from SumatraPDF : software


All the instances where I find copy protected PDF files is oddly enough electronic data sheets. The entire purpose is to provide data so you can design in their parts but they don’t want you to copy any of that data directly… into your design documents for example. Crazy. So that is why I want to be able to bypass such copy protection.


Why not add a program that strips PDF copy protection to your workflow? Either that, or modify Sumatra’s source and compile it so it ignores the PDF restriction flags.


For one, I don’t know what a “workflow” is. Any suggestions to where to find such programs? Life is just so much easier when I can use one program to look at PDF files without having to dig around and find other stuff.


“workflow” is simply the bunch of steps you carry out to get your work done. All I meant was that you can incorporate an additional step that simply strips your PDFs of any restrictions and also user/owner password(s) if required. A simple web search for “remove pdf restrictions” or “remove pdf password” or similar will result in any number of free and paid solutions that you can try to see what works best for you.


Yes, extra steps. Most involve downloading other programs or using web sites to remove the restriction. This disrupts my “workflow” and makes my life more difficult.

I was reading somewhere that Sumatra originally had this capability and the author took it out because, “I decided that [Sumatra] will honor PDF creator’s wishes”. So I guess this is not a feature we will see in Sumatra anytime soon. Shame. It is silly for people to prevent copying of text from a data sheet. It’s a DATAsheet and I’m looking for data! I read one thread here where a utility protects their bills from being printed!!! WTF???


What can one say about the idiocy of some organizations/companies? :roll_eyes: Perhaps if enough people petition them or complain then they can be persuaded to change their practices, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

Not in the official release at least I suppose. However the beauty of open source is that anyone who knows how can make the required changes and compile their own copy which will ignore all PDF restrictions. If you aren’t a coder but are willing to trust a modified version compiled by a long-time user, I’d like to point you to @ianas’ builds available on his Mega account. Be sure to go through the ReadMe text file first to see a complete list of changes that have been made.

Disclaimer: Please note that no support will be provided for these unofficial versions and you use them at your own risk.