Batch encrypting PDFs


My profession requires me to have PDFs with sensitive personal information from my clients. I keep these documents unencrypted on my local hard drive in a “working” folder, and then when the case is finished, I am required to apply 128-bit encryption to the PDF and put it on a network drive.

My current process is horrible: I open all the documents in PDFpenPro, then on each document I do Save As, choose Strong Encryption, then type in and repeat the password. Since I usually have 10-20 PDFs for each client file, this is quite time-intensive and begs for automation.

Any suggestions for how to do this? I’m not experienced with writing Applescript.


Could you tell us where in your workflow DT enters?

Yes! I use DT to hold PDFs in groups while I’m working on the particular case. I coordinate with my CRM system to have a matching DT group and keep all documents in there. When the case concludes, that’s when I have to move to the network drive - which is indexed in DT.

Does that help answer your question? I’m not sure…


An Automator workflow including the following actions might do the job:

  1. Get Selected Records
  2. Get Item From Records
  3. Encrypt PDF documents
  4. Add Items to Current Group

Thanks! I will try that.

One question - the last part, Add Items to Current Group - does that replace the existing items or create new ones? just so I know what to expect.

Thanks again.

This action creates new items.

Hi again.

I am finally getting back to this issue of encrypting PDFs from within DTPO.

When I went to create the Automator workflow, I first started as a Service, and it was never accessible - I played around with what’s being sent in (files or documents or PDF files) but it was never an available service from within DTPO when I had items selected. So that didn’t work.

Then I converted that workflow to a simple workflow, and ran it. It completed successfully but I was not able to find the items that were created, even though I followed your instructions.

I realize that this forum is not an Automator help forum, but I believe the issues I’m having are specific to DT Automator actions.