How to edit protected PDF files for free
It can be quite frustrating when you want to copy and edit text from a protected PDF file and you find that you can’t. Normally, you can use the text select tool in Adobe PDF reader to highlight and copy the text in a PDF document. I stumbled upon (no pun intended but feel free to click anyway :-)) this free solution when I wanted to copy some postage rates from a PDF file and found that the protected PDF document didn’t allow me to select any text or numbers. What’s up with that?
Anyway, what I did was to use the Snapshot Tool in Adobe PDF reader (It’s the camera icon), copied the text that I wanted to edit as an image and pasted it into Microsoft Office Document Imaging. Then, here’s the magic part, goto Tools > Recognize text using OCR and hey, presto you have editable text. Simply highlight the OCR’ed text and paste it into any word processor, like Open Office. You can then resave it as a PDF file in Open Office after editing. Easy!