In addition to standard PDF viewable document renditions, Vault supports generation of protected viewable renditions. By default, Vault-generated PDF renditions are unprotected, but using this feature, Admins can configure rendition profiles in their Vault to render password-protected PDF documents.

Enabling Protected Renditions

To enable protected PDF renditions, navigate to Admin > Configuration > Rendition Profiles. Under Protected PDF, select Generate Vault Protected PDFs. Renditions are then secured with a password randomly generated by Vault. This password is not recoverable, and Vault does not store the passwords.

Once protected renditions are enabled, Vault does not generate standard unprotected PDF renditions except by use of the Download Non-Protected Rendition action.

Protected Renditions for Specific Documents

You can alternately configure a rendition profile to limit protected rendition generation to specific documents. Configuring protected renditions in this way allows Vault to continue generating unprotected renditions for other documents.

Rendition Security Settings

By default, you can’t print, edit, or copy content when protected PDF renditions are enabled. You can modify the following settings in Admin > Configuration > Rendition Profiles to determine the level of editing allowed on protected renditions:

PDF Printing Settings
None; Lo Resolution (150 dpi); or High Resolution
PDF Edit Settings
None; Inserting, deleting, and rotating pages; Filling in form fields and signing existing signature fields; or Commenting, filling in form fields, and signing existing signature fields
Content Copying Settings
None; Copying of text, images, and other content; or Content copying for accessibility devices only

Generating Protected Renditions

To generate a password-protected viewable rendition:

  1. Upload a document.
  2. Classify the document by assigning it a document type, subtype, or classification with protected renditions enabled.
  3. Vault automatically generates a password-protected viewable rendition on download. Vault identifies rendition PDF/A-compliance in the Renditions panel of the Doc Info page.

If Vault fails to apply security settings during rendition generation, your download also fails. You can attempt to download the document again. Vault captures the failed renditions on the Rendition Status page.

If you need to edit the protected rendition, you must instead update the source document and re-render.

Downloading the Non-Protected Version of a Rendition

Users with the Document: Download Non-Protected Rendition can download an unprotected viewable rendition. By default, this permission is included in the standard Vault Owner Actions and System Administrator Actions permission sets.

To download the unprotected rendition, open the Document Files pane in the document viewer and, under Renditions, click the Actions menu next to the rendition file. Then, select Download Non-Protected Rendition.


The following limitations apply to password-protected PDF renditions:

  • Vault does not add password protection to PDF/A compliant renditions.
  • Vault does not apply password protection to PDF source documents with pre-existing security settings. You can still download viewable renditions of previously protected documents.
  • Vault only applies password protection to viewable renditions of CrossLink documents upon download. It does not apply these security settings to the original document in the source Vault.

The following permissions control your ability to work with protected renditions:

Security Profile

Document: Download Rendition
Controls ability to download renditions of any type, including viewable renditions.
Document: Download Non-Protected Rendition
Controls ability to download viewable renditions without any configured security settings or protection applied.
Vault Owner Actions: Re-render
Controls ability to re-render a document without the Manage Viewable Rendition document role permission. Users with the Vault Owner security profile do not need to be assigned to any role on the document.

Document Role

View Content
Controls ability to view and download renditions of any type, including viewable renditions.
View Document
Controls ability to view document fields, settings, and metadata.
Edit Fields
Controls ability to upload and delete renditions of any type other than viewable rendition.
Manage Viewable Rendition
Controls ability to replace an existing viewable rendition by uploading a file or re-rendering the source file and ability to delete an existing viewable rendition.