How to create read-only PDFs in OS X

Scholle Sawyer McFarland Senior Editor, Macworld

When you want to share a document, saving it in Adobe’s portable document format almost always guarantees that the person on the other end will see what you intend. But how do you protect what you share? You can encrypt your PDFs so that others can't copy your text or images, or even print the document. Here's how to do it using only OS X's built-in tools.

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Sign your PDFs electronically using Preview

Thanks to technology, instead of mailing paper or sending faxes, we can email important documents. But for many people, the biggest hurdle to going all-digital is signatures—how do you sign, say, a PDF document?

In this week’s Macworld video, I’m going to show you how to electronically sign your PDFs using tools you’ve already got on your Mac: a FaceTime or iSight camera and OS X’s Preview application.

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How to use Automator's services and folder action workflows

I recently offered a video that explained how to construct simple Automator workflows that you triggered via applications and iCal calendar events. This week I continue my Automator primer by demonstrating how to build two other kinds of workflows—services and folder actions. In the first part of the video you’ll learn how to create a new to-do item with a simple key combination. In the latter portion, I’ll show you how to convert images to black and white simply by dragging them to a folder.

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Two useful Automator workflows

Automator—OS X’s automation utility—gets overlooked far more than it should. It’s not terribly difficult to use and it can ease the burden of performing repetitive tasks. In this week’s video I cobble together a couple of simple Automator workflows—one for easily compressing files and folder and adding them to email messages and another for creating an automatic backup routine between two volumes.

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