I have a (large) PDF file generated by a payroll system. Because of sensitive data, this file is protected with a password. I would like to extract one page of file and have this page in a separate PDF file.

I tried to Preview, but it is not capable of doing this.

To be more precise, I made an experiment such as I created a 2 pages password protected file on my Mac, I used Preview and I could successfully extract one single page. But the same operation does not work with the file I have.

Would somebody know why? Does Preview has some limitations in reading/handling PDFs?

By chance, if anybody would know how to deal with such a "special" PDF file, it would be great to share.


  • tools -> show inspector, change password options here
    – anki
    Aug 26, 2022 at 15:54
  • 1
    Are you authorised to extract a page from the file, or are you asking us to help you circumvent company policies?
    – Gilby
    Aug 26, 2022 at 23:24

1 Answer 1


There are different ways that PDF documents can be protected.

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A password can be required to open the document, but another password - the "Owner" Password can be set in order to restrict the access once opened.

It's likely that your document has restrictions against copying and/or editing the pages, which would prevent you from extracting a page.

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