Print bookPrint book

Protecting Documents 2.9

Explains how to protect written learning resources by converting them to a SWF format. They will be unable to be printed, downloaded or copy / pasted without a user specifically circumventing the ordinary SWF properties.

Site: eCampus
Course: Staff Help
Book: Protecting Documents 2.9
Printed by: Guest user
Date: Sunday, 25 February 2018, 3:40 PM

Protecting documents

Why protect a document?

Learning resources for students can easily be uploaded in their native format (e.g. docx, pptx, xlsx etc.) to eCampus. We recommend that they be converted to a format such as PDF though, to make sure they can be viewed and printed on the maximum number of devices by students.This also helps reduce the size of files. Read Book: Making resources PDFs for instructions on how to do this.

However, sometimes we may need to try and prevent students from downloading, editing, printing or copy and pasting the resource. If the resource is a SMT one, it is preferred that it have a Copyright notification on it but providing it as a PDF students can download is reasonable, as students may prefer to have a hard-copy to write on or refer to.  If the resource is not SMT copyright though, the Copyright Owner may state that uploading it to a Learning Management System (i.e. eCampus) is permitted as long as all reasonable attempts are made to prevent students printing or downloading it. In these cases you can either:

  • create a PDF that has permission denied for printing or saving;
  • convert the document into a SWF (Flash) format which naturally prevents editing and printing, but does create accessibility problems.

Please NoteNOTE: To convert the resource to a PDF protected document read the Chapter: Prevent printing of PDF. Please note Mozilla Firefox, at this point in time, does not respect the Adobe permissions.

WARNING: Wherever copyright permission requires that students do not download or print a resource also add this as a notice where the resource is placed in your course.

Save as SWF

To convert an existing document into a SWF (Flash) file to limit students being able to print, copy & paste or download there are two main options available:

  • use an online convertor (a website)
  • download a free PDF-> SWF Convertor

A Google search will bring up many options, but below are described two options that have been trialled successfully with eCampus.

NoteNOTE: There are accessibility issues with SWF files. Screen readers will not work. Also, Apple products don't support Flash so won't display them (e.g. Macs, iPads, iPhones).

Only use SWF as a last resort where Copyright protection requires it!

Use online convertor website

ONLINE-CONVERT.COM

  1. Start up a web browser.
  2. Type in to the Address bar: document.online-convert.com - or pick the hyperlink to open the site in a new tab.
  3. Select the PDF you wish to convert using either the [Browse...] button or [Choose from Dropbox] if you have the PDF uploaded there.
    Online convertor Step 1
  4. Press the [Convert data] button at the bottom of the page.
    Online convertor Step 2
  5. Progress information will be displayed as the file is converted... wait until conversion is confirmed.
    Online convertor Step 3
  6. Pick OK to Save the resulting SWF file to somewhere you will be able to upload it from to eCampus.

NoteNOTE: There are accessibility issues with SWF files. Screen readers will not work. Also, Apple products don't support Flash so won't display them (e.g. Macs, iPads, iPhones).

Only use SWF as a last resort where Copyright protection is required!

Download free SWF Convertor

SWFTOOLS

The instructions below explain how you can download and use this free utility. It has been tested on PWA systems.

  1. Start up a web browser.
  2. Type in to the Address bar: www.swftools.org - or pick the hyperlink to open the site in a new tab.
  3. Click DOWNLOAD from the menu.
  4. Click on the most recent exe file e.g.Download most recent exe file
  5. A dialog should appear asking if you would like to save the exe file. Click [Save File] and save somewhere you will no where to find the file (e.g. your Downloads folder).
  6. Start My Computer or Windows Explorer to locate the downloaded exe file.
  7. Double-click on it to install. An alert will appear. You need to select [Run]
    Run SWFTOOLS exe to install

  8. The SWFTOOLS installation screen will appear. You will be prompted to agree to their license, which is a GNU license, authorising free installation of this product on to your PC. Click [Next >] to agree.
    Agree to SWFTOOLS GNU license

  9. You will be asked for an installation location and user setting.
    It is important you select 'Install only for the current user'.
    Also use the [Browse...] button to navigate to a folder under your User folder (C:\users\<yourname>). You can create a new folder if you like at the same time. See the example below:
    Alter installation dirctory and user settings
  10. Select [Next >] to install.
  11. Required Disk space will be displayed. Select [Next >] to continue. A progress bar will show the progress of the installation.
  12. You will be prompted for whether you want a Shortcut created and a Office Start Menu entry. Leave ticked.
    Complete installation

  13. Press [Finish] to complete the installation.
  14. Go to your Desktop and double-click the SWFTools shortcut icon to start SWFTools. SWFTools shortcut
  15. The application will open. Use the Open icon (or <CTRL>o) to open the PDF you wish to convert.
  16. Make sure that the conversion setting is set to 'convert everything to bitmaps'.
    SWFTools application
  17. Press the Save icon (or go to File > Save SWF > All pages)
  18. Enter a name and make sure you know the location that the SWF is being saved to.
  19. Log in to eCampus and enter the course you need to add the resource to.
  20. Press [Turn editing on]
  21. Either drag & drop the SWF file to the section you want it in or use + Add an activity or resource to add a File, which is the SWF file, to your course. You may wish to use the Appearance > Display settings to display the SWF in a full sized pop-up, as shown below.
    Appearance settings

NoteNOTE: There are accessibility issues with SWF files. Screen readers will not work. Also, Apple products don't support Flash so won't display them (e.g. Macs, iPads, iPhones).

Only use SWF as a last resort where Copyright protection requires it!