Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Read the article that everyone's commenting on.
While you can't prevent copying, you *can* prevent opening.
The file has to first be encrypted using a DRM type product and the DRM product has to be installed on any computer that wants to open the file. Then, at open time, the DRM software has to phone home and validate that the user is allowed to open the file. This doesn't allow for off-line viewing but it does allow for things like only viewing the file for x days. One such product is FileOpen (which does have an offline viewing option). I have no relationship with them but can vouch that the software works.
It seems from all that's been said that the best (probably only) way to protect the file is to hide it using a tool like TrueCrypt. If the file can't be located or seen, it can't read, and so on.
Truecrypt certainly would prevent people printing or copying, but it would also prevent people from reading or even seeing the file, so it wouldn't help much in this case.
How about marking it with a watermark? Would that help???
Could this approach be feasible? Using a screen capture program, take a "photo" of each page of the document in question & save as jpg (or any other format) then using an image editing software (Gimp or any other ones) place a clear transparent layer over it.
I would be interested in your comment. Thank you for a wonderful E-Letter.
That would sort of work. No need for the clear transparency as you've already created a graphic. No one would be able to cut and paste the text out of the graphic and steal the content. But they could just as easily steal the whole graphic.
Your biggest problem is going to be readibility. Depending on your resolution printing the graphic could also have bad results. To do a screen shot of an entire page you will have to reduce it to the size of your screen. That sure sounds like a lot of work.
Another good idea would be encryption. Leo did a whole webinar on that which you can access from this page: Encryption Webinar
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