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How to copy text from locked PDFs in macOS

There are few things worse than trying to copy a string of text from a PDF, only to find that you can’t highlight any text at all. Thankfully, bypassing a locked PDF is easy enough to do on Mac.

A highlighted PDF blurred, behind a padlock.
Locked PDFs don’t have to leave you manually typing a wall of text.

If you’ve ever found yourself trying to highlight text in a PDF to no avail, then you have found yourself in possession of a locked PDF. A PDF can be locked for many legitimate reasons, such as copyright protection. However, sometimes you just need to copy a longer piece of text or many smaller pieces of text from a document that has no business being locked.

Thankfully, the solution does not involve manually typing everything out. Even better, the solution is built straight into macOS and requires very little legwork.

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