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Creating A Read Only Plan File.

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I have occasionally gotten requests from clients for a reader program so they can tour a plan on thier own. While I am famillar with the Chief Reader download that is available, it would require me to provide a full copy of my Plan File which as a general rule I never do. I know that one cannot print, edit or save with this reader but the possibility remains that my file could end up in the hands of another Chief user (a competitor?) which is why I nver give out my Plan File.

 

I asked Chief tech support if it is possible to create a read oniy version of the file and I was told that while this once was the case, that option is no longer available. Does anyone know of a workaround to this problem? (I am currently on X7)

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I'm not sure that even with a read only plan I would give it out. There is still enough information in there, with or without another "Chief User", to make it a potentially valuable tool for someone. Even just to get competitive bids from a contractor, for example. Have your contract written in such a way that you get paid regardless, but I would be hesitant to hand over the CA plan.

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At the same time, it's usually easy enough to reproduce a drawing based on images. They wouldn't need to access the original project file. If your dimensions and notes are all in a PDF that you send to the client they could just as easily forward that on to someone else who maybe underbid you.

 

This seems more like a matter of contract. But I'm not a lawyer so there may be ways around these things even if you have an agreement with the client in writing that they will not share your plans with competitors.

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I've had clients that pulled that kind of thing.  But it hasn't happened to me in the last 40 years.  The only way to avoid it is to be careful chosing who you want to work for.

 

Get advance payments!  Don't do any work until you've been paid for the next phase.  You can break the project into segments with a specific fee or hourly rate.  If the client won't agree to that arrangement then walk away before you start any work.  The chance are that you'll get stiffed. 

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I can create "PDF's that when sent, they cannot copy or print using Adobe Acrobat. you can also put them on Adobe's server and that will tell you who downloaded it and when, you can also make it available only when you want. There are other programs out there that will delete the file automatically on their computer on a date you choose without anyone's knowledge. That program is a bit expensive though.

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Perry,

 

This all sounds good for PDF but if you have programs like Snagit, or SimLabs Composer........ not being able to copy or print files etc is no longer a restriction. Bottom line if someone is going to steal your work they can do it given today technology,  if they have a mind to......... By the way Composer offers a lot of what many of you guys are wanting to do in regards to presentations of work in 3D. We use this program with a lot of other Cad software.

 

kevin

 

http://www.simlab-soft.com/3d-products/simlab-composer-ultimate.aspx   = Simlabs

 

http://shop.techsmith.com/store/techsm/en_US/pd/productID.289200200  = Snagit

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On another note you can also break those PDF's using free online tools and access the data anyways. Or open the PDF and reproduce the drawing by hand. Either way Kevin is right, if someone has a mind to steal your work, a 'read only' attribute isn't going to stop them.

 

Best you can do is be proactive like Joe said.

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Yes but most people can't seem to get thru the Acrobat security features. And if someone has the knowledge to go beyond that, good for them. Take it. Nothing I do is worth it anyway.

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I have a PDF program that can crack virtually any PDF. Not at all hard to do. I can even then edit text, change it, add to it. One reason by the way why banks still use fax for some financial documents as there is no fully safe way to send via email. A banker explained that to me, as I was just thinking they were way behind the times. The example he gave, was if document was cracked, someone could inconspicuously change language that nobody on originating end would be aware of.  

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Seems like I really stuck a nerve with this post. While I agree that you do not need a full plan file to copy a project, having an unlocked file gives access to the "nut & bolts" of how everything went together that a simple PDF plan view does not always show. Perhaps I'm making too much of a fuss out of this.

 

I guess the answer to my original question is that there is no way to lock a plan file but it makes little difference either way. Thanks all for your input.

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I have a PDF program that can crack virtually any PDF. Not at all hard to do. I can even then edit text, change it, add to it. One reason by the way why banks still use fax for some financial documents as there is no fully safe way to send via email. A banker explained that to me, as I was just thinking they were way behind the times. The example he gave, was if document was cracked, someone could inconspicuously change language that nobody on originating end would be aware of.

Yes but I'll know you did it.

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Yes but I'll know you did it.

Perry, I'm curious, can you send a test file I can try? Not sure I know how you would know? I can also change a files attributes such as date created, author, you name it. I kind of sound like some creepy spy guy now.

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You just e-mail using "Adobe send and track" an add on to Acrobat. You sound like you are aware which isn't a bad thing. Most people aren't aware of how to do it. For me , most of my stuff is only used for a particular project and of no use for anyone else. That's how I would know who downloaded it. Of course this isn't foolproof and if your stuff is that important, then there are more expensive methods that will work, but for me not worth it.

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