If you need to protect your files, the Doc(Protect) is in

By Aaron Lee

If you're a creative professional who needs to protect your files from unlicensed computers, Excel Software's DocProtect for Mac OS X (10.7 or later) is a useful tool. It allows you to ensure docs are only viewable on licensed computers.

The software can protect an EPUB file — industry standard digital publishing format — by embedding a reader and licensing process in the protected document. Your EPUB file is presented within a reader window that you can name, size and control the resize characteristics.

DocProtect 4 provides improved PDF protection that supports the latest versions of Adobe Reader. For spreadsheets and PDF files, you should first use Microsoft Excel or Adobe Acrobat to restrict features like copy, export or save. Then use DocProtect to wrap a protective license around the document and turn it into a protected executable.

What's more, you can use the software on video and audio files of type .mov, .mp3, .mp4, .avi, .dv, .3gp, .m4v, .flc, .f4v, .alf, .au and .wav. A viewer window based on Apple's QuickTime technology presents the video and audio. It prevents copy or export. You can even turn a SWF file into a protected desktop application.

In addition to delivering a protected document as a Mac or Windows application, DocProtect 4 supports the SafeWebApp viewer delivery vehicle. The software can generate a protected file that's activated for a specific device and viewed within SafeWebApp running on a variety of platforms.

With DocProtect, image files can be collected, named, described and individually password protected. You can preview images, then click a button to present a vendor web page to purchase the image. Purchased images can be exported as the original file format including vector images, drawings or CAD files. You can also protect PowerPoint, Publisher and Word documents created with Microsoft Office.

DocProtect's password protection features let you apply a computer specific password and distribute the same protected document by CD or download to all customers. When first opening your document, a user is presented with a dialog requesting a specific password by number. They must enter the password number into DocProtect to generate the required password. 

You can link your protected document to an automated password server like Safe Activation. The user enters the serial number provided during purchase. The password server controls how many computers can run your software based on the Serial Number.

DocProtect works independently or together with the QuickLicense protection and licensing system. It supports licensing features in QuickLicense such as the ability to extend a time-limited license with an expiration code, a custom pre-activation message, plus trial, product, try/buy, subscription and floating license types.  Plus, DocProtect works with the QuickLicense Server to enable a vendor to distribute a true floating license server with their protected applications that runs on a customer network without Internet access.

SafeWebApp is free and runs on Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, and Android platforms. DocProtect 4 costs $495 for a single user license on either Mac or Windows — or $795 for both platforms. It includes royalty-free runtime distribution rights for unlimited documents or licenses.