IBM Support

Is "Disable Printing/Forwarding/Copying to Clipboard" a security feature?

Technote (FAQ)


In Notes Client, you have a memo where you have enabled the "Prevent copying" option (in the Delivery Options for the memo).

Or, you have a form in a Notes database that has the "Disable Printing/Forwarding/Copying to Clipboard" feature enabled (on the Security tab of the Database Properties box). How secure from printing, forwarding, and copying are these documents/forms?


As noted in the Notes On-line Help, the "Prevent Copying" and "Disable Printing/Forwarding/Copying to Clipboard" features are only deterrents. They are not security features. There are other ways in which recipients can copy (or forward or print) a message or document.

The confidentiality for these features are maintained via a field, $KeepPrivate. In documents for which either feature is enabled, the $KeepPrivate field contains a value of 1. In memos, if a recipient has the ability to create and run an agent to strip this field, or to set its value to 0, the recipient will be able to print, forward, or copy the document to the clipboard; likewise, for documents created from a form with the "Disable Printing...." feature enabled.

Supporting Information:

Below are on-line Help topics for the features described above.

Preventing recipients from copying or printing a message

You can prevent recipients from copying a message that you send. This includes copying with the clipboard, forwarding, creating a Reply with History, and printing.

1. While creating the message, click Delivery Options.

2. Click "Prevent copying."

3. Select any other delivery options you want.

4. Click OK.

Note This setting is merely a deterrent to copying. Recipients can still use other means to copy the message.

To prevent printing, forwarding, and copying of documents

You can discourage users from printing, forwarding, or copying documents created with a form. This feature helps to prevent accidental distribution of confidential information, but it is not a true security feature because users can circumvent it by using screen capture programs.

1. Open the form.

2. Choose Design - Form Properties.

3. Click the Security tab.

4. Click "Disable printing/forwarding/copying to clipboard."

Historical information:
It was possible in Notes R4 to access and copy data from these documents via the Document Properties InfoBox. This particular issue was addressed in Notes 5.0. In Notes 5.x releases and higher, it is not possible to copy the field contents from the Document Properties dialog box because it is grayed out.

Notes 3.x clients did not recognize the "Prevent copying" functionality. Therefore, Notes 3.x users were able to print, forward, and copy memos even when the "Prevent copying" option was enabled.

Related information

How to Prevent a Document from Being Copied or Printed
"Disable Printing/Forwarding/Copying to Clipboard" Seem

Historical Number


Product Alias/Synonym

Lotus Notes Client

Document information

More support for: Lotus End of Support Products
Lotus Notes

Software version: 4.5, 4.6, 5.0, 6.0, 6.5, 7.0

Operating system(s): Windows, iOS

Reference #: 1097631

Modified date: 30 September 2005

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