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Making text in a document uncopyable

Marie1uk (TechnicalUser) (OP)
22 Jun 06 14:19
Hi,

I have been tasked with producing a set of resources on our Intranet for pupils regarding samples of 'outstanding work'. My problem is that I do not want these samples to be used for Plagiarism in any form.

Is there any way to completely lock a document down so that no copying can be done?

Thank you for your time.

Marie
AnotherHiggins (TechnicalUser)
22 Jun 06 14:22
The short answer is, "no". No matter what you do, a student with the time and inclination will be able to copy 'n' paste the text.

You could only provide it on paper (rather than electronically). That way their only option for cheating would be to actually copy the text via writing/typing.

_____
-John

    The plural of anecdote is not data

Help us help you. Please read FAQ181-2886 before posting.

Marie1uk (TechnicalUser) (OP)
22 Jun 06 14:26
If there is another piece of software I can use like Acrobat Reader that could be an option too.
SkipVought (Programmer)
22 Jun 06 14:31


Hi,

Un-copyable text?

Hmmmm.

How about a picture of the text?

Skip,

glasses Be Advised! The only distinction between a bird with one wing and a bird with two, is merely...
a difference of A Pinion! tongue

AnotherHiggins (TechnicalUser)
22 Jun 06 14:33
Even there, anyone who buys (or steals - AKA downloads) a full copy of Acrobat will be able to get to and even edit the data.

The idea behind Acrobat isn't to provide a secure way of displaying data - it is to provide a way of sharing data with any computer.

_____
-John

    The plural of anecdote is not data

Help us help you. Please read FAQ181-2886 before posting.

Marie1uk (TechnicalUser) (OP)
22 Jun 06 14:34
There are about 12 pages per document and 10 documents in all. Taking 120 screendumps would be a pain.
Marie1uk (TechnicalUser) (OP)
22 Jun 06 14:37
There are about 12 pages per document and 10 documents in all. Taking 120 screendumps would be a pain. Hmm I have a plan - how about converting the whole thing into a form? You can't slect stuff in a form. Let's see if it works.
AnotherHiggins (TechnicalUser)
22 Jun 06 14:42
Just playing devil's advocate here - let's say you provide pictures of the text - which is the best idea I can come up with (well thought, Skip).

A student can download an OCR program.

A student who is determined to cheat will be able to. Like I said, they can always just copy the text by hand.

_____
-John

    The plural of anecdote is not data

Help us help you. Please read FAQ181-2886 before posting.

AnotherHiggins (TechnicalUser)
22 Jun 06 14:43
Oops - the I provided the wrong link - it should have been:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optical_character_recognition

_____
-John

    The plural of anecdote is not data

Help us help you. Please read FAQ181-2886 before posting.

Marie1uk (TechnicalUser) (OP)
22 Jun 06 14:44
Students who cheat are looking for an easy option. If you can deter them as much as possible then that is as much of a success as you can hope for. Most 14 year olds I know wouldn't know an OCR program from a dishwasher.
AnotherHiggins (TechnicalUser)
22 Jun 06 14:47
Ah. I was thinking college.

Well good luck!

_____
-John

    The plural of anecdote is not data

Help us help you. Please read FAQ181-2886 before posting.

Vol4Ever (TechnicalUser)
22 Jun 06 16:08
You're not giving the younger generation much credit.  In my experience, a FIVE year old can do OCR, but a FORTY year old would prefer the dishwasher . . . .

;)

~Vol
macropod (TechnicalUser)
22 Jun 06 18:36
Hi Marie,

Contrary to what others have suggested, pdf files can be made quite secure. Adobe Acrobat Professional (and probably quite a few other pdf converters) provides options to prevent both copying and printing being available. With both of those options set, any cheat would be limited to taking screen dumps and putting them through an OCR process.

Nothing you can do, short of withholding the resource, is going to stop plagiarism - all you can hope to do is make it harder.

Cheers

[MS MVP - Word]

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