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Preventing Edits To Bates Numbers Applied In Acrobat, by Rick Borstein, Acrobat for Legal Professionals Blog


If your job is anything like mine, you use Adobe Acrobat to Bates number documents all the time. There are many reasons to use a Bates numbering system. One of the top reasons is that it helps to eliminate confusion and keeps documents organized.

If opposing counsel can change the Bates numbers on your produced documents, it can create havoc. I do not like havoc, especially when I have spent a lot of time and my client’s money to create a neatly Bates-numbered set of documents. Thank you, Mr. Borstein! -CCE

[T]he ability to remove Bates Numbers is valuable in case you make a mistake during the numbering process. However, due to the adversarial nature of the legal business, attorneys may desire to limit what the other side can do with documents.

To whit, this email I received from an attorney last week:

What can I use to flatten Bates numbers so that they cannot be altered or removed using the Acrobat Bates numbering process?

I know I can print to PDF, save as TIFF, print-then-scan, etc., but am looking for a solution that will work in batch mode and not degrade the appearance of the file. Also, I don’t favor using security settings because I don’t want to restrict the user’s ability to access the file.

In this article, I’ll discuss how to ‘lock down’ Bates Numbers so that they cannot be removed by Acrobat’s ‘Remove Bates’ option. . . .