PDF Studio does not current lock files

Currently, PDF Studio does not lock files when it opens them. So if 2 users open and save the same file, only the last saved version will be available.

Read more about File Locking on Wikipedia.

There are a few reasons why PDF Studio does not currently lock files:

  • Though file locking is common in Windows,  Linux and Apple do not normally automatically lock open files.  PDF Studio aims at behaving the same on all platforms.
  • There are many issues that can come with locking files, such as users forgetting to close a file after editing it (and locking the file for all other users),  as well as having to deal with multiple saved versions of the same file.
  • Many users “work dynamically” with PDF files and while reviewing a file in PDF Studio, they may have to dynamically regenerate it. This is the case for students and researchers writing articles and research papers with latex and pdflatex. If PDF Studio was to lock files, these users would have to close PDF Studio, regenerate the PDF and then reopen it in PDF Studio.


Please note that though PDF Studio does not lock files, if the file was locked by another application, users will receive an error message when trying to save the file from PDF Studio, informing them that the file was locked (as expected). Users can then decide to save the conflicted copy as a new version.


Will you implement file locking in PDF Studio?

It is our intention to implement file locking, at least for Windows, in a future version of PDF Studio. If / when we do so, we plan to offer options for our users to turn on / off the file locking mechanism.

How can I prevent files from being overwritten?

When multiple users have to access and edit shared files, we suggest the following workarounds to avoid overwriting files:

  • Implement a manual check-in mechanism: One workaround that can be used to prevent overwritten copies is for a user to move the file out of the shared folder while editing it. The user can then move the file back into its original location in the shared folder once editing is finished. The file will reappear with the user’s new edits for all users who have access to that file. Another option is to move the file into another shared folder designated for “In Use” files. Other members of the shared folder can still access for viewing it if they need to, but will know not to make changes.
  • Use file services with file versioning: Another workaround to avoid overwritten copies is to use file storage services which implement file locking or file versioning. We suggest Dropbox which offers 5Gb storage for free and is very user friendly (with files simply saved to a local folder on the user machines with a transparent, sophisticated synching mechanism back to the cloud running in the background). If two users change the same file at the same time, Dropbox will save the original file as well as a second version which has the same name but is appended with “conflicted copy,” the name of the person or computer responsible, and the date the conflict occurred.