Yes. The Viewer supports internal and external links, so you may point to another pdc file, or to files of different formats and they will be opened. However, there may be no more than three simultaneous instances of the Viewer on any one PC (this is a security feature to prevent mounting a Viewer on a server so that unlimited use cannot be made of the protected documents).
You can continue to use links to other PDF documents generated through Acrobat. You need to make sure that the links are absolute (that they include the FULL path name – e.g. C:\documents\contracts\renew.pdf) rather than relative ones (ones that don’t include the full path – e.g. renew.pdf).
If you want to replace your PDF files with PDC files (so link to the protected PDF files instead) then you need to keep the same filename conventions and folder structures as before (but they must include the full path name). On the assumption that all files receive the same level of protection you could then protect all the pdf files in a folder as one batch, and then remove the pdf files, creating the underlying pdc file structure that replicates the pdf structure. If the Viewer software comes across a link to a PDF file in a document, it will try to load that file if it exists. If it does not, it will try and load the .PDC equivalent if that exists. This means that you don’t need to modify the file extensions in your PDF documents to load the protected files instead (as long as the hyperlinks include the full path names).
NOTE: If you are using Office 2010 or above then use Microsoft’s PDF converter and NOT Adobe’s. For example, in Word 2010, go to the file menu and select ‘Save As’ and then select ‘PDF’ from the ‘Save as type’ pull-down list box. Once you select the ‘PDF’ type then an Options button will appear. Press this, and make sure that all the checkboxes under the ‘Include non-printing information’ are checked. This will create a correctly hyperlinked PDF document which is compatible with our Viewer software.
If you have files in sub folders that you want to link to, a quick way would be go to the parent folder of these sub folder and press F3 to bring up the search feature. Search for *.pdf, which will list all of the files including the sub folders (as long as sub folders are enabled in the search settings). Once you have this list you can select them all and right-click to protect the documents.
By using the method, all PDCs will be put in the same folder as the PDFs they came from. As long as the links within the documents point to that exact location (full path names), and the original PDFs are removed, the viewer will attempt to open the PDC files instead. If the old PDFs are still in the folder then they will be opened in priority over the PDC files unless you have modified the hyperlinks in your PDF files to point to the .PDC equivalents.
Using publications will simplify both the batch protection of folders of files and the granting of access to users.