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  Can I Print the PMBOK Guide Fifth Edition PDF legally?

Many Project Managers, PMPs and PMP aspirants are not sure whether they are legally allowed to print the PDF version of the PMBOK Guide, Fifth Edition? Some of them might have already printed it and living with the guilt of violating the PMI Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. So, is it legal to print the PMBOK Guide?

Yes. With the new security features in the PMBOK Guide, PMI has made it legal to print the PDF Version of the Guide, as long as the PDF file is licensed under your name. Note: All PMI Members get free access to the electronic version (PDF) of the latest edition of PMBOK Guide.

I quote the following Q&A from PMBOK Guide Fifth Edition FAQs:

Can I print the PDF?

Yes, you can print the PMBOK® Guide - Fifth Edition file you have downloaded. When you print the file, it is marked with your username and member ID, and it is secured with your password. This means the file is licensed to you for your personal use only. If you print the file, it will be identified with a notice that says, "Licensed to (First name, last name, PMI member ID). This copy is a PMI Member Benefit, not for distribution, sale or reproduction." The file can only be opened using your password. Again, this is designed to protect PMI's intellectual property and preserve the value of this member benefit.

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  1. Good to know. I prefer the electronic copy myself, it makes it easier when I need to reference it because I can do search.

    Josh Nankivel

  2. Hello Josh,

    I support your idea. It's the 'greener' option too. I would certainly "not" be wasting 250 sheets of paper.

    From my experience, people preparing for the PMP Exam tend to use both formats - electronic as well as print. So, it's good to have the option to print.

    I liked the new security features, which enabled PMI to provide this option to us.


  3. I prefer a hardcopy because i read on my couch, on my bed, lying down, upside down. some times i use a color marker for highlighting some text etc.

    cant sit in front of a screen for long hrs.

  4. Hi Fateh,

    I agree that if you are preparing for the PMP exam, you need to print the guide. I also tend to markup pages heavily. It makes the subsequent passes a breeze.

    However, for certified PMPs or casual readers, soft copy is sufficient.


  5. Guys, why not look into those organizations who make ALL their documents available under "Creative Commons" or "Open Source" licensing?

    AACE makes ALL our documents avaialble for free download and use for both members and non members alike-

    As does the Global Alliance for Project Performance Standards (GAPPS)

    INCOSE as well makes our Systems Engineering Body of Knowledge freely accessible to both members and non-members alike, at no cost or obligation-

    Bottom line- there are MANY professional organizations representing the practice of project management which although not as good as PMI at marketing, offer much more in the way of knowledge sharing as well as much better professional level credentials.

    Dr. PDG, Jakarta, Indonesia

  6. Does this also apply to the Practice Standards and Frameworks?

    1. Yes, I believe so. As long as you use it for your own education, and do not distribute or reproduce the content, you should be fine.


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