I have a problem with digital signatures in Adobe Reader. I have Adobe Acrobat 9. I am including a form with multiple signature fields in a pdf portfolio. This portfolio is circulated to collect signatures from users in different departments, some have Acrobat and some have Reader only. I make sure that features have been extended for Reader. Most of the time they are okay. But every once in a while (at least once or twice per week) I get a user telling me they can't sign. No message or error of any kind, just a quick blink but no signature. As a work-around I've had to save a copy and re-extend features. This can be time consuming when there are a few documents I need to circulate. Please help.
I have not seen this type of behaviour before. The trouble is that the problem sounds like it is very random, which makes it difficult to resolve immediately. I would suggest that you start tracking the details of the users that experience the problem. Things you should check would include...
What is the exact version of the Reader they are using?
Can they sign any other documents?
Is there any pattern (i.e. is it always the second signature that fails)?
Do they have a working digital certificate installed?
When they experience the problem, are they ever able to sign the document or do they require a completely new version?
Look for other differences between a working syatem and one that has the problem.
I have gathered some information from one of the users who runs into this problem more frequently. This user is using Acrobat Reader 9.3.3 and using a PKCS#12 digital signature. This user can and has signed other documents successfully; sometimes the second, third or fourth person to sign. One new piece of information that I was informed of today is that when first opening the portfolio there is a message: "This document has enabled extended features in Adobe Acrobat. The document has been changed since it was created and use of extended features is no longer available. Contact the original author." When I checked the security properties on their computer it showed restrictions on all features. However, after this user emailed me the same file, the security properties indicated that the features were allowed. I hope this gives more insight to the problem.
Thank you for your assistance.
The key to your problem is the message that you noted... "This document has enabled extended features in Adobe Acrobat. The document has been changed since it was created and use of extended features is no longer available. Contact the original author."
Something is modifying the document, which in turn is "breaking" the Reader Extension permissions (i.e. the ability to sign with Reader). This means that the fact that an end user can't sign with Reader is just the result of another problem. A document with "broken" Reader Extension permissions is the same as a document that was never Extended in the first place.
Does your process do anything to the Reader Extended pdf to modify it? Some examples of changes that would not be allowed include adding or removing pages.
Thanks again for taking my question.
The only changes to a portfolio after I send it out for signature collection is the actual signature and/or comment & mark-up tool (also enabled for Reader) notations.
Does a document go through any changes in trasition from one's file system to an Outlook folder OR from one computer to another via email? These are the only two methods used to circulate the portfolios.
Also, you mention that adding or removing pages is a non-allowed change that may cause the Reader Extensions to break. However, the work-around to re-extend features includes removing the page with the signatures and then outside of the portfolio make a "copy", extend features to the copy and add the new Reader Enabled page back into the portfolio. This seems to be the only way to re-extend features. As you see, this can be quite a bit time consuming.
Have there been any known bugs for Reader 9.3.3?
"Does a document go through any changes in trasition from one's file system to an Outlook folder OR from one computer to another via email? These are the only two methods used to circulate the portfolios."
Answer: No, this would have no affect on the Reader Extensions permissions.
"Have there been any known bugs for Reader 9.3.3?"
Answer: None that I am aware of related to Reader Extensions
"Also, you mention that adding or removing pages is a non-allowed change that may cause the Reader Extensions to break. However, the work-around to re-extend features includes removing the page with the signatures and then outside of the portfolio make a "copy", extend features to the copy and add the new Reader Enabled page back into the portfolio. This seems to be the only way to re-extend features. As you see, this can be quite a bit time consuming"
Answer: I don't quite understand the above statement, is this what you do as part of your regular process or what you do if the Reader Extensions permissions are broken?
Would it be possible to post one of the forms that has broken Reader Extension permissions?
I only go through the re-extension of features if the permissions are broken.
Unfortunately, the confidential nature of the document prevents me from sending out the document. Also, once the document gets to me, the security properties indicate all is allowed. If I were to remove the confidential material the file would then be altered.
I appreciate your help. Is it possible the Reader install has been corrupted? Should I have one of the users with problems uninstall Reader and re-install?
I really don't think that Reader is causing the problem. If you want to uninstall and re-install as a test, it won't hurt anything, but again I don't think it will resolve the issue either.
How was the original document created and the signature fields added. With Adobe LiveCycle Designer or Acrobat Professional?
Any new information on losing extended features? I found another thread that has this issue with no resolution as of yet.
Also, I have been unable to figure out why I can't attach files.
Sorry for the delayed response. I have been out of the office.
I don't know what could be causing the issue, without having the actual form(s) that has the problem or is causing the problem it is very difficult to troubleshoot.
If you want to post your e-mail address, I will contact you directly and you could e-mail me the files.
Just make sure that you application server's clock and the User's machine's clock are properly synchronized.
Clock synchronization problem might also cause this issue. [Your network administrator caould resolve this time synchronization issue]