I realize this flies in the face of some core security issues built into PDFs, but here we go...
We have a customer for whom we are creating fillable PDF forms. Due to the nature of the documents, they require handwritten signatures on printed hard copy. Since the ability to digitally sign any PDF is enabled by default, and especially since Acrobat Reader X apparently prompts the user to use a digital signature, our customer is concerned that some end-users (most of whom will be non-tech-savvy) will be confused by the digital signature concept and would prefer to prevent the use of digital signatures at all. I have played with the security settings in Acrobat Pro, but they are not granular enough to allow filling in a form without also allowing a digital signature. Any way to prevent signing?
I believe the problem (prompting to use digital signature) is with the new EchoSign capabilities. I'm not sure how you'd prevent that but still allow Reader users to fill-in and save the form...
You can prevent the other type of digital signature (form field) in Reader by enabling the form with Acrobat Standard, as opposed to Pro. Standard does not include the digital signature usage right when it enables a form. Unfortunately, this would mean an additional expense.
There isn't enough detail in the post to properly respond (such as version, what kind of "prompt", etc.), but here are some tips:
- DigSigs that rely on certificates are not allowed by default for Reader: Acrobat users must extend usage rights to the doc.
- Don't add a signature field to the document.
- If you can't avoid adding a signature field, use the field properties to lock it.
The problem is Reader users can add a digital signature even of the creator of the form did not add a signature field, as long as the digital signature usage right is present. There's no way to remove it (that I'm aware of) when the document is enabled with Acrobat Pro.
Do you know what the registry entry is to disable EchoSign?
I tried to edit and save the form from within Acrobat Standard X, but it didn't seem to make any difference.
When a user either left- or right-clicks any form field (in Reader X at least), a window pops up titled "Form Can Be Filled and Signed Electronically" with a note to click "Sign" etc.:
That is EchoSign related. I'm not sure if that's avoidable apart from the registry setting. Although using Standard won't help with the specific problem you're asking about, it will prevent the users from using the other method of signing.
One last thing, is saving as a Reader Extended PDF new to the 10 series, or should our designer who is running 9, be able to do this as well? (I couldn't find it in his menu options.)
Nevermind! I RTFM'd and discovered how to do it in 9. http://help.adobe.com/en_US/Acrobat/9.0/Standard/WS58a04a822e3e50102bd 615109794195ff-7e0d.w.html
Thanks again, everybody!
In Acrobat 9 it's under: Advanced > Extend Features in Adobe Reader
You can use either Standard or Pro, but it really should be the client who does this with their own licensed copy. The Acrobat License Agreement doesn't allow you to Reader-enable documents for others. You can create an unenabled form for them though.
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