5 Replies Latest reply on Jun 22, 2012 3:58 PM by Steven.Madwin

    Signature Timestamp is 1 Hour Off Following Changeover to Daylight Savings


      I believe this is a BUG.  Looking for a workaround or permanat fix.  The issue below may only effect those using Acrobat X Pro on a Mac.  Currently running Mac OS X v10.7.4 and Adobe Acrobat X Pro v10.1.3.


      Installed Acrobat X Pro in January on a MacBook Pro.  The time/date stamp on the digital signature that I apply to Acrobat documents is accurate/correct.  All works well/all is good.


      HOWEVER, after the changeover to Daylight Savings Time (on Sun-Mar-11-2012), the time/date stamp on the digital signature of newly signed documents is one hour off (ditto with the indicated time zone). For example:


      I am on the Pacific Coast of the United States.  Assume it is 9:15 AM on April 2, 2012.  I digitally sign a document using Adobe Acrobat X Pro.  The time/date stamp next to my signature reads:


      2012.04.02 08:15:20 -08'00'


      8:15 is one hour off the actual/correct time (which is 9:15 AM) AND the Pacific Coast is a -07'00' time zone while Daylight Savings Time is in effect (i.e., Pacific Daylight time is -7 hours offset from UTC; Pacific Standard Time is -8 hours offset from UTC).



      1. The time/date of the file itself (when viewed in Mac OS X Finder) is accurate/correct and reads:  4/2/2012 9:15 AM.
      2. My compter clock is accurate/correct.  It is synchronized using Apple's time servers.
      3. My computer's time zone (selected in the OS X Date & Time System Preference) is accurate/correct (city selected is San Francisco).
      4. View the signed document's Document Properties in Acrobat (File->Properties...).  Select the Description tab, and click the Additional Metadata button.  Then click on the Advanced category in the left column, and open the XMP Core Proerties.  xmp:ModifyDate and xmp:MetadataDate are both correct and read: 2012-04-02T09:15:20-07:00
      5. Pull up a new document and rather than signing it digitally, use Acrobat's Stamp Tool to apply a time stamp.  Click on Comment at upper right of the document window, and expand the Annotations category.  Click on the drop-down at the right edge of the stamp icon, and choose Dynamic->Revised, and apply the stamp to the document.  The stamped time is accurate/corrrect.


      Conclusion: the file system and parts of Acrobat know the correct time/date, but there's something different about the way Acrobat "gets" the time/date when digitally signing that is throwing things off.  Acrobat still "thinks" the document/the computer is in Pacific Standard Time.

        • 1. Re: Signature Timestamp is 1 Hour Off Following Changeover to Daylight Savings

          Timestamps must be based on standard times only and not take into account local variations such as Daylight Savings Time. For example, I am in the Central Standard time zone which, in the winter, is UTC (GMT) minus six hours. Thus, the timestamp on my Acrobat signature will always show a time followed by UTC minus 6:00. This is not my local time right now, but it is the correct time for six hours behind Greenwich time.


          In older Mac operating systems, you could have fixed this by telling your computer not to adjust for Daylight time, and then just moving your time zone one to the east for daylight time. I don't think that is possible in current Mac's.However, my timestamps are always correct in terms of UTC (GMT).

          • 2. Re: Signature Timestamp is 1 Hour Off Following Changeover to Daylight Savings
            Steven.Madwin Adobe Employee

            Hi John,


            The computer time used as part of the signature creation does use the DST offset on Windows. That is, the signing time would be one hour later and the UTC offset one hour less. It's not that we can't use the current time, but as noted above there is something amiss on the Mac. The good news is everything in the digital signature world is based on UTC time (or more specifically "generalized time" with the UTC offset) so the signature will still validate correctly. The bad news is the behavior on the Mac does not match the behavior on Windows and parallel behavior is something we strive for. Thus, this is a bug.


            Steve Madwin

            Acrobat QE

            Adobe Systems, Inc.

            • 3. Re: Signature Timestamp is 1 Hour Off Following Changeover to Daylight Savings
              johnsamford Level 1

              Agreed. I just meant, as you said, that the time is accurate as a UTC offset, but not the current time where I am. It has been driving me crazy as well but I can't find any way to make the Mac output the same time it is displaying.. It bugs me when I send out a digital signature, but nobody knows where I am anyway, and the time is correct as expressed. It seems to be a Mac problem but maybe the Adobe software could find a way to correct it.



              John Samford

              • 4. Re: Signature Timestamp is 1 Hour Off Following Changeover to Daylight Savings

                Thank you Steve.Madwin!


                The conversations I had with Adobe Technical "Support" (that term seems ill-suited in describing my experience) kept returning to my computer's time/date settings and/or a re-statement of the problem, rather than the possibility that Acrobat X (Mac) was at fault.  As previously stated, my computer's time/date settings are accurate (they are syncronized to time servers), the OS software is up-to-date and has all updates applied, and all other software accurately reflects both the correct local time and the correct local time zone.  And yet, when signing a document in Acrobat X Pro, things were an hour off.  My specific example warrants repeating:


                1. Sign a document at 9:15 AM local time in San Francisco on April 2, 2012.
                2. The timestamp appearing to the right of my digital signature reads: 2012.04.02 08:15:20 -08'00'
                3. It SHOULD read: 2012.04.02 09:15:20 -07'00'


                Would you please submit this as a bug report.


                Thanks for your help.  Your post has given me some hope that SOMEONE at Adobe understands the problem (finally) and confirms that this is an issue that needs to be fixed.  Stamping documents (esp. legal ones) with a timestamp that is not accurate is a serious matter.

                • 5. Re: Signature Timestamp is 1 Hour Off Following Changeover to Daylight Savings
                  Steven.Madwin Adobe Employee

                  Hi wwhigginsjr,


                  I can't tell you when you'll see the fix because ship dates are proprietary until the company makes them public, but I can assure that this will be fixed. Actually, it's fixed now, you're just not going to see it until the next upgrade or update is made available. Thanks for pointing this out.