6 Replies Latest reply on Jun 14, 2018 2:02 PM by Steven.Madwin

    User has to save document after electronically signing

    tina52399 Level 1

      Hello all,

      I created a fillable PDF with multiple Electronic Signature fields. When testing out the document, I entered my electronic signature, which I was able to enter without any problems. The issue is that after entering the signature, I am required to save the PDF. I had a version of this document from last year and it didn't require me to save after entering a signature. I'm using Adobe Acrobat 9, so I'm not sure if this is why this is ocurring, but I don't want everyone that signs the document to have to save it, I'd rather them save it when they are finished completing the form. Is there a way to disable this? I spent alot of time going through the forum and googling, but couldn't find anything about disabling this feature.


      Thanks in advance,


        • 1. Re: User has to save document after electronically signing
          IsakTen Level 4

          A digital signature is an encrypted hash of the document's bytes. In order to create a digital signature the signing process needs first to get all bytes of the document in the final form. That's why you need to save PDF in the process of signing. You can save the signed document in place of the original one. If you have a PDF document with pre-formated unsigned signature fields, these signature fields may contain [invisible] filename for the signed document, in which case Acrobat uses this filename to silently save without a "Save" dialog. It all depends on the way signature fields were created. You need to contact the document's authors so that they modify the signature fields to include instructions (seed values) to Acrobat where to save signed PDF.

          • 2. Re: User has to save document after electronically signing
            Pedro Campos Level 1

            Hello all,


            First I want to acknowledge the assistance you offer. I have the same problem that Tina but I don't understand the solution that isakten has provide in this topic. I'm new developer and I don't know how I can apply the solution provided by isakten.


            @Isakten, Could you please provide a further explanation about your solution?

            Thank you in advance for your help and support.




            • 3. Re: User has to save document after electronically signing
              Steven.Madwin Adobe Employee

              Hi Pedro and Tina,


              Let me see if I can simplify Isak's answer.


              Short answer, you have to save the file when you sign, there is no getting around this.


              If you are interested why, then read on (if not, I understand)...


              When you sign a file you are signing the whole file, everything top to bottom, left to right. Like anything in the computer world all files, be they a PDF file or a Word Doc or an e-mail, or a picture, or a music file, that is any file; is made up of a blob of electronic bits.


              When you sign the file you are really signing this the big blob of electronic bits. These bits (Isak mentioned bytes, but a bytes is just 8 bits) control how the file looks (or sounds) and it's important that when you sign them that they are not changed during the signing process. If they were to be changed during the signing process you could end up signing something that you didn't really agree to. As an example, if you were signing a document that said I owe you $10 you certainly would want the amount to change (or at least become larger ).


              To prevent the bits from changing it is best practice to write all of the bits to disk before the signature is created. You could do what is known as "sign in memory" where the signature is created without saving the file to disk, but (and this is the sad part) this is where the bad guys can take over and change things. It's much harder for someone to manipulate the bits that have been saved to disk then it is for them to manipulate the bits in memory. If there were no bad guys then we could enable signing in memory, but alas...


              The signing operation is really an operation based of trust, that is, you trust what you are signing is correct and the document recipient trusts you are who you say you are. Should the signed data be compromised it would be a very bad thing for all involved and that includes Adobe. Thus the ability for things to go wrong must be minimized and that's why you have to save when you sign.



              • 4. Re: User has to save document after electronically signing
                tina52399 Level 1

                Thanks for the response, I had contacted IT and they said the same thing about there not being a way to get around this. We had to just make a text field that acts as a "signature." This worked for us because the documents aren't very secure and only a few different people are looking at it. I understand why you do have to save the document after entering your electronic signature, I think it's just hard to do this if you're distributing a fillable form to many different people who might not understand why this is so.


                Thanks for the reply,



                • 5. Re: User has to save document after electronically signing
                  6t543e Level 1

                  Hello, is this still the case? Or is there a way I don't have to save each time I sign a document?

                  • 6. Re: User has to save document after electronically signing
                    Steven.Madwin Adobe Employee

                    Still the case and it will be until someone can figure out how to rid the world of bad guys committing computer fraud.