1 Reply Latest reply on Oct 15, 2014 3:35 PM by IsakTen

    Inconsistent Sign & Certify Options


      Acrobat 10.1.11 running on WinXP


      I'm developing processes for using digital signatures to approve documents but face a lot of opposition from my colleagues. One excuse is that you cannot apply more than one digital signature to a document.


      In attempting to show them how to use multiple signatures I'm finding apparent inconsistent behaviour in the Tools>Sign & Certify> options. In general, if I sign using the "Sign Document" or "Place Signature" options it is possible to place any number of additional signatures. However, occasionally these options are grayed out after the first signature. The "Lock Document after signing" option is NOT ticked. What could cause this occasional inability to sign a second time?


      My preferred process would be to have the first person Certify the document and the second person Approve the document. This I believe is the intent of the certify option. However, often the "Sign Document" and "Place Signature" are grayed out after the certify signature is applied even though "Form fill-in and digital signatures" are allowed. Am I missing something or misunderstanding the intended process?

        • 1. Re: Inconsistent Sign & Certify Options
          IsakTen Level 4

          First about certification vs approval signatures. Certification signature is usually created by the document's author. It's purpose is to restrict what a recipient of certified PDF may do with it. If you certify PDF in Acrobat you get in the UI several permissions choices.It is possible to use more permission choices but not with Acrobat. Adobe LifeCycle provides more choices and more granularity of choices. From what you write I do not think that to use certification signatures in your case is the proper workflow.

          I do not know why in some cases you cannot sign after the first signature. You must have done something that locks the signature. It is possible that the first signature is actually certification signature with the default permissions which do not include permission to sign?

          In your workflow do the signers just drag the rectangle for a signature and then sign? Or do you create PDFs with empty form fields that your users fill-in and sign? The second case is more prevalent in the signing workflows. In this case you can populate your form with unsigned signature fields, which users can sign by just clicking on the field. You can even associate JavaScripts with these fields which would establish the order in which they must be signed. So that the first signer signs the first field but cannot sign any other unsigned signature fields, the next user can only sign the second signature field, etc. There ara many tricks tha can be done with unsigned signature fields to enforce specific signing workflows.