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How do I delete a digital signature field?

New Here ,
Dec 22, 2011 Dec 22, 2011

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I have Adobe Acrobat Pro 9 on Snow Leopard. I created a digital signature for a PDF file but it didn't look good, so I decided to delete it. I figured out how to delete the signature, but the signature field with the little red arrow did not delete with my signature. I want my PDF form to revert to the way it was before I created the signature. I cannot simply close the PDF without saving because I'd lose all the information I've already entered. Stupid me forgot to save before attempting the digital signature.

HOW CAN I DELETE the digital signature field? Help!

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Security digital signatures and esignatures

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Adobe Employee ,
Jan 03, 2012 Jan 03, 2012

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Hi,

  • Open the file that has the excess signature field in Acrobat
  • Select the Forms > Add or Edit Fields menu item
  • Right mouse click (or Control + Click if you have a one button mouse) the signature field and select Delete from the pop-up menu
  • Select the Forms > Close Form Editing menu item

Steve

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New Here ,
Apr 07, 2013 Apr 07, 2013

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Hi Steven, This does not seem to work on my Mac. I have two of these fields now, as I deleted signature twice. I also cannot get rid of the red arrow.

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Adobe Employee ,
Apr 08, 2013 Apr 08, 2013

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Hi,

The first incorrect assumption that you are making is deleting the digital signature will also delete the signature field, it does not. The signing and clearing of the signature are cryptographic operations. The adding and removing of the signature fields are form-field editing operations and these two kinds of operations are not related. If you keep adding digital signatures by placing signature fields on the PDF file the only way you can remove the signature fields is via the steps I outlined above.

Out of the four bullet point items I listed above, where are you experiencing something different then expected?

Steve

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New Here ,
Apr 09, 2013 Apr 09, 2013

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Thank you, Steve for your reply. I think I am having an issue with permissioning on the document. I am not able to edit fields ( it is greyed out). I will try this with a document I create that has no restrictions.

Again, many thanks,

SM

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Adobe Employee ,
Apr 09, 2013 Apr 09, 2013

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Hi SM,

The place to look for permission settings is on the Security tab of the Document Properties dialog. You can get there by selecting the File > Properties menu item and then select the Security tab.

One thing to note is if the file is Reader Enabled you will need to use the File > Save a Copy menu item to create a non-Reader enabled version of the file. You cannot edit a Reader Enabled file. As an aside, the Save a Copy menu item won't be there if the file is not Reader Enabled.

If the file was created using Designer (which is only on Windows and I know you are using a Mac) then it has to be edited in Designer.

If the file was certified, then you need to remove (clear) the certifying signature before you can edit the file, and to do that you must have access to the private key that was used as part of that signature operation.

Finally, if the file is encrypted (e.g. Password Security or Certificate Security), you can edit the file, but you have to get Acrobat to realize you are the document owner which means you need the Permissions password or or logged in using a document owners digital ID (the former is only for Password Security and the latter is only for Certificate Security).

Steve

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New Here ,
May 14, 2013 May 14, 2013

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Steven,

Among other things I'm trying to delete a signature field from a document and having little success.  I'm running Acrobat XI Standard on a Windows machine.  Any clue how to make this happen?

I'll have other questions after we get this done, but I'll wait until that happens so things don't get lost in the shuffle.

Thanks for your help,

Cliff

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Adobe Employee ,
May 14, 2013 May 14, 2013

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Hi Cliff,

Just so I can get a clear picture, is the signature field empty (unsigned) or is it signed? If it is signed, was it signed by you or by someone else? The reason I ask is you have to be the signer in order to clear the existing signature, and you have to be able to clear the signature before you can remove the signature field. In fact you can't edit the file if it has any signature on it, not just yours as editing would invalidate the previous signatures. This includes the file being Reader Enabled which entails a special signature you can't see. If the file is Reader Enabled you would have to remove that as well.

Steve

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New Here ,
May 14, 2013 May 14, 2013

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It has my signature in it and I've gotten to the point where I can "clear" the signature but I'm stuck at that point.

Thanks,

Cliff

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Adobe Employee ,
May 14, 2013 May 14, 2013

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Hi Cliff,

  • Open the Tools Panel
  • Expand the Forms section on the Tools Panel
  • Click the Edit button
  • Right mouse click on the signature field and then select Delete from the pop-up menu
  • Click the Close Form Editing button on the toolbar
  • Click the Save File toolbar button

Steve

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New Here ,
May 15, 2013 May 15, 2013

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Steve,

That worked perfectly!  Thanks.

Now for part 2 of my issues...

We're trying to use Acrobat to process and review our financial reports each month.  In doing so, we highlight and link various numbers on one page to other pages in the document and to pages in a seperate document.  We're doing this using the "Highlight Text" tool and then "Add or Edit Link" tool with no problems.  The issue comes when it is time to sign/initial the document and then have the two reviewers add their signature/initials once they have reviewed the document.

When I use the "Place Signature" or "Place Initials" options it modifies the document so that the links are either deleted or unworkable (I'm unsure which is happening).  I've tried using a certificate but it doesn't allow anyone else to add their signature or initials to the document.  They also cannot validate my signature (likely because my certificate is on my local machine).  EchoSign is a non-starter as some of our documents are too large (according to the notification I received when I tried to use it).

Any ideas?

Thanks,

Cliff

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Adobe Employee ,
May 15, 2013 May 15, 2013

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Hi Cliff,

I hate to admit it, but using a PKI based (that is, creating digital signatures using public-key certificate type digital IDs) is not for the faint of heart. You need to have a PKI infrastructure in place where trust is universal across the enterprise organization and there is a method for issuing, revoking and updating digital IDs to employees along with maintaining a method of providing revocation response information. It is really a job for someone in the IT department and preferably someone that understands PKI.

That said, because PKI is a cryptographic based implementation it does provide the greatest amount of security, but let's go on the premise that PKI is not the solution that you are looking for.

Which brings us to the problem you are having. I have to admit to being surprised that adding an annotation to the document (which is what Place Initials and Place Signature does) breaks the links. Do you have a PDF file that you could share so we could test it here? If you do let me know and I'll send you an e-mail address to use.

Steve

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New Here ,
May 15, 2013 May 15, 2013

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I can make a test file for you.  Do you want one with or without a signature?

Just to make sure we are talking about the same thing, the annotation operation prompts me to save the file down with "-signed" attached to the name while leaving the old file in tact.  The old file has no changes to it and the links work fine, but the new file doesn't contain any links after saving.  Unfortunately, we need the signatures and the links to be in one file all together.

I'll send you a file by email as soon as it is prepared and I have your address.

Thanks,

Cliff

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Adobe Employee ,
May 15, 2013 May 15, 2013

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Don't worry about adding the signature, but let me know which Place Signature option you are using.

I assume you are as soon as the Place Signature feature is run it breaks the links, but if there are some other steps I'm missing please let me know.

Send the file to Steven.Madwin@adobe.com

Thanks,

Steve

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Adobe Employee ,
May 15, 2013 May 15, 2013

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Hi Cliff,

Thanks for the file. I see the problem and I definitely think that it's a bug. I know what your next question is an the answer is no, I don't have a date when a fix will be available. 11.0.3 just shipped Monday and the patch process runs on a roughly three to four month cycle.

Steve

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New Here ,
May 16, 2013 May 16, 2013

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Steve,

Dang.  Thanks for your help on this.  Is there a notification when this is included in a patch or do I need to test it periodically?

Thanks,

Cliff

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Adobe Employee ,
May 16, 2013 May 16, 2013

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Either it updates automatically or you should get a notification that the update is available. Select the Help > About Acrobat XI menu item and you will see the version near the top of the dialog.

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LEGEND ,
May 16, 2013 May 16, 2013

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Steve,

Can you explain why you think it's a bug? I thought it did this (flattened forms fields and other annotations when the Done Signing is used) to prevent further changes to the document. Since a link annotation can have one or more actions that can do more than a simple link within the document, it is probably considered reasonable and desirable to flatten them as well. Using digital signatures instead would be a way to avoid this.

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Adobe Employee ,
May 16, 2013 May 16, 2013

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Hi George,

Upon further review I see you are correct. The Sign pane is supposed to mimic EchoSign behavior and it does flatten the file in order to preserve document integrity of the signed data just as it does when you upload the file to the server. Thanks for pointing this out, I was thinking of this in the v10 context where it was just an annotation.

Hi Cliff,

If I could make a suggestion, since you don't want the file flattened, but you do want to add an annotation to denote approval, use the stamp pallet. To try this:

  • Open the Comments panel
  • Click on the Stamp tool icon
  • Select Dynamic from the drop-down menu
  • Select the Approved stamp

I'll send you a file so you can see an example.

Steve

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New Here ,
Jun 13, 2013 Jun 13, 2013

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Hi Steve, sorry to jomp on this thread, but my qiestion is related / opposite.

How do I prevent approvers from clearing their signatures, after they are applied?

Thanks in advance!

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Adobe Employee ,
Jun 24, 2013 Jun 24, 2013

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When you are creating or editing the form set the properties on the signature field to lock the field. You have to be in Form Editing mode, then right mouse click on the signature field and select Properties from the pop-up menu. On the Digital Signature Properties dialog select the Signed tab and then select the Mark as read-only radio button. Select Just these fields from the drop-down list, click the Pick button and then select the signature field from the list box.

Steve

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 17, 2014 Mar 17, 2014

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I am having this problem, but the Delete option is grayed out.

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Adobe Employee ,
Mar 17, 2014 Mar 17, 2014

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Hi Ronal,

This thread has so many different problems listed I'm not sure which one you're having. Are you trying to delete an unsigned signature field? If so, which version of Acrobat are you using? Is it just one PDF file you cannot edit or is it multiple files?

Steve

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New Here ,
Nov 20, 2019 Nov 20, 2019

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Steve, the problem I'm having is that the right-click pop-up menu doesn't have a delete option, just Select and Paste.

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New Here ,
Feb 16, 2024 Feb 16, 2024

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Thanks Steve. Worked perfectly..

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