Removing audit trail from e-signed docs

Community Beginner ,
May 05, 2021 May 05, 2021

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Hi all,

 

I need help in removing the audit trail from a signed document and disabling that feature forever. It somehow started getting appended as the last page, which I am trying to turn off to no avail.

 

I would also like to enable editing the signed document. Sometimes, it is necessary to make stylistic, non-substantive changes after something is signed which are time-sensitive (down to the 20-30 timeframe), which makes it impractical to ask for everyone to re-sign.

 

Thank you.

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Comment review and collaborate PDF , How to , Security digital signatures and esignatures

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 05, 2021 May 05, 2021

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I am not aware of an audit trail feature in Adobe Acrobat. Do you have other plug-ins installed that might create this audit trail? 

 

As far as editing a signed document goes: The whole idea of signing a document is to prevent (or flag) edits. When you sign a document, and I then go in and change something, the document is no longer the one that was signed, so Acrobat's signature verification will flag that. This means that there is no way around how a signed document limits you what you can do with it.

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Community Beginner ,
May 05, 2021 May 05, 2021

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Hi. I am referring to the last page which is automatically appended to the end of the document and contains an audit trail of timestampts of everyone's signature. I would like to remove that page.

 

I understand the argument that we should not be editing a document once signed. However, there are many use cases in my legal practice where this is necessary and appropriate. Without going into unnecessary details, sometimes things like a footer need to be changed, and it is impractical to re-collect everyone's signature.

 

Thanks.

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Engaged ,
May 05, 2021 May 05, 2021

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Audit trails are part of the Adobe Sign process. I believe there is an option to deliver the audit trail as a separate document, rather than appending it to the signed document. But that won't solve your problem, because the signed document is certifiec with a digital signature and any attempt to change the document will invalidate that certification.

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Community Beginner ,
May 06, 2021 May 06, 2021

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Is there a way to send out a document so that after the signing party signs, no audit trail is appended? The added page creates a problem in my workflow. Thank you.

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LEGEND ,
May 06, 2021 May 06, 2021

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Editing a signed document, if it is possible, destroys the signatures, by design. (It leaves the signature appearances, but I hope everyone is trained to ignore these as fakes if the signature panel does not show valid signatures).


Given this, I suggest that you deal with urgent late changes by making them to your copy of the final unsigned document, from your archive. Then, once made, you can attach the signed document as an attachment, and finally sign it again personally. This shows good faith, and allows a forensic examination to show exactly what was signed, and how it differs from the edited result.

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New Here ,
Apr 16, 2022 Apr 16, 2022

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There seems to be quite a number of users who would like to option to not have the audit page automatically appended at the end. In situations where there is not a need to have strict legal enforcability, but still would like to add a signature, the audit page is unnecessary. A better solution would be to have the audit page as a complement file that assures the validity of the signed document.

 

I read somewhere that if one have a business-level Adobe account it is possible to turn this feature off. Adobe Acrobat DC, which I use, seems not to have this feature provided.


I have two workarounds to get rid of this audit page:

1) Sign a paper hardcopy with a pen, the old-style way

2) a. Have the document signed digitally by all parties, b. Print the signed document, c. Scan the hardcopy, d.  Import all pages but the audit page back into Adobe Acrobat DC, e. Build together the signed pdf

 

More convenient solutions would be to go "up or out on Adobe" - go up to the referred to business-level version (if this offers this feature) or go out to find another vendor that offers this feature.

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