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Can't edit PDF, "This document has been signed and cannot be edited"

Participant ,
Sep 27, 2016

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But it isn't signed.  There is a block for a digital signature, but it is not signed.

I tried File, Save A Copy; but even that copy cannot be changed.  All of the edit controls are greyed out.

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Edit and convert PDFs, Security digital signatures and esignatures

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Can't edit PDF, "This document has been signed and cannot be edited"

Participant ,
Sep 27, 2016

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But it isn't signed.  There is a block for a digital signature, but it is not signed.

I tried File, Save A Copy; but even that copy cannot be changed.  All of the edit controls are greyed out.

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Edit and convert PDFs, Security digital signatures and esignatures

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New Here ,
Sep 28, 2016

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Hmm, I don't know how to solve such issues.

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Participant ,
Sep 28, 2016

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So why reply at all?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 28, 2016

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Open up the document properties dialog (Ctrl-D or Cmd-D), then go to the "Security" tab. What do you see there? Does it list any restrictions?

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Participant ,
Sep 28, 2016

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Nope!  That's the frustrating thing.  I have a feeling it's either an issue with how the signature block was added, or there's some other goofy problem and Acrobat is throwing the error it does as "close enough".  Wondering if there's any way to enable some sort of logging to see more information about exactly what it's unhappy about.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 28, 2016

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If it works with all other files, it's possible that this is indeed due to a corrupt PDF file, but without actually poking around in the PDF file, it's impossible to say what the problem is. Would you be able to share the PDF file in question? If you cannot share publicly, you can also contact me via a direct message (just click on my name in blue right above this comment to send a message).

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Participant ,
Sep 28, 2016

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I'm told the issue is with numerous files, but potentially all derived from the same template or form or something like that.  Unfortunately it's on a network with no Internet access.

Any ideas about things we could try would be great... I know precisely nothing about Acrobat, and the people who are using it seem to not be much better informed 🙂

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 28, 2016

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Go back to the document information dialog, but this time go to the "Description" tab - what does it list for "Application" and "PDF Producer"?

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Participant ,
Sep 29, 2016

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Application - PScript5.dll Version 5.2

PDF Producer - Acrobat Distiller 5.0.5 (Windows)

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Adobe Employee ,
Sep 29, 2016

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Just thinking that this PDF might have been saved with a Policy that limits what can be done with the PDF file or maybe the file has been certified with an invisible signature.  Check the signature panel.

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Participant ,
Sep 29, 2016

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As in, "Acrobat Pro -> Preferences -> Signatures"?  Nothing is jumping out at me.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Sep 29, 2016

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No, it's one of the panels on the left-hand side of the document, where the Page thumbnails and Bookmarks are.

You can also display it via View - Show/Hide - Navigation Panes.

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Participant ,
Sep 29, 2016

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Unsigned Signature Fileds

- Signature1 on page 1

- Signature2 on page 1

Nothing indicating any "invisible" signatures 😞

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New Here ,
Jan 25, 2017

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I just ran into this same problem. Individual sending the document insisted it was neither signed nor password protected but I get this message when I try to edit "Document has been signed and cannot be edited". I was trying to open with Adobe Acrobat DC Pro XI on a MacBook Pro.

I downloaded the document to an older computer  (Windows 10) using Adobe Acrobat Pro 9.5 and could easily edit.

So, this seems to be a problem with opening documents using the latest (and not so greatest) Adobe software.

Hope you can correct this in future updates.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 25, 2017

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There is no "Acrobat DC Pro XI" - it's either Adobe Acrobat XI Pro, or Adobe Acrobat Pro DC.  Which one is it?

Are you sure you've updated to the latest version (use "Help>Check for updates" to verify)?

Even though there was some staff participation in this thread last year, this does not mean that Adobe is monitoring all posts here, so the better way to report a bug is to use the official bug reporting page: Feature Request/Bug Report Form

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New Here ,
Jan 25, 2017

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It is Adobe Acrobat Pro DC that I am using.

Nomenclature is quite confusing since I thought I was purchasing Adobe Acrobat XI Pro but when downloading the license I had two options. Adobe support told me tha t the DC version was the most up to date.

Would the Adobe Acrobat XI Pro have performed differently?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 25, 2017

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We don't know - if it's working in Acrobat 9.5, and the document truly is not secured, then you are dealing with a bug. The question now is is this bug new in DC, or did it already exist in Acrobat XI. Would you be able to share the document? If not, then reporting the bug is your only option.

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New Here ,
Jan 25, 2017

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Can’t share the document. Sorry….

K

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New Here ,
Feb 14, 2018

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Hello,

The only workaround that I found regarding this situation is to save the document as a .pptx format, the document format remains the same as in PDF, and after that you can edit it, and save it again in a .pdf format.

Hope it helps.

All the best!

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New Here ,
Jul 11, 2020

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This worked perfectly for me. Thanks!

save the document as a .pptx format, the document format remains the same as in PDF, and after that you can edit it, and save it again in a .pdf format

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New Here ,
Jul 19, 2018

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Hi all,

I found a strange work around, if you right click on the file before opening and select " Combine files in Acrobat" a window will pop up, then you dont have to add any more files but need to Press " Combine Files" and all signatures will be removed (allowing to change document and have signatures added again)

Hope this helps

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Jul 19, 2018

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You can do all kinds of things to invalidate the signature and edit the file, but you can't re-apply it afterwards (unless you re-sign the file).

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New Here ,
May 05, 2019

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wow,following this tips,the problem solved. thanks a lot.

right click on the file before opening and select " Combine files in Acrobat" a window will pop up, then you dont have to add any more files but need to Press " Combine Files" and all signatures will be removed

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New Here ,
Aug 06, 2019

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Thank you! This saved me

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New Here ,
May 05, 2020

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Thank you!

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