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How do I sign a W-9 form?

Explorer ,
Jul 15, 2015

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Trying to sign a basic W-9 form that a client has requested from me. I downloaded one from IRS and filled in the info, but when I try to add a signature or digital ID everything is grayed out under "Fill & Sign." I've done this many times before in earlier versions of Acrobat Pro, but now in Acrobat Pro DC (2015) I am not able to sign or insert a file or digital ID. There doesn't appear to be any extra security in the PDF, but the message: "You have opened a fillable PDF form. This form does no let you drag and drop saved information" is displayed under "GET STARTED" in the upper right corner of my screen. I've tried saving copy of the file but nothing changes. None of the signing tools are available. This used to be a simple thing to do – what am I missing?

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How do I sign a W-9 form?

Explorer ,
Jul 15, 2015

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Trying to sign a basic W-9 form that a client has requested from me. I downloaded one from IRS and filled in the info, but when I try to add a signature or digital ID everything is grayed out under "Fill & Sign." I've done this many times before in earlier versions of Acrobat Pro, but now in Acrobat Pro DC (2015) I am not able to sign or insert a file or digital ID. There doesn't appear to be any extra security in the PDF, but the message: "You have opened a fillable PDF form. This form does no let you drag and drop saved information" is displayed under "GET STARTED" in the upper right corner of my screen. I've tried saving copy of the file but nothing changes. None of the signing tools are available. This used to be a simple thing to do – what am I missing?

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Macintosh, PDF forms

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20.1K

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Jul 15, 2015 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 15, 2015

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‌Did you install the updates of Adobe Acrobat Pro DC?

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Jul 15, 2015 0
Explorer ,
Jul 15, 2015

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Well the good news is the update allowed me to insert my signature. Not so good is that when I tried to enter the date (which was not a form field on the IRS form, just a blank where a date would be written) I was told that forms could not be edited in Acrobat DC and that I needed to get Adobe LiveCycle Designer. WTF? I used to be able to add text to forms where there were no form fields, even in Acrobat DC and did it just a few weeks ago on an insurance form that had no form fields.

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Jul 15, 2015 5
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 16, 2015

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In the tool "Fill & Sign" you can add text.

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Jul 16, 2015 0
Explorer ,
Jul 16, 2015

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Thanks – I was able to add the date using the "initials" feature, if that what you are referring to. Better than nothing, but limited to faux-handwriting fonts. I didn't see any other way to add regular text. I tried the "change appearance" feature for the initials but it was just a few other types of handwriting fonts, no access to Helvetica, etc.

The Document Properties show that the form was created by Adobe LiveCycle Designer which is probably why it keeps telling me the only way to do anything to it is with Adobe LiveCycle Designer. Saving a copy of the PDF doesn't make any difference, BUT placing the PDF into an InDesign document and re-exporting that as a PDF wiped out all the form fields and now I can type anywhere on the form – could even change the form itself if I wanted to.

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Jul 16, 2015 2
New Here ,
Oct 20, 2020

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This is so assanine.  I tried the initial thing and that worked, but I may have to stay with docusign.  You would think Adobe could do better, but I wasted a stupid amount of time on this.

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Oct 20, 2020 0
New Here ,
May 11, 2016

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I encountered the same issue with the latest Adobe Acrobat.

My workaround was to use Chrome to fill out the fillable fields, then print to PDF, then open the flattened PDF in Acrobat to add the signature and date.

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May 11, 2016 4
Community Beginner ,
Jun 07, 2016

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This issue is very annoying.

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Jun 07, 2016 6
Explorer ,
Jun 22, 2016

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Agreed, this is hugely annoying and as well, the issue could be that Adobe just took away features that we were paying for previously. I guess that's their new practice. Take away what we are paying for, create a new product that is outside of CC and charge more for it. Criminals. They should just go back to the Master collection purchase. If they are going to have CC, then it should be everything not some things and they hold back others. Color me upset about it!

Acrobat used to allow us to add text and now they've taken it away. Simple as that.

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Jun 22, 2016 6
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 22, 2016

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Acrobat can add text.

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Jun 22, 2016 0
Adobe Employee ,
Jun 10, 2016

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The "Fill & Sign" tool in Acrobat DC and Reader DC is great for filling out forms that do not have actual fields.  It can also be used for an Acroform (has real fillable fields) to add a signature. 

Forms that are "mixed", ie: they have some real fields and some "flat" fields (not fillable using Acrobat/Reader native) do not work as well in Acrobat/Reader DC, since there are "real" fields the Fill & Sign tool is mostly disabled only allowing you to add a Signature.

The best alternative I can recommend at this time is to use the Fill & Sign website in the Document Cloud - there you can upload the Acroform that does have fields and be able to add text and signatures anywhere.  The Acroform will be flattened, but you will be able to fill it out entirely as well as sign and date.

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Jun 10, 2016 0
New Here ,
Mar 02, 2020

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I completely agree with Jason. Did Adobe reduce the cost of CreativeCloud when you removed features we rely on? Why did you remove features? Either reduce the cost or bring back the old usability.

 

Now I have to figure out how to write on this PDF because.... why? Thanks a lot.

 

Stupid decision.

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Mar 02, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 22, 2016

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The IRS form W-9 when required by the IRS requires a pen and ink signature. The IRS requires this form be signed when the exemptions are so large there is no income tax withheld or the individual is claiming an exemption from the income tax withholding.

Others, not the IRS, use this form for gathering personal information and my accept other types of signatures but if they are required to have a signed form per the IRS administrative rules, it must be in pen and ink.

Very few of the IRS allow for digital signatures. The IRS has established a system unique to the IRS for gathering signatures electronically and it is only used by the IRS. It can contain certain information that is or should be known only to the individual and the IRS.

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Jun 22, 2016 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 18, 2019

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It's sad that the IRS chose to create all their online forms with LiveCycle.  I'm sure they did this because Adobe convinced them that XFA forms were the future. Well that dream died and this issue with not being able to sign the form is a direct result of that bad decision. In fact it gets worse. Those XFA forms are unusable in most PDF viewers, making our public government forms useless, unless you have an Adobe product on your system. If the IRS forms were regular AcroForms, then they would be much more usable and you could apply either a signature stamp or a digital certificate using several different PDF tools, including the free Reader. 

Right now your best option is to flatten out the form after it is filled, by printing it to PDF.  I've also had success flattening XFA forms by printing to postscript and then loading it back into Acrobat. Unfortunately this is not an option if you don't have Acrobat Pro.

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Jan 18, 2019 0
New Here ,
Jan 19, 2019

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Sadly I'm having no luck saving by printing to PDF. I'm on a new Mac. Was able to do this on my old Mac. On the new one, with the new Adobe Reader installed, I'm getting an error message that I cannot print/save to PDF and it recommends file > save. However choosing that route will only save the blank doc. Really aggravating for something so basic.

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Jan 19, 2019 0
Explorer ,
Jun 24, 2016

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Now that I think about it...you could save out your PDF, then open it in photoshop and add whatever text and then resave as a photoshop PDF. That might work. Given you run into this on another document and not the stinkin IRS.

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Jun 24, 2016 2
Community Beginner ,
Jun 28, 2019

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Acrobat doesn't seem to have the features I remember it having before.
Sometimes it just easier to print it out in real life.

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Jun 28, 2019 0