Remove Digital Certificates so I can add bates numbering

New Here ,
Apr 15, 2020 Apr 15, 2020

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I am trying to add bates numbering to a document (Document was signed in Docusign). But, Acrobat does not allow me to add the numbering because it is digitally signed. 

 

How can I:

Add bates numbering to a digitally signed document?

OR

Remove the Docusign digital certificates so that I can add the bates numbering?

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Edit and convert PDFs, Security digital signatures and esignatures

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Apr 15, 2020 Apr 15, 2020

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- You can't. The entire point of a digital signature is to prevent the file from being edited.

- You might be able to invalidate the signature and then edit the file, but I'm not sure if that will even work on files signed using DocuSign. At least not using Adobe software.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 25, 2021 Mar 25, 2021

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Dear aamerjaved, I am having the exact same problem.  Did you ever find a solution?

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New Here ,
Mar 25, 2021 Mar 25, 2021

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I could not. As I recall, I had to add separate text.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 29, 2021 Mar 29, 2021

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Yes, you can add bates numbering or exhibit stickers to a digitally signed document.  It involves a few steps, but it can be done very easily.  I'll walk you through it.

 

1.  Open the pdf file with the digital signature > Go to tools > Click on Export PDF > Click on More formats > Choose Postscript > Click on export > Save the .ps file.
Once this is done;
2.  Go to tools > Click on Create pdf > Select the .ps file > Click on Create. Add the bates numbers/exhibit stickers.  Save the pdf file.  

 

Let me know if this helps!

PS  I am an attorney who had the same problem you were experiencing.  The foregoing solution was received from a very nice and patient Adobe customer support agent. 

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Mar 29, 2021 Mar 29, 2021

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Quick question: Is the new file still digitally signed?

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 29, 2021 Mar 29, 2021

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Yes, it does not effect the signature at all.  It simply allows you to add the bates stamp or exhibit sticker on a previously signed document.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Mar 29, 2021 Mar 29, 2021

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Does it show up under the Signatures panel, or do you just see it on the page?

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Mar 29, 2021 Mar 29, 2021

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I've tested it, and as expected the signature is gone. What's left is just a flattened image of it. The new file is not really signed.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Mar 29, 2021 Mar 29, 2021

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This is not a clever trick to edit a signed document, it's a simple way of destroying the signature so you can edit. If the signature was of no importance, that's fine. But SOMEONE maybe went to the trouble of adding a legally binding signature and may consider you have done something wrong by destroying their signature.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 29, 2021 Mar 29, 2021

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I think that bdebes is misunderstanding "Digital Certificate".  A "Digital Certificate" creates a unique hash of the PDF document. This hash is used to determine whether or not the document has changed since it was signed.  So, you cannot make any changes to a document that has been signed with a "Digital Certificate", without invalidating that document. And stripping out the "Digital Certificate" defeats the purpose of signing it in the first place.

If you need to add bates numbers or exhibit stamps, then you'll need to start the process over, from before it was signed.

 

Thom Parker - Software Developer at PDFScripting
Use the Acrobat JavaScript Reference early and often

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 29, 2021 Mar 29, 2021

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I have just 'double-checked' my instructions above and they work.  It does NOT destroy/remove the digital signature.  But let me clarify my instructions a little bit:

 

1.  Open the pdf file with the digital signature > Go to tools > Click on Export PDF > Click on More formats > Choose Postscript > Click on export > Save the .ps file to your desktop or somewhere easy to fine it.
Once this is done;
2.  Go to tools > Click on Create pdf > Select the .ps file > Click on Create. Add the bates numbers/exhibit stickers.  Save the pdf file.  

 

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Mar 29, 2021 Mar 29, 2021

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I'm sorry, but you're wrong, and this is bad advice.

Here's how to see that the resulting file is NOT digitally signed.

Open the original file and go to the Signatures panel on the left. You'll see your signature profile appearing there.

Follow the instructions you provided and view the same panel in the new file. You'll see it's empty. The reason is that the file is no longer signed, not really.

If you want proof I can provide a Before and After file, as well as the PostScript file used to create the After file.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 29, 2021 Mar 29, 2021

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Try67, the digital signature still appears on the document even after the bates number is inserted.  If you are saying that the "certificate" no longer appears, then yes I agree.  But for those of us who simply need to insert a bates number or exhibit sticker to a digitally signed document, this method works perfectly.  But I see your point that the 'certificate' no longer appears.  

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Mar 29, 2021 Mar 29, 2021

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The "certificate" IS the digital signature. Anything else is just a decoration. I can take that "signature" and copy it to my file and pretend that you signed it. How would you prove me wrong? The certificate can be validated using a public key. That's what makes it a digital signature.

You might as well scan your hand-written signature and place it on the page. It has about the same validity (maybe even less so...) as what's left after you "re-fry" the file using your instructions, and it would be much easier to do.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 29, 2021 Mar 29, 2021

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So bdebes, what exactly are "You" trying to achieve with the digital signature?  Because the entire point of the "Digital Certificate" is to verify integrity and authenticity of the document.   When you remove the signature you loose these qualities. The document can no longer be trusted. So there was no point in signing it in the first place. So what is it you think you are achieving?  

Thom Parker - Software Developer at PDFScripting
Use the Acrobat JavaScript Reference early and often

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Mar 29, 2021 Mar 29, 2021

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"the digital signature still appears on the document" this is terrible, terrible advice. Certificates are ALL that matters, so what you say is completely wrong. If you don't know what a certificate is, then you shouldn't be trying to edit signed documents !!!

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Mar 29, 2021 Mar 29, 2021

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"I have just 'double-checked' my instructions above and they work" No, they CAN'T work.

I think you may be making the terrible, but common, mistake, of assuming the digital signature is something you see on the page, and so long as you can see it, you assume it's signed. No, no, no. Don't look at it, don't trust it, don't give it any consideration.

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