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Digitally signing PDFs

From: Acrobat X Essential Training

Video: Digitally signing PDFs

Another way that users frequently edit a PDF is by actually digitally signing it. Now, digital signatures can be confusing and what I am going to do is try and make it as simple for you as possible and to tell you how most people use this in the real world and in the real world it's very handy. What we are looking at right now is a document called NDA-withsigfields-signed and the sigfields, I am mean signature fields. This is a Nondisclosure Agreement. It's a two page file and you can see that there are actually two areas where people can fill in a digital signature.

Digitally signing PDFs

Another way that users frequently edit a PDF is by actually digitally signing it. Now, digital signatures can be confusing and what I am going to do is try and make it as simple for you as possible and to tell you how most people use this in the real world and in the real world it's very handy. What we are looking at right now is a document called NDA-withsigfields-signed and the sigfields, I am mean signature fields. This is a Nondisclosure Agreement. It's a two page file and you can see that there are actually two areas where people can fill in a digital signature.

One of them has already been signed by me. This is what a completed digitally signed field looks like. The other side where it says DISCLOSING PARTY Joe Schmoe & Associates is a field where the recipient should click in here and then Acrobat or reader will step them through digitally signing it, so that at the end it looks like this. So, I wanted to give you a document that showed you sort of a before and after of what a digital signature looks like. But one thing to keep in mind is that before you get to this point of digitally signing something that somebody gave you a form field for, or even adding your own field for your recipient to digitally sign, is that you need to fill out any other fields or make any other edits as necessary in the document.

Because as soon as you digitally sign the file it's going to prompt you to do a Save As, because your digital signature is actually like an approval signature that signifies to people that you are the one who signed it and that the document has not changed since you signed it. If the document has changed since you signed it, when somebody opens it up they are going to say that there are problems in this file. You can see this file has some sort of problems because this is actually one that I was creating to use during this video, so I've been actually editing it after I signed it.

But let's start from the very beginning, let's start with a file that I have here called EmpHandbookVeri. Now, this is an example of one that you might receive as the recipient of a PDF asking you to digitally sign a document. Right after we do this I am going to show you how you can add you own fields to the PDF that you create and that you distribute. Whenever you open a PDF that has digital signature fields or any kind of form field, you'll see this little banner up here going across the top, saying, this is a form and you can choose to highlight the fields or not.

If I turn that off, then we just see the little flag for digital signature. I am going to say, go ahead and highlight, so I'll be an Employee. Let's say that I've never done this before, all you need to do is click inside this field and then you're going to get stepped through this little wizard about creating a digital ID. The very first time you do this, you have to make a few decisions. The second time you do this, all you have to do is remember your password. The first time you do this you say I want to sign this document using a new digital ID I want to create now, and click Next.

All right, just choose the very first option, a New PKCS digital file, then fill in your name, Olivia Napolitano, Two Trees Olive Oil Co. These fields are all basically voluntary, you don't have to fill them in, but a good one to fill in is your Email Address, so that is olivia@twotreesoliveoil.com and I'll just leave everything else as is, click Next.

What it wants to know, is it's going to create an actual little file on your computer that it's going to call on from now on whenever you need to digitally sign something. It's saying where should it store that file? You can store the file anywhere you like. It's going to store it into this normally hidden folder called AppData\Roaming, but you could store it into a folder on your desktop if you wanted to. However, because this is like an official digital signature you should probably sort of hide it somewhere on your computer. Then give yourself a Password, and this is a new feature in Acrobat 10, that it rates your password.

But I am just going to enter 123456, so I don't forget it while I am recording. Of course, it thinks that's a weak password. Surprise, surprise. Repeat the password to confirm it, 123456, and click Finish. This is what our digital signature will look like. All right. So now it's saying, Sign Document, sign as, this person. What is your Password? Do you remember? Yes, 123456, and click Sign. Now, notice I said whenever you digitally sign, it's going to immediately prompt you to Save As, because you are not supposed to edit this document after you've signed it.

So, I'll call this EmpHandbookVeri-signed, and save this, say, onto my desktop. There it is. Then I would send this to the HR manager, they would digitally sign it. That's basically the only thing that you can do to a digitally signed PDF, is to have another person sign it and then they would send you back a copy showing both people signed it, just like you get a contract with both parties to the contract signing it. So, that's what you should do the very first time to create a digital signature for yourself. From then on whenever you want to fill in that signature, you just go ahead and click inside the field and just type in your password.

Now, how do you create this field in the first place? Let's open up this other document called NDA, which is just the Normal Nondisclosure Agreement. Here, we just have lines where somebody is supposed to sign, so this was created like in Microsoft Word or Publisher or something like that and then exported to PDF, and there are no places for somebody to digitally sign this. Now, to do that you just need to add a digital signature field and it's pretty simple to do. Go to tools, find the Form section, all right, and click Edit.

The prompt is going to be, hey! I can turn this whole thing into a very complicated form for you. Would you like me to do that? Say No. The reason you are clicking Edit is that you just want to be able to add your own fields and all the fields will appear at the top when you click Edit, and the signature field is the one with the X. Click on that, then come out to where you want the signature field to appear and just drag out, so I'll call this Recipient. If you want somebody that they have to fill out this field before they Save As, you turn on Required.

I am just going to leave it as is, and then I'll add another signature field for the disclosing party, Disclosing, and that's about it. When you're done click Preview and there you have your signature field, so then you can just do a Save As and send this out to your recipients for them to digitally sign.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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Acrobat X Essential Training

97 video lessons · 30983 viewers

Anne-Marie Concepción
Author

 
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  1. 1m 53s
    1. Welcome
      1m 33s
    2. Using the exercise files
      20s
  2. 55m 0s
    1. Opening documents and moving them around
      6m 3s
    2. Working with the toolbars
      5m 59s
    3. Working with the panels
      3m 43s
    4. Customizing the toolbar with Quick Tools
      4m 40s
    5. Using the Pages panel to navigate
      3m 57s
    6. Selecting and copying text and graphics
      3m 24s
    7. Rotating pages
      4m 49s
    8. Changing the viewing options
      6m 12s
    9. Reviewing preferences
      7m 6s
    10. Finding words and phrases
      2m 35s
    11. Searching a PDF and working with the Search panel
      4m 21s
    12. Sharing PDFs by email and with Adobe SendNow
      2m 11s
  3. 33m 18s
    1. Creating PDFs from Microsoft Office applications
      9m 46s
    2. Creating PDFs from Creative Suite applications
      8m 57s
    3. Creating PDFs from within Acrobat Pro
      4m 27s
    4. Creating PDFs from a web site
      8m 22s
    5. Creating PDFs from the clipboard
      1m 46s
  4. 30m 58s
    1. Editing text
      8m 51s
    2. Adding text
      4m 40s
    3. Editing images and graphics
      3m 39s
    4. Changing the page number display
      3m 48s
    5. Digitally signing PDFs
      6m 26s
    6. Cropping pages and documents
      3m 34s
  5. 1h 6m
    1. Adding watermarks
      6m 17s
    2. Adding page backgrounds
      5m 41s
    3. Adding page numbers
      5m 56s
    4. Adding headers and footers
      9m 7s
    5. Adding bookmarks
      11m 30s
    6. Attaching files to a PDF
      7m 11s
    7. Adding metadata
      3m 45s
    8. Optimizing a PDF for file size and compatibility
      10m 12s
    9. Creating initial view settings
      7m 16s
  6. 37m 59s
    1. Adding hyperlinks to URLs
      7m 33s
    2. Creating links with the Link tool
      6m 9s
    3. Working with interactive actions
      6m 56s
    4. Creating and adding buttons
      6m 28s
    5. Adding video, sound, and SWF files
      7m 29s
    6. Adding page transitions
      3m 24s
  7. 27m 12s
    1. Extracting pages
      3m 53s
    2. Splitting a PDF into multiple files
      4m 13s
    3. Inserting pages from files and other sources
      5m 42s
    4. Moving, copying, and replacing pages
      8m 17s
    5. Combining PDFs
      5m 7s
  8. 27m 9s
    1. Exporting text
      8m 33s
    2. Exporting images
      6m 33s
    3. Exporting PDFs to Microsoft Word
      7m 21s
    4. Exporting PDFs to Microsoft Excel
      4m 42s
  9. 26m 27s
    1. Working with portfolios
      6m 57s
    2. Creating portfolios
      6m 26s
    3. Customizing portfolios
      7m 23s
    4. Optimizing backward compatibility
      5m 41s
  10. 32m 9s
    1. Creating an interactive form
      6m 42s
    2. Working with form fields
      6m 41s
    3. Editing field properties
      5m 34s
    4. Distributing and collecting forms
      9m 43s
    5. Enabling Reader to save form data
      3m 29s
  11. 34m 26s
    1. Adding sticky notes and other annotations
      9m 2s
    2. Using the drawing markup tools
      6m 10s
    3. Viewing, filtering, and replying to comments
      5m 24s
    4. Printing, summarizing, and exporting comments
      6m 35s
    5. Exporting comments to Word for Windows
      3m 28s
    6. Enabling extended commenting in Acrobat Reader
      3m 47s
  12. 25m 29s
    1. Understanding the different review processes
      2m 7s
    2. Using the email review process
      4m 33s
    3. Conducting a shared review with Acrobat.com
      6m 54s
    4. Using the Review Tracker
      4m 32s
    5. Using the Collaborate Live review process
      7m 23s
  13. 31m 2s
    1. Reviewing the print production tools
      5m 18s
    2. Previewing color separations
      3m 51s
    3. Using the Object Inspector to learn details
      3m 13s
    4. Working with the Preflight dialog box
      5m 34s
    5. Fixing hairlines
      3m 57s
    6. Converting colors
      2m 27s
    7. Saving as a standards-compliant PDF
      6m 42s
  14. 19m 16s
    1. Scanning a paper document to PDF
      4m 44s
    2. Setting up optimization options
      6m 48s
    3. Recognizing text in a scanned PDF
      4m 43s
    4. Reviewing and correcting OCR suspects
      3m 1s
  15. 17m 18s
    1. Using the built-in Actions for automation
      5m 32s
    2. Editing Actions
      4m 7s
    3. Creating new Actions
      4m 51s
    4. Sharing Actions with others
      2m 48s
  16. 35m 27s
    1. Choosing a security method
      5m 27s
    2. Password-protecting a PDF
      7m 28s
    3. Securing a PDF with a certificate
      5m 6s
    4. Creating a digital id
      5m 43s
    5. Removing sensitive content with the Redaction feature
      6m 52s
    6. Revealing and clearing hidden information
      4m 51s
  17. 33m 45s
    1. Opening and navigating PDFs in Reader
      7m 30s
    2. Adding comments
      3m 14s
    3. Viewing extended features
      6m 53s
    4. Digitally signing a PDF
      6m 15s
    5. Sharing PDFs
      2m 29s
    6. Using Acrobat.com
      7m 24s
  18. 3m 54s
    1. Final thoughts
      3m 54s

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