Digitally Signing and Certifying Documents

About the Signature Service

The Signature service lets your organization protect the security and privacy of Adobe PDF documents that it distributes and receives. This service uses digital signatures and certification to ensure that only intended recipients can alter documents. Because security features are applied to the document itself, the document remains secure and controlled for its entire life cycle. A document remains secure beyond the firewall, when it is downloaded offline, and when it is submitted back to your organization.

Note: You can create a custom signature handler for the Signature service that is invoked when certain operations are invoked, such as signing a PDF document. (See Creating Signature Handlers.)

Signature field names

Some Signature service operations require that you specify the name of the signature field on which an operation is performed. For example, when signing a PDF document, you specify the name of the signature field to sign. Assume that the full name of a signature field is form1[0].Form1[0].SignatureField1[0]. You can specify SignatureField1[0] instead of form1[0].Form1[0].SignatureField1[0].

Sometimes a conflict causes the Signature service to sign (or perform another operation that requires the signature field name) the wrong field. This conflict is the result of the name SignatureField1[0] appearing in two or more places in the same PDF document. For example, consider a PDF document that contains two signature fields named form1[0].Form1[0].SignatureField1[0] and form1[0].Form1[0].SubForm1[0].SignatureField1[0] and you specify SignatureField1[0]. In this situation, the Signature service signs the first signature field that it finds while iterating over all the signature fields in the document.

If there are multiple signature fields located within a PDF document, it is recommended that you specify the full names of the signature fields. That is, specify form1[0].Form1[0].SignatureField1[0]instead of SignatureField1[0].

You can accomplish these tasks using the Signature service:

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