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Step 2: Sign the Document

Step 2: Sign the Document

Now that the digital ID is created (you won’t have to do that again if you keep the self-signed ID you just created), the next step is to sign the document. The Sign Document dialog box immediately appears after clicking Finish. In there, you can choose which digital ID to use and change the appearance of the signature in the document.

  1. In the Sign Document dialog box, make sure that your digital ID name (mine is “Brian Wood”) appears in the Sign As menu. Notice that clicking that menu reveals you can make another digital ID. Enter the password you just created.
  2. Figure 7 Edit the Sign As content

  3. Click the Info button, and you will see all of the information related to the digital ID you just created (see Figure 8). Click OK.
  4. Figure 8 View the certificate created

    A preview of what the digital signature will look like in your document shows just below the Appearance menu. You can edit that and then save the appearance so next time you can easily apply it.

  5. Choose Create New Appearance from the Appearance menu. In the Configure Signature Appearance dialog box, you need to give this appearance a title so you can choose it later by name (see Figure 9).
  6. Figure 9 Create a new digital ID appearance

  7. In the Configure Graphic options, select No Graphic if you want to remove your large name from the signature and select Name for it to appear again. If you want to put a company logo—or better yet, a picture of your actual signature (which is what I do)—you can select Imported Graphic and click the File button to choose it. Of course, you need to have made the image in another application such as Adobe Photoshop. In the Select Picture dialog box, click Browse. Choose the file type (like GIF) from the File Type menu, then select the image and click Open. Click OK in the Select Picture dialog box (see Figure 10). The image will appear in the signature preview now.
  8. Figure 10 Add a graphic to your signature

  9. If you want to have just the image showing, you can deselect what to show in the Configure Text options.
  10. In the Text Properties options, choose which way the text is to read, left to right or right to left. You can also choose how the digits appear in the Digits menu (see Figure 11). Click OK.
  11. Figure 11 Finish editing the signature appearance

  12. Back in the Sign Document dialog box, the last option you can select is Lock Document After Signing. Select this only if you are the last person to digitally sign this document because it locks all of the fields in the document. Click OK to sign the document.
  13. In the Save As dialog box, save the PDF with a different name (advised in some cases) and click Save. The signature will appear on the page (see Figure 12).
  14. Figure 12 The signature as it appears on the page

Now that the document is signed, let’s take a look at where you can see that digital ID you created.

  1. In the Tools task pane, choose Security Settings from the More Sign & Certify menu. This opens the Security Settings dialog box (see Figure 13). This is the home for your stored digital IDs (that Acrobat knows about) and other features such as timestamp servers and Adobe LiveCycle Rights servers. We are just going to focus on the digital IDs.
  2. Figure 13 The Security Settings dialog box

  3. Select the digital ID listed and click Certificate Details. This shows you the same information as when you clicked the Info button in the Sign Document dialog box. Click on the tabs towards the top of the dialog box to see all of the information available. Click OK.
  4. Notice that back in the Security Settings dialog box, you can also add another digital ID, delete any listed, change the usage options for a digital ID, and export.

  5. With your digital ID selected in the list (it’s the only one at this point), click Usage Options. Notice that you can designate when this ID is used. You can even apply more than one usage. For instance, suppose you have multiple digital IDs, and you want to use the selected one for signing, not certifying. Choose Use for Signing and when you digitally sign a document; this ID will be used (see Figure 14).
  6. Figure 14 Set the digital ID usage options

  7. Click Export, and you will see a dialog box explaining that you can export your public certificate so that others can validate your signature (see Figure 15). While this can be an important step in some processes, you won’t export in this case. Click Cancel and close the Security Settings dialog box.
  8. Figure 15 Export your public certificate (key)

  9. Close the Security Settings dialog box.

Notice the blue message bar along the top of the document. This indicates whether the signature is valid or not (since you signed it, this PDF is valid). Click the Signature Panel button in the message bar and you will see information on the left, similar to what you’ve seen so far (see Figure 16).

Figure 16 The Signature Panel

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