Personalized signature appearances allow you to provide additional information about yourself, affiliations, or company. Home users often modify the default appearance as a matter of personal taste, while enterprise users are sometimes provided with a company-specific style and logo.
Every aspect of the visible appearance is subject to customization, and the options range from using logos, a replica of your handwritten signature, photos, images, and text. A typical appearance consists of three customizable components:
You can create any number of appearances ahead of time for later use, and the signing workflow allows you to select one from your library of appearances. However, you can also select the default appearance created from your name or create one on-the-fly at signing time. </
When you sign a PDF file, the appearance becomes part of the signed document. It is not part of the signature.
PDF/A is a subset of PDF intended as a file format suitable for the long-term archiving of electronic documents. Appearances in PDF/A-compliant documents must be must conform to the following:
Users generally customize one or more signature appearances and store them for later use. Available signatures are listed in the appearance panel at signing time.
To customize a new signature appearance:
Choose Edit > Preferences (Windows) or Acrobat > Preferences (Macintosh).
Choose in the left-hand list:
- 10.x and earlier: Security and in the Appearance panel, choose New or Edit.
- 11.x: Signatures > Creation and Appearance > More, and in the Appearance panel, choose New or Edit.
Set the graphic options in the Configure Graphic panel:
- No graphic: No graphic is used.
- Imported graphic: Choose File > Browse, select a file and choose OK.
- Name: Your text extracted from the signing certificate.
Set the text fields to display in the appearance in the Configure Text panel:
- Name: The name associated with the certificate.
- Date: The date signed. Signature appearances can only display local (computer) time, and it will likely differ from that in the Date/Time tab on the Signature Properties dialog when a timestamp server is used.
- Location: The location associated with the identity configured in Acrobat.
- Reason: The reason for signing.
- Distinguished name: A name with details such as country, organization, organizational unit, and so on.
- Labels: A label for each of the items above. For example, Reason.
Set the text direction and character set in the Text Properties panel:
- Text Direction: Choose a direction appropriate for the signer’s language.
- Digits: If languages are installed that use digits other than 1234567890, the drop-down list will be populated with alternate choices. Choose a digit set appropriate for the signer’s language.
A watermark is a partially transparent graphic that appears “behind” a signature. By default, the watermark is the Adobe PDF logo. Line (vector) art that is simple and unobtrusive often works best.
Import a logo or create a new one in a program such as Adobe Illustrator.
Illustrator instructions: Set a low transparency level and flatten the transparency:
- Select all and group the objects if there is more than one.
- Choose Window > Transparency and move the slider to some low value such as 20%.
- Choose Object > Flatten Transparency. Leaving the Raster/Vector balance at 100%.
- Save the file as a PDF.
Open the PDF file in Acrobat.
Crop the page and remove white space (The method varies across product versions).
Save the file as SignatureLogo.pdf in:
- Windows: C:\Documents and Settings\(user name)\Application Data\Adobe\Acrobat\(version)\Security
- Windows 7/Vista: C:\Users\(user name)\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Acrobat\(version)\Security
- Macintosh: \Users\(user name)\Library\Application Support\Adobe\Acrobat\(version)\Security
You can use your handwritten signature as the graphic displayed by your signature appearance as follows:
© Copyright 2012-2013
Adobe Systems, Inc.
Updated Jul 24, 2013.