We are using Acrobat digital signatures in my organization.

With Acrobat Professional you can put in a signature block that allows signing with a client-side digital signature. This is something that can be then done by someone using Acrobat Reader. This is not the same as adding a digital signature to the document—this is adding a space where a signature can be added by someone else to indicate acceptance of the produced PDF.

How do I create a PDF file with LaTeX that can be digitally signed?

  • I just noticed you're asking about something slightly different, about "a PDf file that can be digitally signed". Does the other question still help you? – doncherry Apr 7 '12 at 16:15
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    Correct, this is completely different. I will update the question. – vy32 Apr 7 '12 at 16:27
  • Thanks for clarifying. (I can't revoke my close vote, but I don't think this question will be closed now.) So I assume you've tried just compiling a document with pdfLaTeX and then signing it, and it didn't work? Do you have any idea what "property" the document is missing so that it could be signed? – doncherry Apr 7 '12 at 17:58
  • That doesn't create a signature box. – vy32 Apr 8 '12 at 2:39
  • I was able to do it by combining a previously generated singable PDF file with Acrobat and embedding it in a LaTeX file with pdftk, but that's kind of round-about. – vy32 Apr 8 '12 at 2:41

In order to be able to sign a document using Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat, you need a so-called signature field in your PDF, which is a special kind of form field. In order to add it to a file you have the choice between two different LaTeX packages:

The digsig package

This is a small package that enhances the form capabilities of the hyperref package to support signature fields. It is not available on CTAN, but you can find it on the author's website. To use it, simply add \usepackage{digsig} to the preamble of your document (if you're already using hyperref, load it after \usepackage{hyperref}). Now you can add signature fields to your document using the \digsigfield macro, which expects the width and height of the form field and a freely chosen name. Note that you have to enclose the command in a Form environment, like this:

  \digsigfield{5cm}{3cm}{My signature}

The eforms package

eforms is another package to create PDF forms, with support for signature fields. You can find it on CTAN, but it is not included in TeX Live, so you may have to install it manually. It is very similar in use as the digsig package. However, there's a bug in the eforms driver file for pdfTeX (it includes code which is only valid when you use latex->dvips->ps2pdf, causing errors when used with pdflatex). The following code already includes a fix for this: The mentioned bug was fixed in version 2.5p, so the following code works out of the box with recent eforms versions:

\sigField{My signature}{5cm}{3cm}

In both cases, the output is a rectangular field you can fill with a digital signature using e.g. Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat:

a signature field as displayed by Adobe Reader

Note that many other PDF viewers don't support these fields and won't display anything at all. A "live" example of a signature field can be found in the eforms manual on page 15.

  • JFYI: eforms belongs to acrotex bundle and is installed in a full installation of MiKTeX. – Speravir Apr 21 '12 at 22:53
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    The "author's website" listed above for digsig is having issues. I found an updated site here: home.htp-tel.de/lottermose2/tex/index.html – user23740 Dec 28 '12 at 18:00
  • @mike Thanks for the hint, I've updated the answer :) – diabonas Dec 29 '12 at 13:02
  • @diabonas Is it possible to make this 'Reader Extended' as described here? forums.adobe.com/thread/510585 – Nicholas Hamilton Dec 31 '12 at 5:56
  • @ADP I'm afraid this is only possible if you purchase the commercial Adobe Acrobat Pro: According to this product comparison, "[c]ertificate signing in Reader requires enablement in Acrobat XI Pro." – diabonas Dec 31 '12 at 14:40

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