How to lock form fields using a digital signature and Acrobat XI
Donna Baker November 14, 2013
- Use digital signatures in a form to define what fields a user can fill in, and disable fields from use by others.
- In Acrobat XI Pro, open the Forms panel under the Tools pane and click Create to design a new form, or click Edit to modify an existing form.
- Add a Digital Signature field (which uses a digital certificate) and NOT a basic text field.
- Double-click the field to open the Properties dialog and click the Signed tab.
- To disable the fields after the first person signs, click Mark as read-only and choose Just these fields.
- Click Pick to open the Field Selection dialog, and select the first signer’s fields; click OK to review the list of excluded fields on the dialog.
- When the form editing is complete, click File > Save as Other > Reader Extended PDF > Enable More Tools. Review the information dialog and click Save Now to allow Adobe Reader users to fill in the form fields.
- In Adobe Reader (or Acrobat), the first signer completes their fields, signs with a digital signature, and saves the file. Revision information shows in the Signatures panel.
- The next signer can fill in their fields (top), but not fields disabled by the first signature (bottom).
- The final signer adds their digital signature, and has the option to choose Lock Document After Signing to prevent future changes.
- The Signature panel shows the new signature revision and the locked document information.