Adobe Acrobat Digital Signature and Digital ID


Adobe Digital IDs can be used to electronically sign PDF forms that include a signature box.


Skip Digital IDs and use DocuSign!

DocuSign is available for departments to create document workflows and obtain eSignatures. No software download required! Learn more at

Some PDF forms require electronic signatures using Adobe Digital ID. You can use Adobe Acrobat Reader to sign documents, but you must use Adobe Acrobat Pro to create forms with signature fields.

Before You Start

Before using Adobe Digital IDs for signature, keep in mind:

  • By default, once someone signs a document with a digital signature, it cannot be edited further. Signers can adjust this setting, but a notification will appear on the document if it was changed after signed.
  • Adobe Digital IDs are not created by or verified by UNLV or Adobe. Anyone can create a digital ID with any name. Keep this in mind when considering the authenticity of digital signatures and how this affects your workflows.

Signing Documents

Locked Form

Some dynamic PDF forms are designed to lock certain sections and protect them from further editing after a digital signature has been applied. A locked form can be unlocked by removing the associated digital signature.

If changes must be made to a locked form but it cannot be unlocked due to problems removing the digital signature that locked it (see section below), the best solution is to copy the text into a blank form, make the necessary changes, and sign the new form.

Removing a Signature

An Adobe digital signature can be removed from a PDF form by right-clicking on it and selecting the option to Clear Signature, if Adobe Reader is able to locate the digital ID file (with extension .pfx) originally used to create the signature (e.g., if the ID file is loaded on the computer or is accessible on a flash drive). However, if Adobe Reader cannot find the ID file from which the signature was generated, the digital signature cannot be removed from the form.

Need Additional Help?

Additional Resources

For additional assistance, please visit the Software and Applications knowledge base for additional articles. You can also contact the IT Help Desk.



Article ID: 886
Tue 6/14/22 2:48 PM
Wed 1/17/24 2:46 PM