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PDF Document Rules

There are a wide variety of tools that are used to generate PDF documents. Some do a better job than others. Many times developers will use PDF merge tools that merge data into PDF template fields or stamp data into PDF files. No matter what tools you use to generate PDF, you must adhere to these simple rules for PDF documents that will be passed to AlphaTrust e-Sign™:

  1. Do NOT use any JavaScript commands or open actions within the PDF. The PDF must be a static file, except in the case of PDF Form templates. Except for such templates any PDF form fields contained in a submitted document will be rendered as read-only fields. You may reference such field names Document.Fields property and when using the Signature Block Form Field placement.

  2. The PDF should not have been saved with any security settings. "No Security" should be applied to the PDF. The PDF must not need a user password to open the file and should not have an owner password required to set permissions (though AlphaTrust e-Sign™ can read PDF documents with permissions set). AlphaTrust e-Sign™ will ignore any existing permissions and apply defined PDF security (owner permissions) to the PDF file during processing.

  3. Attachments in PDF documents are supported. Attachments may be useful for including supplementary material, such as supporting documentation, related to the document to be signed. File attachments in PDF document do not need to be PDF files – they may be any file type. However, pay attention to the overall file size of the PDF as this will affect processing speed and perceived user responsiveness. Generally a PDF document should not exceed 250 KB in size and a 100 KB limit is better.


AlphaTrust e-Sign™ only supports classic AcroForm fields, the original form technology developed for PDF. Do not use PDF forms containing XFA form fields (created by Adobe Designer or in some cases by Adobe LiveCycle products).