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PDF Signing Certificates

Create certified PDF documents with Adobe CDS.

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Sign and Secure Adobe PDFs with PDF Signing

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Moving from paper-based to electronic document workflows increases productivity and reduces costs for organisations, but can also increase the risk of document forgery or tampering. Organisations need a solution that offers their electronic documents the same assurance of origin and integrity as a wet ink signature provides a physical document.

Using PDF Signing to certify and add approval signatures to the document is the electronic equivalent of adding a wet ink signature. A certified document assures the recipient that the document is authentic, comes from a verified source, and has not been tampered with. Approval signatures expedite an organisation's approval procedure by capturing the electronic approvals made by individuals or departments and embedding them within the actual PDF.

As a member of both Adobe’s Certified Document Services (CDS) and Approved Trust List (AATL), GlobalSign PDF Signing Certificates are compatible with Adobe Acrobat/Reader 8.0+ (certificates from AATL-only providers are compatible with Adobe Acrobat/Reader 9.0+).

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Certify: Prove document integrity

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Approve: Supports multiple approvers

  • No plug-ins or extra software needed
  • Scalable solution, desktop or server-based options available
  • Timestamping supports time sensitive document transactions and audit trails
  • Compliant with digital signature regulations
  • Save time and resources, remove cumbersome paper-based transactions
  • Assures document has not been altered since sending
  • Signatures can be customised with any font, size, and even images

Certify your documents

Adding a certifying signature to a PDF means you are the author of the document, have finalised its contents, and want to secure it against tampering after it has been distributed. Certified documents display a blue ribbon across the top of the document containing the signer's name and the certificate issuer - a clear, visual indicator of document authenticity and authorship.

Ideal for:

  • Healthcare Industry: Prove the origin of confidential reports and ensure they cannot be altered after distribution.
  • Architecture/Engineering/Construction Industry: Protect your intellectual property by making sure no one can make any changes to your drawings or plans after publishing. You can also choose to include your Professional Engineer seal as part of your signature. In addition, many State Departments of Transportation and other regulating bodies now require digital signatures for electronic document submission.
  • Any organisations implementing electronic workflows around sensitive or proprietary documents, where preserving document origin and integrity is necessary.


Add Approval Signatures

If you receive or create a PDF with a digital signature field, you can use your PDF Signing Certificate to add your signature. Signatures can be customised to include an image (e.g. your physical signature or official seal) and various signature details (e.g. signing location, date, reason for signing).

Ideal for organisations wishing to move the following types of documents online:

  • Purchase Orders
  • Contracts
  • Invoices
  • Sales Quotes
  • Other High Value Documents


GlobalSign is an approved member of Adobe's Certified Document Services (CDS) program and our PDF Signing Certificates are transparently trusted by Adobe Acrobat. This means once you receive your certificate you can immediately begin certifying and digitally signing PDFs, without the need to install any additional software or plug-ins.

Adobe Reader’s simple to interpret “Blue Ribbon, Yellow Warning Triangle, and Red X” messaging allows even novice users an easy to understand method to determine if the document is legitimate.

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GlobalSign partners with Seiko for timestamping so the date and time are captured each time you sign a document, providing the unarguable evidence essential for time sensitive transactions and audit trails.

Adobe Acrobat/Reader:

  • Digitally sign and/or certify PDFs with:
    Acrobat Standard/Professional - Version 8.0+

    Adobe LiveCycle Document Security Server - Version 9.0+

  • Validate signed PDFs with:
    Adobe Reader/Acrobat - Version 8.0+
    Adobe LiveCycle ES Digital Signatures - Version 8.0+



For Acrobat to access the certificate (signing key) on your USB token, you must have installed the SafeNet iKey drivers for your Operating System.

You can download and install the appropriate iKey driver for your Operating System located in our FAQ section, Question 22-24.

PDF Signing for the Enterprise

With over five years’ experience as an approved PDF Signing Certificate provider, GlobalSign has helped organizations implement document signing solutions ranging from standard Adobe Acrobat and LiveCycle implementations to custom iText-based applications.

Server-based HSM solutions are available for organizations with high volume document signing requirements, using automated PDF generation software. GlobalSign offers both Hosted HSM and Owned HSM Services, with many organizations opting for a hosted service; reducing total cost of ownership, requiring less expertise and day to day management, while still enabling the scalability and signing speed that organizations need. As an authorized Adobe Certified Document Services (CDS) partner, utilizing GlobalSign’s HSM services allows organizations to easily comply with Adobe’s certificate policy around private key protection.

GlobalSign's Enterprise PKI (EPKI) management platform offers organizations a cost-effective, easy-to-use solution for managing multiple PDF Signing Certificates. In addition to offering significant savings over purchasing individual PDF Signing Certificates, EPKI allows for full certificate lifecycle management. Administrators can easily and efficiently issue, renew, reissue, and revoke PDF Signing Certificates all from one cloud-based platform.

Learn More

The implementation of GlobalSign’s PDF Signing solution has been
deemed a huge success, Just the other day a partner signed a 150-page document
that was immediately delivered to a client in minutes instead of days.end quote
Michael Furgang, Application Services Manager, CHA
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