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June 21, 2013 /IT /

Adobe Reader and Acrobat 11.0.3 update and signature field detection

In the Adobe Reader and Acrobat 11.0.03 patch, we introduced the signature field detection capability which identifies documents that the user may need to sign. Unfortunately, the signature field detection algorithm is finding some false positives and displaying the signature field detected message when it should not. We have been following the discussions on our user forums, and understand the inconvenience it has caused for some users who encountered falsely identified documents. We do apologize.

Users can quickly hide the message bar that appears for a document by clicking the icon on the left of the message bar. IT professionals and others familiar with working with registry settings can follow the instructions provided in the version 11.0.3 release notes to disable this message.
Message bar for signature fields detected
We are diligently working on improvements for the signature field detection accuracy. We are also planning to add the ability for users to turn off the signature detection message more easily. We hope to bring the improvements to you soon. Stay tuned.

9/10/13 UPDATE: The auto-detect signature field feature is disabled by default. Please see 11.0.04 Update Release for more info:

Categories: IT


  • By Barrie Byron - 10:28 AM on June 27, 2013  

    I encourage a super fast fix to this, or advise a way to install a back level of the Acrobat product. WAY TOO ANNOYING for our end users. We do not control their computer environment.

    • By Susan - 5:43 AM on June 28, 2013  

      Agreed! Speaking of environments, the registry key mentioned in the 11.0.03 release notes does not display in my Registry Editor. I can see neither cServices nor cSecurity, for that matter. So, I have no local control over my workstation for this particular setting. I am far too busy to request IT follow-up, and they need to review these types of specific requests before they’ll act, anyway. Please send a fix soon.

  • By John - 12:49 AM on July 3, 2013  

    I cannot find the following reference in the Registry to disable the Enable Echo Signature Detection, can you help?

    ◾Acrobat and Reader now intelligently detect if a document may need to be signed. If the words “Sign” or “Signature” are detected in conjunction with any line, a document message bar appears with an “Open Sign Pane” button. Administrators can disable this feature by setting HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Adobe\(product name)\(version)\FeatureLockdown\cServices\bEnableEchoSignDetection to 0. For details, see the Preference Reference

  • By Carl Street - 1:08 PM on July 7, 2013  

    This SUCKS!!!

    You violated one of the MOST BASIC rules of software deployment — you made the NEW format the default format instead of offering it and allowing your users to choose.

    I do NOT want or need this and it is VERY annoying. Of course there is NO CLUE how to turn it off — it just suddenly appears without any notice and now screws up my desktop.

    WHY is turning this off NOT in the command set???!!!

    Well DUH — I guess that would have made WAAAAY too much sense.

    Jeez, where do these idiotic ideas and their designers come from???

  • By Patrick M - 6:32 AM on July 11, 2013  

    Adobe, please come out with an end-user way to turn off this signature field detection feature ASAP! I work in the transportation engineering industry, where many PDFs contain the phrase “sign” (as in signs you see on the side of the road). This may sound like a lame or weird situation but for me it means almost every PDF I look at comes up with the annoying green signature detection bar.

    Please hurry!

  • By Greg C - 11:51 AM on July 11, 2013  

    Adobe you blew it with this piece of CRAP!

  • By Phillips - 2:05 PM on July 16, 2013  

    Agree with Patrick M: Please come out with an end-user way to turn off this signature field detection feature ASAP!!! Seriously, on what planet did you think this was in any way a ‘real world’ feature?

    PLEASE GET A FAST FIX NOW! There is no way we have any control over our end users. We have state forms that are automatically voided if signed electronically – thus delaying critical approvals and create legal ramifications. Did you think of that when you made this a manditory feature with no way to remove? Welcome to my ‘real world’.

    And a note to ‘joiemikitson’ to check out the blog post at the link provided – it points back to this page – no help here. I hope it is not the suggestion that “my IT professionals crack open the hood and monkey around with the registry settings”. Then what… send “my IT professionals” to our 22,000 members who have ‘reader’ at home and have the IT people fix the registry on all of their computers just so we avoid a legal action over a form accidentally electronically signed?

    Please remove it!

    • By joiemikitson - 10:53 AM on July 17, 2013  

      Sorry for the inconvenience. We are working on adding that feature soon. Stay tuned.

  • By game avatar - 5:28 AM on July 21, 2013  

    Agreed! Speaking of environments, the registry key mentioned in the 11.0.03 release notes does not display in my Registry Editor. I can see neither cServices nor cSecurity, for that matter.

  • By Amit - 11:09 AM on July 22, 2013  

    Howcome you DON”T HAVE A FIX YET????? No wonder Adobe is going down the tubes.

    • By joiemikitson - 2:25 PM on July 22, 2013  

      We’re sorry for any inconvenience and we’re working on this. We’ll have an update soon.

  • By Rita Belserene - 8:56 AM on July 23, 2013  

    The registry solution does me no good. I’m not concerned about whether or not I see this message on my own workstation. What I need is a way to turn this feature off so that PDFs I create do not present my company’s customers with this confusing message. If your algorithm fails to ” intelligently detect if a document may need to be signed” (as it does with essentially all of our output) what I need is a setting that turns off this misguided feature in the PDFs I create.

    • By joiemikitson - 2:54 PM on July 23, 2013  

      We apologize for this inconvenience and are currently working on a fix. Stay tuned.

      • By Rita Belserene - 9:09 AM on July 24, 2013  

        Have you got an estimated time for a fix?
        Can you confirm that the fix that will enable PDF creators to turn off the intelligent detection feature for PDFs, thereby ensuring that this message will not appear when a PDF is opened, regardless of the content of the PDF?

  • By Grant Parish - 12:32 PM on August 12, 2013  

    This signature field notice is coming up in every PDF, whether I have a signature field or not. Please expedite a fix for this as it is a huge annoyance for our clients who are all trying to find non-existent signature fields.

    • By joiemikitson - 10:09 AM on August 13, 2013  

      Hi Grant. We’re aware of this issue and working hard to make a fix as quickly as we can. Please stay tuned for updates. Thank you.

  • By Matt - 1:38 PM on August 12, 2013  

    9 out of 10 documents show the signature field detected message. Please allow us to disable ASAP, and fix the algorithm later.

    • By joiemikitson - 10:09 AM on August 13, 2013  

      Hi Matt. We’re sorry for the inconvenience. We’re trying to make this fix as soon as we can and hope to have one in the coming months. Thank you.

  • By Tammy Robinson - 1:18 PM on August 13, 2013  

    I can also chime in and say that this also happens with version X. I do not have 11.0.3 and it does this as well. If it sees the word ‘sign’ or ‘signature’ in the document anywhere, it displays this bar. None of our documents have an actual signature field inserted. This is poor design. There are so many documents out there that don’t need a signature, but say signature.

    • By joiemikitson - 2:09 PM on August 14, 2013  

      Hi Tammy. We’re aware of this issue and working hard to make a fix as quickly as we can. Thank you for being patient.

  • By Steve P - 5:21 AM on August 15, 2013  

    It’s totally unacceptable that this “feature” was added without any means to disable it, and that after 2 months, a patch has not been provided to fix the problem. This is another example of out of control bloatware and total disregard for customers that is now rampant at Adobe. Another fine example of the latter is the migration to subscription-only service for Creative Suite (and presumably everything else in short order). Maybe Adobe should stop exorbitantly pricing their products and hardwiring planned obsolescence into every release. You know, take care of your paying customers instead of designing a corporate strategy that’s designed solely to thwart piracy. Which is a fools errand in any event; apparently CS was cracked within a day of its release.

    • By joiemikitson - 9:37 AM on August 15, 2013  

      A fix for this issue will be included in the next update. We do apologize for the inconvenience.

  • By ed biggs - 5:14 AM on August 17, 2013  

    As a designer, I usually want to see my pdfs before they leave my office.
    I’m looking at color, tone, value, etc, you know, the syntax of the design language – a bright green bar going across the page is very problematic. Please fix this quickly.

    • By joiemikitson - 8:23 AM on August 17, 2013  

      You can remove the green signature status bar by clicking on the signature icon at the top left of the status bar.

  • By Alex C. - 7:38 AM on August 20, 2013  

    It’s been months. I’m really surprised that it can take a development team like yours this long to add a simple checkbox on one of the preference screens that just creates/updates the registry entry specified in the links above. Do that for now and add more options/settings later. I don’t like that the bar takes up screen real estate by default and makes it take longer to open PDFs.

    • By joiemikitson - 10:29 AM on August 20, 2013  

      If you are referring to the green signature status bar, you can remove it by clicking on the signature icon at the top left of the status bar.

  • By Keith Proctor - 3:21 PM on August 27, 2013  

    Since the recent Acrobat update, every time I open a PDF, I see the Signature fields detected notice and the Tools > ExportPDF panel opens on the right side. I never had either of these open automatically before. I have to work from several PDFs nearly every day. Yes, yes, I know I can click the signature icon to make the notice go away and I can click on Tools to make the Tools panel go away. But why, when I never had to before? You’ve just made my work more frustrating. Thanks very much.

    • By joiemikitson - 12:40 PM on August 28, 2013  

      Hi Keith. We’re working on fixing this bug and it should be resolved in the coming months. Thank you for being patient.

  • By Cory - 7:14 AM on September 2, 2013  

    I don’t understand the negativity about this.

    I also work with PDF daily and many of my docs need signing. The feature is thus excellent.

    However, it’s sometimes erratic so it should be in the toolbar to switch on and off as required.