Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Acrobat/Reader - Disable Sign Pane and Signature Bar

Yet Another Update: Adobe just published its own instructions on how to disable the Signature Bar, both for Windows and Mac computers. See: http://helpx.adobe.com/acrobat/kb/disable-echosign-detection.html

Hopefully this is a sign that they'll remove (or at least disable) this feature in future releases... We'll wait and see!

Another Update: For any Mac users willing to disable this feature, check out the discussion between myself and a Mac user in this thread (2nd reply and the comments under it). As stated there, the solution I suggested is not tested by me so I take absolutely no responsibility for trying to implement it.

Update: Adobe revealed that there's a specific registry setting to disable just the Signature bar.
See: http://www.adobe.com/devnet-docs/acrobatetk/tools/ReleaseNotes/11/11.0.03.html#echosign-integration

Many people dislike the newly added "feature" in the latest versions of Acrobat and Reader that shows a green bar at the top of the document when the application thinks that is requires a signature (this seems to be based solely on the content of the document, when it contains the words "sign" or "signature").

Acrobat doing a not-very-good job of detecting when a signature is needed...
(click to enlarge)

Unfortunately, there is no option to disable this feature, which is why I delved into the registry reference and found a workaround. By downloading and executing these FREE .reg files you can completely remove the Sign pane from Acrobat or Reader, taking along with it this new signature detection feature.

The same file after running the .reg fix for Acrobat XI. Notice the Sign button is gone, as well as the green bar at the top.
(click to enlarge)

IMPORTANT: Running these files will change your registry and you do so AT YOUR OWN RISK.

Also, this workaround works only for Windows installation of Acrobat and Reader XI.

The download links are:

Disable Sign Pane (Acrobat XI)

Disable Sign Pane (Reader XI)

Enable Sign Pane (Acrobat XI)

Enable Sign Pane (Reader XI)

As always, I can be contacted directly at try6767@gmail.com, and if you find this tool useful and would like to donate, it's always appreciated!