[NTG-context] PDF Signature Fields

Hans Hagen pragma at wxs.nl
Wed Mar 9 16:57:54 CET 2016

On 3/9/2016 4:39 PM, Alan BRASLAU wrote:
> One has to be EXTREMELY careful with these "features".
> Currently, there are so-called PDF forms, but they are far from fully
> functional. I suspect that the specifications are not clear and are not
> respected in any case.

which is usually the case with all these widget things (and i suspect 
that in the end the specs or behaviour are determined by what got 

> I will give a concrete example: The American Tax agency, IRS, provides
> a large number of PDF forms that can be filled out, for they LOVE forms.
> One can use Acrobat (Reader or Pro) and one can even fill them out using
> evince. Yeah! However, whereas the forms filled-out using evince can be
> saved and re-edited, printed, etc., opening these filled-out forms in
> Acrobat come out blank. (Luckily I was able to provide my accountant
> with *printed*, filled-in copies, both paper and PDF.)

oh, so there are free viewers that can do it? do they also support the 
javascript stuff that is related (e.g. for checking fields and so?)

> Other examples are forms that can ONLY be read using the latest and
> greatest Acrobat. The situation is problematic, and I know of at least
> one government agency that has finally turned towards a web-based
> reporting method as they had received multiple complaints and even
> legal challenges on their Adobe/PDF only reporting method used
> previously.
> This can explain Hans' reticence towards reverse engineering in absence
> of clear, published specifications that are indeed respected.


> Alan
> On Wed, 9 Mar 2016 16:16:24 +0100
> Hans Hagen <pragma at wxs.nl> wrote:
>> On 3/9/2016 2:11 PM, Andreas Schneider wrote:
>>> Hello all,
>>> is there currently any mechanism in ConTeXt similar to the LaTeX
>>> digsig or eforms package?
>>> I want to add a form field that can be digitally signed (which is
>>> now already possible with Acrobat Reader, not just with Acrobat
>>> Pro).
>>> Additionally (like the mentioned eforms package) it would be nice,
>>> if you could specify other form fields that should be locked once
>>> the signature field is actually signed (according to the PDF spec
>>> this is simply set via a dictionary).
>> it's probably something trivial to implement so what are the relevant
>> fields (paragraphs/tables/dics/fields in the pdf spec) .. i'm not
>> going to reverse engineer some package but start from the spec
>>> Anyway: can this currently be achieved with ConTeXt? If not: is
>>> there any chance to get that feature added sometime? :-)
>> so far i never bothered with anything signature (i must say that i
>> never ran into such docs and it would not make them more valid to me
>> anyway)
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                                           Hans Hagen | PRAGMA ADE
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