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Setting up and using the certificate in Adobe Reader (Adobe Acrobat)

You can use an S/MIME certificate (for further information) to digitally sign a PDF document. During the process of certificate application your identity has been verified, so you can use it to provide documents with an advanced electronic signature according to the eIDAS regulation.

Below you will find instructions (for Windows; other operating systems slightly different) on how to set up Adobe Reader (also applies almost identically to Adobe Acrobat) and use it for digital signing. As an alternative to Adobe, we recommend "Okular" for Linux.


You can find instructions on how to apply on our website.


Before you can use the certificate in Adobe Acrobat/Reader, you must first set up the program(s) accordingly in four steps:

  1. Security settings
  2. Set up the root certificate
  3. Configure the timestamp service
  4. Set up the personal certificate


If all steps to set up the certificate have been carried out, all requirements are met to sign a pdf document with your personal certificate. In a short instruction we describe how to do this.


An electronic signature must be checked for its validity and should exclude any manipulation of the document. This check determines whether a valid certificate and the time stamp service were used and whether the document was not modified after the signature. We have provided brief instructions on how to proceed here: Validate electronic signature.

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Video tutorials on electronic signatures

You can find out how to set up Adobe Reader/Acrobat to sign electronically in our step-by-step videos.


If you have any questions or problems, please contact the RRZK-Helpdesk