On February 8th at 14:33:51 (CET) the Adobe preflight signature has expired. That’s why it is no longer possible to embed the preflight audit trail after a preflight with Acrobat Pro in a PDF:
After embedding the preflight results the PDF is usually “sealed” with this generic signature. This allows to recognize immediately if the PDF has been altered after the embedding of the preflight audit trail which may make the results obsolete. Thanks to the signature it is even possible to undo these changes.
Unfortunately the Adobe preflight signature is only valid for 5 years. Therefore the signature has to be renewed during the life cycle of an Acrobat version. Last time the signature expired on 22.11.2012. I remember that day very well. At that time I was responsible for the prepress support at Novartis Pharma and I received the error reports from all over the world. Since embedding the preflight audit trail is mandatory for PDFs for packaging files for Novartis Pharma I had to find a solution urgently. I did found out that replacing the invalid preflight signature of Acrobat 9 and X by the newer signature of Acrobat XI solved the problem.
It took Adobe quite a while to do the same. In January 2013 updates of Acrobat 9 and X containing the Acrobat XI signature were released. This signature was valid until 8.2.2016. It was also delivered with the first versions of Acrobat DC.
But this time Adobe has reacted on time (I have pushed them a little bit). With the January update of Acrobat DC and the 11.0.14 update of Acrobat XI a new preflight signature is installed. Users of these applications only have to perform the free update. Afterwards embedding the preflight audit trail is working properly again. At least until 6.11.2020. Then the signature will expire again…
Since Adobe does not offer updates for Acrobat 9 and X anymore, users of these applications must help themselves.
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