ydnar / Randy Reddig

February 27, 2009

PDFail

Earlier this evening, I received an NDA from a potential client. They’re a big company, so it came with some understandably bulletproof language, and was signed by an exec in their legal department (via a pasted-in scan of their signature).

The instructions that accompanied the NDA said I should sign and print two copies, mail one, and fax or email a copy back to them.

We don’t have a fax machine, let alone a landline, so we typically just paste in our signatures, create a PDF and send it back. Unfortunately, it wasn’t that simple. Fortunately, Adobe’s silly PDF protection was felled quickly by the OS X Print command.

  1. Attempt to open original NDA from client in Adobe Illustrator.
  2. Fail because of PDF password protection.

  3. Open original NDA in Preview.

  4. Print, and Save PDF from within Preview.
  5. Open printed PDF in Adobe Illustrator.
  6. Fail because of character-set mangling.

  7. Open printed PDF in Preview.

  8. Save As generic PDF-X3 or whatever.
  9. Open exported PDF in Adobe Illustrator.
  10. Fail because of charset mangling.

  11. Smoke cigarette, bitch, drink whisky, beat dog, etc.
  12. Create new multipage document in Adobe Illustrator.

  13. Use the Place command to put each page of exported PDF into new document.
  14. Copy & paste in signature from signature PDF.
  15. Save as PDF.

Success!