Error when uploading a document to Adobe Sign

File errors generated when composing an agreement

There are several error messages that can trigger when you upload a document to Adobe Sign. The most common are:

  • Adobe Sign was unable to create your agreement because the document could not be thumbnailed
  • Please wait... If this message is not eventually replaced by the proper content of the document, your PDF viewer may not be able to able to display this type of document
  • Adobe Sign was unable to process your document because we were unable to read one or more of them
  • Adobe Sign is unable to create the document because all signing fields could not be added or because of an invalid digital signature

All of the above issues are commonly solved by reprinting the document with the Adobe PDF print driver (click here for instructions)

Error messages for uploaded fiels

This is commonly called "flattening" the document as the print driver will press all of the document content into one layer, removing artifacts. The process also ensures that all of the PDF elements Adobe Sign is looking for will be present in the file.  This process works for any doctype that can be pushed through the print driver (Images, excel files, word docs, .pages, .txt, etc.)   This process is safe for documents with text tags but will destroy any fields placed on an AcroForm (because the fields are pressed into one layer).
  • If re-printing an AcroForm, you can attempt to copy and paste the fields from the original PDF to the newly printed PDF
    • If pasting the fields does not work, rebuild the form fields manually on the new PDF


Service/Server limitation errors

Some errors are the result of exceeding the system limits for your tier of service, violating foundational rules of what is allowed by the service, and communication errors between systems. Often these errors can be resolved with adjustments to the document and trying to compose the agreement again.

  • Unsupported document type
  • Empty documents cannot be uploaded
    • Adobe Sign does not support uploading empty files
  • Documents larger than {XX}MB cannot be uploaded
    • All accounts have a maximum file size they can upload, and this error indicates when a file is over that limit
    • The document size must be reduced to have a file size under the maximum size for the tier of service
  • Image larger than {0} pixels in width or height cannot be uploaded
    • Adobe Sign imposes limits on the size (in pixels) of images that can be uploaded. This includes both the width and height of the image
    • Reduce the size (in pixels) of the image
  • An error occurred during file upload because a request timed out, please upload the file again. If the problem persists you will need to log out and log back into the website
    • This indicates that the file upload request returned status '408', which typically means that communication to the Adobe file server has been interrupted. This causes the server to close the connection
    • Users should attempt to compose the agreement again. There's an excellent chance the transaction will complete successfully on a second attempt
  • Security Error
    • This could be any security error imposed by the browser during file upload
      • e.g., If using Internet Explorer 9 (an unsupported browser) to upload a file
    • This error type can be avoided by using the latest versions of the supported browsers  
  • Server (IO) Error
    • This error indicates that something went wrong on the server side during file upload, and the file could not be uploaded (or created) on the server
    • Try to upload the file again. If the error persists, contact your account admin to report the error to Support.


Generic error messages

Every list of errors has a default "catch-all" for errors that are generated but not trapped by a specific error code. These types of errors should be reported to Support, noting the name of the agreement, the time that the error was triggered, and (ideally) including the files that you attempted to upload:

  • An error has occurred
  • An error occurred while uploading
  • Unhandled Error: {XXXX}
  • Upload Failed
  • Upload Error: {0}
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