Using Adobe Document Cloud for Box

Adobe Acrobat for Box is an integrated bundle of PDF services that allows you to do the following:

  • Open and view PDFs online with Adobe’s high-quality web-based PDF previewer.
  • Create Adobe PDFs that preserve fonts, formatting, and layouts.
  • Organize PDF documents by deleting, reordering, or rotating pages in a PDF.
  • Combine multiple files from Box document library into a single PDF that you can use for archiving or distribution.
  • Convert PDFs into various document formats while preserving fonts, formatting, and layouts.
  • Add comments to PDF files with sticky notes, highlights, and a freehand drawing tool to write notes for yourself as you view the PDF files.
  • Send the PDF documents for signature and track them.

Supported browsers

The Adobe Acrobat for Box is supported on all modern browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Edge.

Beginning October 1, 2021, Acrobat tools will no longer support Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge Legacy browsers.

Open a PDF

Open and view PDFs online with Adobe's high-quality web-based PDF previewer. To open a PDF, do one of the following:

  • Right-click the file, and choose Open With > Adobe Acrobat (web).
Open PDF with Adobe Acrobat (web)

  • If you have opened the PDF in BOX preview window, click Open, or Open > Adobe Acrobat to open the PDF in Adobe Acrobat (web).
Open PDF with Adobe Acrobat (web)

If you get a permission dialog to grant access, click Grant Access To Box.

Grant access to Box if prompted

The PDF is displayed in Adobe Acrobat preview window. From the top menu, you can add annotations, search for words, download PDF, print PDF, and edit PDF to organize pages, combine files, export PDF to other formats, send your document for signature, and convert to PDF.

Actions on PDF

A. Undo or redo changes B. Add annotations - Add text comment, add sticky note, highlight tool, and use drawing tool C. Erase drawing D. Find in document E. Download PDF, print PDF, get help, sign in, or sign out F. Edit to organize pages, combine files, export PDF, send for signature, and convert to PDF 

Convert a file to PDF

You can convert Microsoft Office documents and other supported file formats into high-quality Adobe PDFs that preserve fonts, formatting, and layouts.

The Add-in lets you convert from the following popular file types to PDF:

Convert to PDF from Supported filename extensions
Microsoft Word .doc, .docx
Microsoft Excel .xls, .xlsx
Microsoft PowerPoint .ppt, .pptx
Image file formats .bmp, .gif, .jpeg, .jpg, .png, .tif, .tiff
Rich Text Format .rtf
Text file .txt, .text
Adobe Illustrator .ai
Adobe InDesign .indd
Adobe Photoshop .psd
Fill & Sign Form Format .form

Steps to convert a file to PDF:

  1. In the Box document library, do one of the following:

    • Right-click a non-PDF file you want to convert to PDF, and choose Integrations > Create PDF with Adobe Acrobat.
    Create PDF

    • Double-click a non-PDF file to open in Box preview. Click Create PDF With Adobe Acrobat in the list of recommended apps.
    Create PDF from Box preview window

    A. List of recommended applications B. Create PDF With Adobe Acrobat 

  2. You may be prompted to sign in to Adobe Acrobat. Sign in with your Adobe ID and password. 

    If you have opened a PDF file in the Adobe Acrobat preview window, clicking Edit > Convert to PDF displays the Box file explorer. Select the file you want to convert to PDF and then click the checkmark icon.

    Select file to convert

  3. The file is converted to PDF and saved back to your Box library. Also, a preview of the file is displayed.

    Note:

    If you select a file to convert from a shared folder of your Box document library, a copy of the converted PDF file is saved to the same shared folder of your Box document library. If you don't have the required permissions for the shared folder, the converted PDF file is saved in the home folder of your Box document library.

Combine files to PDF

The extension lets you convert from the following popular file types to PDF:

Convert to PDF from Supported filename extensions
Microsoft Word .doc, .docx
Microsoft Excel .xls, .xlsx
Microsoft PowerPoint .ppt, .pptx
Image file formats .bmp, .gif, .jpeg, .jpg, .png, .tif, .tiff
Rich Text Format .rtf
Text file .txt, .text
Adobe Illustrator .ai
Adobe InDesign .indd
Adobe Photoshop .psd
Fill & Sign Form Format .form

Steps to combine files into a PDF:

  1. From your Box document library, select a file that you want to combine, right-click, and do one of the following:

    • Choose Open With > Adobe Acrobat (web).
    • Double-click a PDF file to open in Box preview. Click Open, or click Adobe Acrobat to open the file in Adobe Acrobat (web).
  2. From the Adobe Acrobat preview window, click Edit > Sign In. Enter your Adobe ID and password when prompted.

    Sign in to Adobe Acrobat

  3. Choose Edit Combine Files in the toolbar.

    Combine files to PDF

  4. A preview of the files is displayed. Use the options below the Combine button to arrange the files in Grid View or List View. You can also use the + or - button on the bottom right corner of the window to zoom in or zoom out the thumbnail preview. To add more files, click the Insert Files button.

    Add files to combine

    Choose files from the Box file explorer window, and click the check mark icon.

    Box file explorer window
    Choose files from the Box file explorer window

    To delete the files, select the file and click the delete  icon. Enter the new file name and click Save.

    (Optional) If a file has multiple pages, the page numbers are displayed below the file. Hover over the file and click the expand arrow button to expand it. Use drag-and-drop to change the page order in which you want it to appear in the combined PDF.

    The files are combined into a PDF and saved back to your Box document library. Also, a preview of the file is displayed.

    Note:

    If you select a file to combine from a shared folder of your Box document library, the combined file is saved to the same shared folder of your Box document library. If you don't have the required permissions for the shared folder, the combined file is saved in the home folder of your Box document library.

Export PDF to various document formats

You can convert PDF files into various document formats.

Adobe Acrobat performs OCR on PDF files that contain images, vector art, hidden text, or a combination of these elements. For example, it performs OCR on PDF files created from scanned documents. Adobe Acrobat also performs OCR on the text that it can't interpret because the text was encoded incorrectly in the source application.

Note:

OCR is the conversion of images of text (scanned text) into editable characters so that you can search, correct, and copy the text.

The extension lets you export to the following file types from PDF:

Export PDF to

Supported filename extensions

Microsoft Word

.doc, .docx

Microsoft Excel

.xlsx

Microsoft PowerPoint

.pptx

Rich Text Format

.rtf

Image

.jpg, .tiff, .png

Steps to export PDF:

  1. From your Box document library, select the PDF file that you want to export, right-click, and do one of the following:

    • Choose Open With > Adobe Acrobat (web).
    • Double-click a PDF file to open in Box preview. Click Open, or click Adobe Acrobat to open the file in Adobe Acrobat (web).
  2. From the Adobe Acrobat preview window, click Edit > Sign In. Enter your Adobe ID and password when prompted.

    Sign in to Adobe Acrobat

  3. Choose Edit > Export PDF in the toolbar.

    Convert a PDF to other formats

  4. The Export PDF page is displayed. Do the following:

    1. Select the desired file format from the Export To drop-down menu.
    2. Select the language of the document you're exporting from the Document Language drop-down menu.
    Export PDF to other formats, select language

  5. Click Export to [ selected format] button.

    (For example, in the screenshot in step 4 above, the button's name is displayed as Export to Microsoft Word Document (*.docx.))

  6. The selected PDF file is exported to the desired format with the same name. The exported document is automatically saved in the same folder to your Box document library.

    Note:

    If you select a PDF file to export from a shared folder, the exported PDF file is saved in the same shared folder of the Box document library. If you don't have the required permissions for the shared folder, the exported PDF file is saved in the home folder of your Box document library.

Organize pages in a PDF

You can organize existing PDF documents by deleting, reordering, or rotating its pages.

Steps to organize pages in a PDF:

  1. From your Box document library, select the PDF file that you want to organize, right-click, and do one of the following:

    • Choose Open With > Adobe Acrobat (web).
    • Double-click a PDF file to open in Box preview. Click Open, or click Adobe Acrobat to open the file in Adobe Acrobat (web).
  2. From the Adobe Acrobat preview window, click Edit > Sign In. Enter your Adobe ID and password when prompted.

    Sign in to Adobe Acrobat

  3. Choose Edit > Organize Pages in the toolbar.

    Delete, insert, extract, or rotate pages

  4. The Organize Pages window is displayed. It shows the page thumbnails of the selected PDF.

    Page thumbnails
    Page-specific commands are displayed when you hover the mouse over a page thumbnail.

  5. To insert a file, click the insert  icon, choose the location where you want to insert the pages, and then choose the file you want to insert.

    Insert files

    To extract pages, click the extract  icon, and then choose the pages you want to extract from your PDF.

    Extract pages from your PDF

  6. To delete pages, do the following:

    • To delete a single page, hover the mouse on the page thumbnail and then click the delete icon  displayed in the page thumbnail view.
    • To delete multiple pages, select the pages you want to delete, and click the delete icon  displayed in the toolbar.
  7. To rotate pages, do the following:

    • To rotate a single page, mouse over the page thumbnail and then click the Rotate Left or Rotate Right icons displayed in the page thumbnail view.
    • To rotate multiple pages, select the pages and click the Rotate Left or Rotate Right icons displayed in the toolbar.
  8. To reorder the pages, drag the page thumbnail to the new location. The pages are renumbered.

  9. To save the changes in the existing file, click Save. Enter the file name, and click Save. The file is saved back to your Box document library in the same folder.

    Note:

    If you select a file to organize from a shared folder of your Box document library, the organized PDF file is saved to the same shared folder of your Box document library. If you don't have the required permissions for the shared folder, the organized PDF file is saved in the home folder of your Box document library.

Send your documents to get signatures

You can get documents signed by others using the Adobe Acrobat integration in Box, which relies on cloud services provided by Adobe Sign. It lets signers quickly sign agreements from anywhere using a web browser or mobile device. Signers are not required to sign up or purchase any Adobe product to sign the agreements.

Supported file types for signing

Besides PDF, you can send Microsoft Office files, various image files, and text files for signing. Supported file types are: DOC, DOCX, RTF, XLS, XLSX, PPT, PPTX, TXT, TIFF, TIF, BMP, GIF, JPG, JPEG, and PNG.

Note: Complete your edits before you sign. The signed agreement is certified by Adobe Sign.

Steps to get your documents signed by others:

  1. Log in to your Box.com account.

  2. Select a file and do one of the following:

    • Right-click a PDF file, and choose Integrations > Send With Adobe Sign.
    Send with Adobe Sign

    • Open the PDF file in Box preview. In the preview window, click the Send With Adobe Sign app in the recommended applications list.
    Click Adobe Sign application

    A. List of recommended applications B. Send With Adobe Sign 

    • Right-click a PDF file, and choose Open With > Adobe Acrobat (web). Click Edit > Send For Signature.
    Send for signature

  3. In the permission dialog, click Grant Access To Box.

    Grant access to Box

  4. Sign In with your Adobe ID if prompted. If you are unable to log in or getting an error, you might be using an established Adobe Sign ID. If you are using an established Adobe Sign ID, you must register for a new Adobe ID using the same email address. Follow the steps mentioned in Convert your established Adobe Sign ID to Adobe ID section.

    After registering, the Adobe database will correctly link your Adobe ID to your Adobe Sign ID and allow you to authenticate to your existing user account.

  5. In the Send for Signature landing page, do the following:

    Note:

    Depending on the user type, some or all options will be available to the user in the Send for Signature landing page.

    1. In the To field, add recipient email addresses. By default, Complete in Order setting is turned on. Enter the email addresses in the order you want the document to be signed. The numbers by the email addresses reflect the participation order. If you do not want to follow any particular order for signing, toggle the switch to Complete In Any Order.
      (Optional) Click Add Me, if you want to be included as a signer of the document.
    2. Change the default text in the Message area as appropriate.
      (Optional) If you want to add more people just for information, use the Show CC button to add their email addresses to the CC list.
    3. (Optional) Select Password Protect if you require recipients to enter a password to open and view the signed PDF file.
    4. (Optional) Select Set Reminder to set the frequency of reminders to be sent until the agreement is completed.
    5. (Optional) Select Preview and Add Signature Fields to see the preview of your agreement and add relevant text fields, or signature fields. Click Next.
      The form fields are automatically detected in the PDF. Click the icon to place the detected form fields in the PDF document. Alternatively, drag fields from the tabs in the right pane and drop the fields where desired in the document.

      Note
      : If you have added multiple documents, the documents are converted into PDFs and combined into a single file. The combined file is opened for you to add appropriate fields.
    Send for signature landing page

  6. Click Send.

    Agreement sent

    A copy of the sent agreement along with the audit history is stored in your Box document library, and a confirmation dialog box is displayed.

    Note:
    • If you select a document to send from a shared folder of your Box document library, a copy of the sent agreement is saved to the same shared folder of your Box document library. If you don't have the required permissions for the shared folder, the sent agreement is saved in the home folder of your Box document library.
    • If you have a Viewer Uploader permission, the final agreement is saved on the shared location once the agreement is complete (no intermediate copy saved to your account).
    • To save the agreement copy to a different location, click Change Destination Folder. In the Box folder explorer, choose the desired folder, and click the check mark icon to select.
    Choose destination folder

    • To track your sent agreement, click Track Agreement.
    • To send another agreement for signature, click Send Another.

View status of the agreements

In Box, the activity stream displays the current status of your agreements. When you open a PDF document sent for signature, the Activity in the right pane displays the status of the agreement like sent for signature, document completion by the sent party and more.

View status of the agreement

A. Agreement sent for signature B. Status showing the agreement completion 

The Adobe Sign for Box supports a password as a second-factor authentication method for signers.

Set the password option by clicking the Email icon to the right of the recipient email address, and select Password from the drop-down menu.

You will be prompted to enter an alphanumeric value between 3 and 32 characters.

Note:

Signers will not be able to view the document until the password is properly entered

Email authentication

There are a few things to keep in mind when using password authentication:

  • Passwords are not communicated to the recipient through Adobe Sign. You must deliver the password out-of-band to ensure security.
  • When creating a password, use a scheme that you can re-create in the future (in case the signer forgets it).
  • Passwords are not stored in the Adobe Sign agreement record. If the password is forgotten, it cannot be recovered.
  • If a password authentication is failed five times, the agreement will be automatically canceled and the sender will be notified.

Signed PDFs are sealed by default to prevent tampering with the PDF content.

Additionally, a sender can apply a password that will prevent the PDF from being viewed when opened.

This password is a 3 to 32 character alphanumeric value set when the agreement is created:

Set PDF password

Similar to authentication passwords, the password is not stored in the agreement records, and cannot be recovered if it is lost. The password forces an authentication when the PDF is opened. The PDF content cannot be viewed until the password is successfully entered. After the password is successfully applied, the PDF content can be read. The basic PDF tamper-proofing security is still in place and will prevent the content from being altered.

When sending an agreement, a reminder can be established for the whole agreement. 

This means each recipient will have a reminder assigned to them when it is their turn to sign the document. Only the current recipient is ever notified with an agreement reminder.

When an agreement with a reminder is initially sent, a Please Sign email is delivered to the first recipient. This event starts the timer for the first reminder.

If the reminder is configured to send every third day (for example), the first reminder will trigger exactly 72 hours after the Please Sign email was delivered.

When the recipient completes their action with the agreement, the reminder clock for that recipient is terminated.

In the case where there are multiple recipients, the next recipient in the flow receives a Please Sign email immediately after the preceding recipient has completed their action. The reminder clock starts for the new recipient based on the delivery time of their Please Sign email (not the initial time stamp).

This process cycles through all the recipients of the agreement until the agreement is fully executed.

Set reminder

By default, the signed PDF will be pushed back to the original folder where the original document launched the process. When sending the agreement, the sender has the option to change this default routing to any other folder in Box.

Note: Re-routing a document only applies to the one agreement. This is not a change in the established behavior for future or previous documents.

To change the destination folder of the agreement, do the following:

  1. Click the Change Destination Folder button on the post-send page
Agreement sent

2. In the Box folder explorer, choose the desired folder, and click the check mark icon to select.

Choose destination folder

The post-send page will update to reflect the new path. You can change the path again if required.

Note:

Once you close out the post-send page, you cannot further edit the return path for the signed PDF.

Signer's experience

A signer receives an email with a link to sign the agreement. Signers are not required to sign up or purchase any Adobe product to sign agreements. They can sign agreements using a web browser, mobile device, or Acrobat DC / Acrobat Reader DC desktop application. To sign the agreement, click Review and Sign.

Email received by signer

Track agreements sent for signature

When you send an agreement for signature, a copy of the agreement along with the audit history is stored in your Box document library. Depending on the agreement status, a suffix (in-progress-Adobe Sign), (completed-Adobe Sign), (failed-Adobe SIgn), or (expired-Adobe Sign) is added to the agreement's name.

To track all the agreements sent for signature, do the following:
From the sent agreement confirmation dialog box, click Track Agreement. The agreement page is displayed in a new browser tab.

Track agreements sent for signature

View agreement details
View agreement details

Convert your established Adobe Sign ID to Adobe ID

If you have an established Adobe Sign ID, you should register for a new Adobe ID using the same email address. After registering, the Adobe database will correctly link your Adobe ID to your Adobe Sign ID and allow you to authenticate to your existing user account. To register for a new Adobe ID using the established Adobe Sign ID, do the following:

Note:

No data is lost when you register for a new Adobe ID using your established Adobe Sign ID.

  1. In the Adobe Acrobat sign in page, click Create An Account.

    Adobe Document Cloud sign in page

  2. Use your existing Adobe Sign ID, fill the requested details, and then click Create Account.

    Fill account details

  3. Confirm your email address by entering the six digit code sent to you.

    Enter code to verify your email address

    Once your Adobe ID is confirmed, the Send For Signature page is displayed.

Add comments to a PDF

Use the Document Cloud commenting features to write notes to yourself as you view or read documents. You can add comments to your PDF files with text comments, sticky notes, highlights, or the drawing tool. To add comments, do the following:

Note:
  • When two users view the same PDF simultaneously, adding comments to a PDF will prompt the other user to refresh the page to get the latest version of the PDF.
  • You cannot add comments or edit PDF files that are secure, protected, or read-only. The commenting and edit buttons are hidden for such files.
  • You cannot add comments to PDF files from mobile devices using browsers.
  • The comment pane is visible in the right if you add a sticky note comment, click on any existing comment, or open any file with existing comments.
  1. From your Box document library, select the PDF file that you want to comment, right-click, and choose Open With > Adobe Acrobat (Web).

  2. In the toolbar, click to select the desired annotation tool and click at the location where you want to place the note. The following comment types are available for use:

    • Text comment: Click and type where you want to add text in the PDF.
    • Sticky Note: Click at the location where you want to place a note.
    • Highlight Text: Select the text to highlight it.
    • Drawing Tool: Use it to add mark-ups in the PDF.
    Note:

    When you use Add Text annotation, the same text is posted as a comment, and appears in the comment pane.

    Add comments to PDF

    A. Add Text Comment B. Add Sticky Note C. Highlight Text D. Use Drawing Tool 

    When you select any text in the PDF, the following extra commenting tools are available for use:

    • Strikethrough Text: Strike-through the selected text.
    • Underline Text: Underline the selected text.
    Additional tools when you select text in a PDF

    A. Highlight Text B. Strikethrough Text C. Underline Text D. Copy Text 

  3. For annotations like Text Comment, Highlight Text, Drawing Tool, Strikethrough Text, and Underline Text, the comments are added instantly to the document. For a Sticky Note annotation, the comment pane is displayed in the right. Type your comment, and click Post.

  4. Document Cloud autosaves the PDF in 30 seconds. To save the PDF immediately, click Save in the toolbar.

    Note:

    If you are commenting on a PDF from a shared folder of your Box document library, the file is saved to the same folder, and not to the home folder.

Change the look of your comments

To change the color of your comments, do the following:

  1. Select the comment. A pop-up window appears.

    Change the color of the comment

    Note:

    Similarly, you can choose and change the line thickness of the Drawing Tool annotation, and adjust the font size of the Add Text annotation.

  2. Click the color to open the color panel.

  3. Select the desired color, and click Save.

Undo or redo changes

Undo and redo tool

  • To undo changes, click the undo undo.pngicon on the toolbar.
  • To redo changes, click the redo redo.pngicon on the toolbar.

Edit comments, delete comments, or erase drawing

To edit a comment, do the following:

  • Select the comment. The comments pane is displayed in the right. From the options (...) menu, click Edit.
  • To edit the Add Text annotation, select the text comment, and type to make your changes.

To delete comments, select the comment and do one of the following:

  • The comments pane is displayed in the right. From the options (...) menu, click Delete.
  • From the pop-up window, click the delete icon.
Delete comment

To erase drawing comments, do the following:

  • Select the Erase drawing tool from the toolbar, and drag over the parts of the drawing you want to erase.
Erase drawing tool

Frequently asked questions

If you have an established Adobe Sign ID, you should register for a new Adobe ID using the same email address. After registering, the Adobe database will correctly link your Adobe ID to your Adobe Sign ID and allow you to authenticate to your existing user account. For more information see Convert your established Adobe Sign ID to Adobe ID.

Configure your browser by adding Adobe and Google web entries to the trusted sites zone.

  1. From the Tools menu, select Internet Options.
  2. Click the Security tab in the Internet Options dialog box.
  3. Click Trusted Sites > Sites.
  4. Add the below addresses to the Trusted Zone if it is not already added.
    *.adobe.com
    *.box.com

  5.  Close the Trusted Sites dialog box. Click OK.
Note:

Please enable third-party cookies in your browser to use the integration.

Disable the pop-up blocker for Adobe Document Cloud extension or add it to the exceptions list in Safari and Firefox browser.

Firefox

  1. Click the menu button Fx57Menu and select Options.
  2. Select the Privacy & Security tab.
  3. Under the Permissions section, do one of the following:
    • Uncheck the box next to Block pop-up windows to disable the pop-up blocker altogether.
    • Click Exceptions. A dialog box displays a list of sites that you want to allow to display pop-ups. Add the following servers and click Allow, and then click Save Changes.
      • https://documentcloud.adobe.com

Safari

  1. From the Safari menu bar, choose Safari > Preferences and then click Extensions.
  2. Select Pop-Up Windows in the left pane. Click Allow for Adobe Document Cloud extension.

Configure your browser settings to disable the pop-up blocker.

Disable pop-up blocker in your browser settings

Note:

Please enable third-party cookies in your browser to use the integration.

The agreement status is not updated if it is moved to a folder where the user has one of the following permissions:

  • Uploader
  • Viewer Uploader
  • Previewer Uploader

You need to enable the setting for activity stream in the admin console.

  1. In Box, click Admin Console in the left pane.

    Admin Console

  2. Click Apps.

    Apps

  3. Click the switch to enable Box Activity Stream.

    Enable Box activity stream

  • If you select a document to send from a shared folder of your Box document library, a copy of the sent agreement is saved to the same shared folder of your Box document library. If you don't have the required permissions for the shared folder, the sent agreement is saved in the home folder of your Box document library.
  • If you have a Viewer Uploader permission, the final agreement is saved on the shared location once the agreement is complete (no intermediate copy saved to your account).

In the Box Admin Console, select Adobe Acrobat as the default application for PDF files by doing the following:

  1. In Box, click Admin Console in the left pane.

    Admin Console

  2. Click Apps in the left pane. In the Default Editors section, choose Adobe Acrobat as the default application for PDF Files.

    Set Adobe Arobat as default application for PDF files

File name formats mentioned below are not allowed:

  • The special directory names "." and ".."
  • File names or files with the following extensions: CON, PRN, AUX, NUL, COM0, COM1, COM2, COM3, COM4, COM5, COM6, COM7, COM8, COM9, LPT0, LPT1, LPT2, LPT3, LPT4, LPT5, LPT6, LPT7, LPT8, and LPT9.
  • File names ending with a space or period.
  • File names beginning with a period.

For a shared file, if you are enrolled in any of the following roles, then Adobe Acrobat for Box does not work.

  • Previewer
  • Uploader
  • Previewer Uploader

If you have not purchased Adobe Acrobat subscription, you see a message "Your current plan does not support premium tools", when you perform any action on the PDF. Do the following to purchase the available Adobe Acrobat plans:

  1. In the Adobe Acrobat preview window, click Edit, and then click View Plans.

    Verify your purchased plan

  2. A new browser tab opens listing the available plans. Choose the desired plan, and follow the on-screen instructions to purchase.

  3. Go back to the PDF preview tab in Step 1. Click Verify.

    Verify your purchased plan

    After your account is verified you can use the available tools.

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Sign in to your account