I have been noticing that over the past few weeks I am being contacted for assistance by users of DocuSign (mostly educational institutions) because of The Validation of the PDF file Failed message.
It seems that DocuSign is able to read the PDF file that the client uploaded but is not able to make any changes (such as adding the required signature) due to the PDF files having a password being enabled thus protecting the file from being edited.
There is a very high chance that you are using a computer with Microsoft Windows and if that is the case, you might be using Microsoft Internet Explorer (since it is often to default browser) with DocuSign. In a few years, DocuSign will no longer support Internet Explorer (especially when Microsoft will kill it off with Microsoft Edge themselves) so start switching over to one of these chromium-based browsers so that you won’t be caught off-guard.
The best solution that I have found is to remove the password, resave the PDF files, then upload to DocuSign. If you do not remember the password or had set the password, some websites offer the service of looking up or removing passwords from PDF files but I do not recommend such services as other entities will have access to your documents. I recommend recreating the document from an unprotected template if that is the case and then submit once again to DocuSign.
If the file was created by your Administrative Assistant or your boss and was given to you to upload, they may have had the file marked read-only to prevent accidental erasure. Being read-only is similar to having a password as the file is locked for editing.
For some reason or another, the color or type of font can cause the failed message to appear. My solution to you is to try and select a different or universal font that will have more success or change the color if that applies to your documents.
Fonts To Try
* Lucida Console
* MS Gothic
* MS Mincho