Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/164668/how-to-electronically-sign-documents-without-printing-and-scanning-them/
You’re emailed a document and you have to sign it and send it back. You could print out the document, sign it, and then scan it back in and email it. But there’s a better, faster way.
The free version of Foxit Reader (http://www.foxitsoftware.com/Secure_PDF_Reader/) allows you to insert a signature into your documents. The signature can be acquired from a scanned image, imported from the clipboard, or drawn with the mouse or a stylus.
I used a scanned image to make my signature and it seems to work out well.
Anyway most of us use MS Word for documents - I insert a scanned (as a Jpeg) copy of my signature- and then save it as a .pdf to mail it - even for Excel proforma invoices i do the same...stop me if I'm doing wrong- thanks
The free Nitro Reader (currently Nitro Reader 3: http://www.nitroreader.com/) also supports inserting a signature in pdf documents (they call it QuickSign). It works very well also, and is extremely easy and quick to use once you have set it up. If you scan your signature, it converts it to having a transparent background (you can store different signatures with passwords), allows you to adjust the size and position of the signature on the page, then you simply click it to fix it in place.
I use Infinite Design (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.brakefield.id&hl=en) on my Android tablet to generate my signature which I export in the SVG file format and move to my computer. On my computer, I import the PDF that I want to sign into Inkscape (http://inkscape.org/). I then copy the signature into Inkscape. I position and resize it. When I'm done I save the document as a PDF.
BTW, Inkscape is a good for editing PDFs for free.
I use PDF Xchange Viewer. I've made a .jpg of my signature by scanning it, and saved that .jpg. When I need to "sign" a .pdf, I copy the .jpg and paste it into place on PDF Xchange Viewer. I can even scale the size. Then I simply save the file and email it. No Adobe Acrobat required, hooray!
I've been doing this for years. I have a jpeg of my signature that I have used - originally needed for emailing expense reports that the bean counters said MUST be signed in ink and faxed in - They somehow believed that a fax was not really just another form of digital copy. I 'Faxed' it directly out of my computer. The document never saw paper until it came out of their fax machine. Later they did agree to allowing a email 'copy' as long as I 'scanned' it first. According to them, I had to print it out, scan it back in then email as an attachment.
Just recently I was dealing with an out of state Law office they refused to accept an email and demanded I fax a signed document. They insisted that they had to fax the original to me and I was to sign the fax (because that is somehow an original) and fax it back - because that is somehow the same original document after being faxed twice. My all in one printer can accept a fax as a digital document - then opened the doc on my computer as a jpg image where I pasted my signature onto it - then 'faxed' it from the computer through the printer phone connection.
Being an Ubuntu/Linux user, I use GIMP image editor. It reads PDFs, even multi-page ones. I can insert an image of my signature and turn it back into a PDF. I can even fill out forms that don't have "typeable" lines using test insert boxes.
I use the free version of PDF Xchange Viewer to do this. Simply create a new stamp in the stamp palette by using an image of your signature. Once that's done it's just a single click on the stamp palette too to add your signature!
IANAL but I believe that electronic signatures need to be printed in a way that lets the recipient know the document wasn't actually physically signed. I use a check printing program that fills in the blanks on preprinted checks. The signature comes from a jpeg of my actual signature but is printed out using a series of closely spaced short horizontal lines that replaces the pen line.
My question is:
Once you put your signature (image) on a PDF or even a protected word document how do you prevent someone from cutting and pasting it (frogerey) on to another document they created, which of course you did not sign???
With tools like Snipping, Screen Print, etc I can easily do this.
Anyone have an answer??
Hey, thanks! I use PDF Xchange Viewer, and that's easier than the copy & paste method I gave above.
I, also have been using a scanned signature for many years. When I worked for a credit card company, about 12 years ago, I had to submit 5 or 6 reports every day with my signature on each one. They had to be emailed and hand delivered, on paper every day right before going home for the day. The emailed version did not have to have a signature, but the paper one did. What a pain! I used my flatbed scanner (how long ago was that?), at home to scan my signature, saved it as a jpeg, copied and pasted it to the necessary documents, and away they went to the printer. No one ever questioned the fact that my signature was not not signed in ink.
I still have that jpeg and use it occasionally to 'sign' documents, when necessary.
BTW, thanks for the tip about the signature thing in Adobe Acrobat. I wasn't aware of that feature. I'll have to check it out.
I deleted my scanned true jpeg signatures as it is too simple for someone to cut and paste them to unauthorized documents. We live in a Photo Shop World !!
What's to keep the same someone from scanning your signature from some hand signed document and pasting it wherever they want?
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