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PDF Documents: Using Digital Signatures and Fill & Sign

One of the responsibilities of a contract monitor is to approve/sign off on invoices.  In the past, monitors would print the invoice, sign it, and then either scan and email it, or deliver it to CFB for payment.

When teleworking, we need to be able to perform these actions using electronic means.  There are two ways to sign a pdf document:

  • Digital Signature
  • Fill & Sign

The basic prerequisites for these instructions are as follows:

  1. The security on a pdf document cannot be in “protected” status. If it is, then only someone with an Adobe Pro license will be able to change the security on the document.
  2. The pdf document cannot be “password protected”. If it is, then only someone with the password and an Adobe Pro license will be able to change the security on the document.

If one of these two problems occurs on your document, CFB will accept your email approval in place of the signature. But it does make it more difficult for us to verify that the contract monitor has approved the invoice after some time has passed, so if you are able to use the following instructions to ‘sign off’ on your invoices, we would greatly appreciate it.

Method 1:  Digital Signature

  1. Open your document and select TOOLS in the toolbar.

PDF document with Tools on the Ribbon highlighted.

  1. Choose certificates

PDF Tools Tab with Certificates highlighted.

  1. You will get this:

In pdf Certificate with Digital Signature highlighted.

  1. Then you click on digitally sign. Although it’s not shown on the screenshot, your cursor will change to a little plus sign (+) that will allow you to draw where you want your digital signature to be placed.  The program will fit your signature into the space you allow for it with your drawn square or rectangle.
  2. The Adobe digital signature process will begin, and when complete, you will get this:

PDF Document with digital signature highlighted.

Then you can send (File/Attach to Email) your signed/approved invoice to *OCSS.BudgetInquiries as normal

Method 2 – Fill and Sign

  1. Open your document and select TOOLS in the toolbar.

PDF document with the Tools tab on the Ribbon highlighted.

  1. Choose fill & sign

The PDF Tools tab with Fill & Sign highlighted.

  1. You will get the following screen:

Fill and Sign with Sign command highlighted.

  1. You will choose the option SIGN located at the far right side of the toolbar.
  2. You will get this drop down menu:

The Sign command showing the drop down menu.

  1. Click on the plus sign (+) for add signature. You will type your name.  After you finish typing, it will look like this:

PDF signature line with Save Signature and change style highlighted.

  1. Notice there is a checkbox on the left to save your signature for future use. On the right hand side, there is an option to change style.  Sadly, there are only 4 fonts to choose from, but choose the one you like best, and then click apply.
  2. Now it will take you back to your document and you will have a ‘floating’ signature that will be placed wherever you click on the document.
  3. At this point, you will be able to change the size of the signature by adjusting the text box handle or by clicking on the “A A” choices.

PDF Change Style s with font size and the text box handle highlighted.

  1. If you like how it looks, you can now send your document by email to CFB. If you don’t like the way it looks, you can delete it and place it differently on your document.
  2. There is another step you can use if you want to add something extra. You may have noticed that there was a second option under the fill & sign choices:

Add initials highlighted from the Sign command drop-down menu.

This can be used as a 2nd type of signature, or for anything you want, such as a sign off date.

In order to use both options, you will choose sign and select the first option.  You will get a little cursor that lets you place it where you want.  Then you will click on SIGN again, and select the second option.  Again you will get the cursor that will allow you to place the second where you want.

This is how they look together (although you don’t have to use this same placement):

Two types of electronic signatures highlighted on the PDF document.

Both of these “signatures” can be changed at any time, by clicking on the minus sign (-):

Sign command with drop down menu with the delete button highlighted.

Unfortunately, there is no way to “update” these signatures, only to delete and re-create.  But on the up-side, it’s really quick.

Until recently, fill & sign was the only option we had available.  OMES (or DHS) has relaxed the rules so that now, even those without an Adobe Pro license are able to use the digital signature function on documents.  This means there may no longer be a need for the fill & sign feature, but wanted to include it here just in case.

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