The signing of documents – applying your own personal signature to a letter, contract, or practically any other document has been a good practice for over 1,000 years.

In today’s world, the vast majority of documents are digital, not paper-based, so a new approach has been introduced: digital signatures.

Digital signatures are a part of the ISO Specification (32000-1:2008) of PDF that provides for the authentication of the origin and validation of content within the document.

It works on the same principal as your bank’s web-site, where a certificate is included in the document that can be validated against an authority to determine it’s origin, and a signed PDF will indicate if it’s been modified since it was signed, as well as provide insight into the changes.

Applying the signatures

The signature can be applied to a document both visually and digitally.   They can also be applied to individual pages or the entire document.

Using Adlib’s metadata-based rules engine, you can configure Adlib PDF to automatically apply signatures to a document only when necessary, and the signature can be located based on page number and X/Y coordinates (assuming you know where to put it), or simply by placing it next to some text such as “Sign Here:”, allowing for very easy automation of digital signature application.

How can you verify the document has been signed? When viewing the PDF in Adobe Reader, a Digital Signature tool will appear, where you can view the various signatures and their properties.  You can also click on a visible signature.  When you click on the signature, you’re then shown a popup which ensures that the signature is valid, and who it was signed by. You also have the option to bring up the properties of the signature to see where it was signed, why it was signed, and when it was signed. This is done by using digital signature technology embedded within the PDF.

Configuring digital signatures

In the transformation rules, there are two parts to applying a digital signature. First, the signature field, or where the signature must be applied, needs to be created in the PDF.

Secondly, the digital signature certificate properties need to be configured: where the certificate is, the certificate password, and the signature properties, such as the name, date, location and reason for signing.

Watch the product demo

Learn more about digital signatures, and how they can be applied using Adlib PDF. Watch the short product demo video here.