Creating a Digital Signature

I know that I have written before about creating a digital signature. (Just to clarify, by digital signature, in this instance I am talking about a digital picture of your physical signature.)

Ernie Svenson recently announced that he was putting on a CLE seminar on digital workflow. As Ernie explained at the time:

In the past two years I’ve given several presentations on ‘Digital Workflow,’ or how to make your law practice less dependent on paper. Whenever I give this talk the room is always packed with people who want to know the step-by-step process of becoming more digital.

About six months ago Dane Ciolino and I were tapped to give this presentation together, which was great because, over the years, Dane and I have often had lunch together to talk about our ‘paperless law practices’ and share ideas on how to make things better. So presenting together was a lot of fun for us, and (from the feedback we got) entertaining and informative for the audience.

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It occurred to us that there’s a big demand for this kind of information, and it’s not really being presented very often around Louisiana. So, we decided to take the bull by the horns and put on our own CLE Seminar. The idea is to create a group of basic, intermediate, and advanced sessions. And to present them on a fairly regular basis. We’re going to start with a 3 hour session on December 12th, in the morning. For more information, and to register for the seminar, click here.

Since then, they have added several useful pages to their CLE website, including a page on the IRS requirements for keeping records electronically and basics on scanning. The page that caught my eye, however, was on digital signatures.

That page has a PDF download that explains how to create a digital signature as well as how to “flatten” your PDF so that the siganture is not easily removed. The page also includes javascript code that allows yout to add the flatten command to your Acrobat menus.

This is a great resource and I urge you to check it also. Also, if you are anywhere near where Ernie is giving one of his presentations, I would suggest that you attend that as well, if at all possible.

3 thoughts on “Creating a Digital Signature

  1. What is the benefit of flattening the PDF versus applying Acrobat security that disallows coping text without a password?

  2. I guess that my thought is that I don’t like to lock my documents down if I don’t have to. By flattening a document, I can make any form fields noneditable and permanently affix my stamps.

    I realize that PDF are not truly noneditable and that there are ways around these issues, but the same holds true for securing the document. All the recipient has to do is print it and rescan it.

    I just like flattening because it is a simple one step process that prevents 90% of any potential problems and I figure that the other 10% would not be thwarted by the additional security offered by locking the document down.

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