Document Management Software Help : Docsvault

Signing Documents

Signing Documents

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Signing Documents

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Applying Digital Signatures to PDF Documents


You can sign/certify a document to attest to its contents or approve the document in a normal approval workflow. Based on the intent, you can use different types of signatures and signing methods. Any user that has a digital certificate issued to them by Docsvault administrator can digitally sign a document.



To digitally sign a PDF document:


Docsvault allows you to add annotation with digital signature on the PDF document. To learn more on applying annotations, see Adding Annotations.  Complete all necessary edits to your document before you sign it. Changes made to the document after it is signed will invalidate the signature.


Docsvault automatically creates a new version of the file when digital signature is applied to a document and document is saved. At anytime, you can roll back to the original document without signatures from the file's Version History.


Right click on the PDF file to be signed and click Sign Document


This will open the document in a Sign Document dialog. This is your main signing dialog where you can create new signature appearances and sign and certify documents.


The next step(s) will depend on whether you chose to sign your document using:

a) visible signature

  b) an invisible signature

  c) sign and certify document


Sign using a visible signature:


1.Select the page and the position where you want the digital signature to be applied:

oYou can use the page navigation buttons to go to the desired page

oThe Hand toolPAN-32, the page scrolling and zoom options can be used to move around the current page if necessary


3.Once you have selected the page and position you want to place your Digital Signature at, click Digital Sign button from the top toolbar and:

odraw a signature box. You can move and re-size the signature box as necessary once drawn

odouble click to sign. This will place your default signature on the document. If you want to choose your signature from your available signatures list use the Advanced Sign instead.  


Note: If this is your first time signing a document, you will be asked to create a New Signature first. See Manage Signatures for more information.


4. Press the Save button to save the signed PDF document. This will save the signed document back to the Docsvault repository as a new  version.


The following is an example of a signature using a visible Digital Signature.





Advanced Sign:


Docsvault allows you to create more than one signature appearances and store them for later use. Advanced Sign option allows you to choose from your available signatures in the appearance panel at the signing time.


Click on Advanced Sign button

Select the position you want the Digital Signature to be placed at and draw the Digital Signature place holder

Double click to open the Digital Signature dialog, use the navigation buttons to select the digital signature that you wish to apply

Reason for Signature: Enter or select an optional purpose for signing the document




Sign all Pages


Click on Sign All Pages button, to sign on all the pages of a document

Select the position you want the Digital Signature to be placed, draw the Digital Signature place holder

Double click to open the Digital Signature dialog, choose the signature style

Reason for Signature: Enter or select your purpose for signing the document

Signature will be applied to all the pages of the document at the same location




Sign using an invisible signature:


If you have decided to sign your PDF document with a signature that won't be visible in the document, select Invisible Sign button from the top toolbar.


The PDF document will be saved with its invisible signature and the document will be verifiable based on this Digital Signature. There will be no graphical reference on the PDF page but the digital signature will be present and will appear in the Signatures panel when viewing the document using Docsvault PDF Viewer or Acrobat Reader.



Sign & Certify a PDF


When you certify a PDF document, you indicate that you vouch for its contents. You can also specify the types of changes that are permitted for the document after it is certified. For example, a human resource manager creates an appraisal form. When the form is complete, the manager certifies the document, allowing employees to change only form fields and sign the document. Employee can now fill the form and sign the document. However, if they add annotation or remove pages, the document certification becomes invalid.



Note: Multiple users can sign a PDF but only the first signer can certify a document





Certifying signatures can be visible or invisible.


Click on Sign & Certify and then select one of the following options:


oCertify (Visible): Certify with Visible Signature

oCertify (Invisible): Certify with Invisible Signature. If you choose this option, your signature appears only in the Signature panel  

Select the position you want the Digital Signature to be placed, draw the Digital Signature place holder

Double click to open the Digital Signature dialog, choose a signature style

Permissions: When you certify a document, you can control the types of changes other people can make:  

oNo changes allowed: No changes are allowed once you have signed and certified the document. If any changes are performed, the signature will become invalid showing that the document has been tampered after signature


oForm fill-in and digital signatures: Allows filling form fields and applying digital signatures on the certified document. The form filled document will still be considered as valid


oAnnotations, form fill-in, and digital signatures: Allow users to annotate (such as stamping, image or comments) on the certified document. This option also allows additional signatures without invalidating the earlier signatures


Click on OK button to save the details



Manage Signatures


A typical signature consists of two components:




Signature Image: A graphic that identifies the signer on the left-hand side of the appearance, such as a scanned image of hand signature


Signature Details: Additional text data that the signer wants to appear to the right side of the image signature



To customize a new signature appearance:


When you select Manage Signatures button from the toolbar for the first time, New Signature dialog box is automatically populated.




Signature Name: Specify any title to easily identify the signature appearance


Set as default: Check this option for the signature that you wish to set as default. The default signature is used in the standard "Digital Sign" process and while auto signing a document in a workflow process


Signature as: Set the signature style to use


oImage: You can use your handwritten signature as the graphic displayed for your signature appearance. Scan your signature and save it as an image (preferably as a transparent .png file). Save the image in the desired form and upload it by clicking on the Upload button


oText: You can enter the text that you wish to set for your signature and Docsvault will offer you a choice of 10 different signature appearances


 Enter Name: Enter the name to use for signature graphic


oYou can increase or decrease the font size using respective buttons


o Choose the style using the left and right arrows


Set the text fields to display in the signature appearance


oSignature's Name: Check this option to use your full name associated with your Digital Certificate. This name comes from your digital certificate and cannot be changed

oDesignation: Enter optional designation

oContact Info: Enter optional contact information

oCompany Name: Enter your company name

oCustom Text: You can specify optional details such as country, department, purpose and so on

oDate Time Format: Select the date and time format. Note the signature appearance displays local computer time

Click on Save button to save the details

You can create any number of personalized signature appearances ahead of time for later use. At the time of signing a document using advanced sign process, you will get an option to choose the sign from available signatures.  


  Click on editProfile button to edit a signature appearance


  Click on Delete button to delete a signature appearance



Adding Multiple Signatures to Documents


At times, some documents may require more than one signature. Docsvault supports the ability to include additional signatures as long as it is not restricted by the first signer.


If certifying a document in addition to signing it, the first signer should certify the document using either: "Form fill-in and digital signatures" OR "Annotations, form fill-in, and digital signatures". The other authorized users can then sign the document without invalidating the earlier signature.


As shown in the image below, the initial signature is the 'Certifying' signature which can be considered as the signature author of the document. All subsequent signatures are classed as 'Approval' signatures. Recipients would be able to determine the date/time, reason and identity of all signatories.