Adding Electronic Signatures to Text and PDF Documents

Along with digital seals, electronic signatures are important in ascertaining a document’s authenticity and they play a big role in convincing users that it is now safer to move from paper to electronic business communication mode.

In 2005 the United Nations convened on the use of e-communication and established equivalence between electronic and handwritten signatures in contracts at the international level, thus further validating and encouraging the use of e-documents in legal and corporate world.

What is an Electronic Signature?

An electronic signature generally refers to a signature that is inputted into a text document through electronic means.

It is just like an ink signature on a paper document. When you sign a physical document, you officially bind your consent and confirm to the contents of the document. In other words, the signing of a document implies a contract.

Thus, the signing of an electronic message identifies the signer as the source of the message; and also indicates an authorization of the information contained in the message by the sender.

The electronic signature may come in different forms. They may include typed names, a click in a dialog box (ie. an acceptance to "terms and agreements" pop up boxes), or a digital picture of a handwritten signature. These transactions are instances of an electronic signature in that you consent or confirm to something.

Features

Disadvantages

Not all electronic signatures are the same as digital signatures, where a document is encrypted with a certificate and is much easier to validate in the court of law. With e-signatures there is no solid assurance of the sender's identity.

Signing Electronic Documents

Important legal and corporate documentation being sent over the Internet is usually in the secure PDF or Text format. There are a number of ways to secure PDFs, and one of them is by signing the document with an e-signature. PDF conversion software that includes secure PDF creation and e-signing options are recommended for users who frequently work with documents that require this kind of validation.