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Real Signatures for PDFs with Bluebeam Revu

Signing and endorsing documents can be a pain, especially with PDFs. In today’s digital age, most forms and documents are endorsed electronically, which usually takes some extra steps. However, there are still many organizations that refuse to get with the times and require handwritten signatures. But, how can you produce a handwritten signature on a digital document? Luckily, Bluebeam Revu has a solution for both problems.

Digital signatures are very easy in Bluebeam. To sign a document digitally, you first need to create a digital ID. Under the Tools drop-down, select Signature > Sign Document. If you do not have a digital ID on this computer, or if your digital ID does not exist, you will need to create a new ID. Simply click New and fill out the corresponding information.

Once your digital ID is created, you can use it to sign documents. Select your name from the digital ID drop-down and choose the type of signature you wish to create. Since Bluebeam links form objects to digital signatures, you can specify how this signature affects the content of the document. By certifying the document, you can select whether to lock the document, allow form items to be filled, or markups to be added. Other users will still be able to add markups, but they will not be able to flatten them onto the document.

Digital IDs are stored inside your Bluebeam Revu version folder with the file extension PFX. To edit an existing ID, you need to enter the password used when creating it. You can also import your digital ID to another computer by browsing to the file from the Manage Digital IDs window, or by physically moving your PFX file to the Bluebeam Revu version folder on the new machine.

Creating handwritten signatures in Bluebeam is a bit more involved, but nowhere near as involved as printing out your document just to sign it and scan it back in. To begin, simply write your signature on a blank piece of paper and scan the document into Bluebeam by using the Create > From Scanner or Camera option. Use the resulting PDF to Snapshot the handwritten signature into a new Stamp. Because Stamps are PDFs, you can add details to your signature such as a typed closing, job title, contact info, etc. From then on, you can simply place your signature stamp on any document you wish to endorse and flatten it. Don’t forget to set your document permissions correctly to prevent other users from deleting your signature.

An alternative method is to use an image of your handwritten signature. This method is the most tricky, as it requires the background to be a solid color. You may need to retouch the image in a graphic editing software such as Photoshop to remove any imperfections in the background of your image to prevent them from transferring onto your PDF. Once you’ve done that, simply insert the image of your signature as a markup. Make sure to select a Mask Color in the Properties panel so that the boundary box of your signature does not cut off other content.

Keep in mind that a markup of a handwritten signature is very easy to manipulate in the digital world. Any user can simply erase a flattened signature from the PDF content. Therefore, a handwritten signature should always be paired with a digital one. Doing so will prevent any tampering with the document, as the digital signature restricts the addition of new markups.

ZenTek Consultants provides sales, training, and services for Bluebeam Revu. Check our website for our latest class offerings.

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