One of the greatest things about technology is that it has enabled us to do just about everything more quickly, including conducting business. Signing contracts and other documents 20+ years ago involved mailing the items, or a trip to wherever to sign them in person, but now we can just fax or email the documents, and print, sign, scan, and return them just as quickly.
However, even that process is still a bit clumsy. Did you know there was a better way?
Setup your signature as a stamp in Adobe, and forget about printing and rescanning your document. Instead, sign them digitally, and save yourself some hassle.
Creating a Signature Stamp in Adobe Acrobat
Here’s what you’ll need to turn your signature into a digital stamp:
- Adobe Acrobat Pro
- Paper – Blank and unlined
- Pen – Black ink preferred
- Photo editing software
In order to use the stamp function, you must have the full version of Adobe Acrobat installed on your computer. One way to quickly tell is to look for the word PRO in the title. If you see it, you have the full version.
Grab the paper and pen, and sign the paper. Practice your signature in a few different places so that you can use the one that looks the best. Make sure to space out your signatures, so that you have enough “white space” to adequately crop it later.
If you initial a lot of documents, make a stamp out of your initials using the same procedure outlined above. You can even write the two on the same paper.
When done, scan the paper. Then, open the scanned copy in your favorite photo editing software. (I like Photoshop, but you could use any software that can crop photos.) Crop your favorite signature, and save it as a .JPG file. Do the same thing for your initials, if needed.
Acrobat. On the bar across the top, at the far right are the words “Tools,” “Comments,” and “Share.” Click on Comments, go to Add a Stamp > Custom Stamps, and click on Manage Stamps.
The Select Image for Custom Stamp window will appear. Click on the Browse button, and locate the JPG file of your signature. Once selected, a preview of your image will appear. If it is the image you want to use, click OK, otherwise, click Browse and locate a better image. Click OK when done.
Then, the Create Custom Stamp window appears. From the Category drop down, select “Sign Here.” Give your stamp a nickname by typing a name into the Name Field. By default, “down sample stamp to reduce file size” is checked, leave it check and click OK. Repeat the process for any additional stamps you need to create.
How to Use a Stamp in Adobe Acrobat
To use your stamp, open a PDF. Go to Comment, in the top right, and click on the drop down next to the stamp tool. On the menu, go to Sign Here, and your recently created signature will appear at the bottom.
Click on your signature, then click on signature line of the PDF. Your signature will appear. Resize as necessary to fit the document.
Important Tip!: It’s not enough to save your document after it’s signed. You flatten the image prior to saving, so that the recipient cannot change the document, or move or copy your signature.
To flatten the document prior to saving, go to Layers (located on the right, under the paperclip). If Layers is not shown, go to View (at the top), Show / Hide, Navigation Pane, Layers. Then, click Layers on the right to access the menu.
From the Layers menu, select Flatten Image, then save your document. Now it’s ready to send to whomever you’d like.
When purchasing software, do you ever think about the end-of-life cycle for that particular program? If you’re like everyone else, you probably don’t.
The thing is, all software has a cycle – a period of time when the company will support that particular version of the software.
So what you purchase today won’t always be supported.
Typically software is no longer supported when there are several newer versions out, or when the software is so outdated that it no longer functions properly on newer computers, whichever comes first.
In early April, 2013, Microsoft announced its plans to phase out support for a few of their older software, a change that could leave businesses (and individuals) in the lurch.
Microsoft’s determination for phasing out software is fairly clear cut – they promise to support their products for a minimum of 10 years, with 5 years of mainstream support, and 5 years of extended support.
And next year, on April 8, 2014, Microsoft is phasing out support on a few (still) popular products:
- Windows XP
- Office 2003
- Office 2008 – Mac Version – support ends April 9, 2014
So what does this change mean for businesses? Well, nothing and everything.
Of course you can continue to use your outdated products, as technically they will still work just like they did before. However, problems requiring support through Microsoft won’t be fixable, and over time you could see even bigger issues.
The larger reality is that if you’re still using these older operating systems and office products, you could probably stand for an update. Newer operating systems, though they require a small learning curve, run faster and help you produce more than their older counterparts. Additionally, newer software boasts better features, and increased security through patches, bug fixes, and software updates.
Though it would require a bit of an initial investment, upgrading your office, particularly if you are still using any of these programs, will end up saving you in the long run in time and money made back due to increased productivity.
If your business is still using these outdated software products, give us a call today. We can help you evaluate which newer versions are right for your business, and help get them implemented and installed so that you aren’t affected by this change.