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If you want the user to be able to sign the file, you could have them printed out, sign it, scan it, fax it, and all that, but you can actually have them sign it directly in the Acrobat file. So let's create a signature field and that's this next-to-last tool, the signature field. When I click and drag, I'll just name this sig. Let's double-check the Properties. Border Color and Fill Color are None, that's great. Now you can make some choices to govern what happens when this is signed.
If I choose the default which is Nothing happens when signed, that means nothing happens to change the file or lock it or prevent somebody from doing something else to the file. If I like to be a little more careful, I can choose Mark as read-only and then I could say that All fields or Just these fields. If there are a lot of fields, you could say, All of these fields except maybe one or two that you think they might need to revisit. If there are a bunch of fields and you only want to protect one or two, then you would use just these fields. You can imagine this might lead to some issues.
If somebody has filled out a form and misspelled something, they only realize it after they sign, they might be a little annoyed with you. It means that they have to close the file without saving it and then start over. So use this cautiously. Sometimes I think it's sort of overkill. I'm just going to choose Nothing happens when signed and click Close. So how do you sign a PDF? I'm going to show you in later exercise how to create a digital ID, but I already have a digital ID that I can use to sign this PDF. So when I click in the Signature field, it says I want to sign this document.
Do I need to make a new ID? Nope, I have one. I'm going to use my existing file. So I go hunting for that file. It's BetsyJ_Carruthers. Don't worry, she's not a real person, she's imaginary. I need to know the password for this and I happen to know that it is catlady2012. When I click Next, it says this is going to be added to my digital ID so that I can use it in the future. And then Finish. It doesn't look like a signature; it doesn't have artwork to it. I can actually change that if I want to, but I think this will work just fine.
This isn't utterly bulletproof. Obviously, I'm not Betsy and yet I'm signing this form. But it's pretty good. I think in a reasonable environment, you don't have to worry about somebody forging your digital signature. Certainly, you're going to be protecting it with your password. So they really can't sign unless they know that. They can't even invoke the signature. So when I click Sign, notice that it asks me to re-save it. So I'm just going to call this signedcontract and there we go. And you can see the digital signature.
So it doesn't look like handwriting, but it proves that Betsy has read this contract and that she signed it, because she knows the password for her own digital signature.
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