Define key for a signature from "Signatures and Initials"

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Seeker45
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Define key for a signature from "Signatures and Initials"

Post by Seeker45 » Mon Dec 05, 2016 1:05 pm

Hi,

I would like to define a particular key (e.g. CTRL+ALT+S) for a particular signature from "Signatures and Initials", so that when I press the key the signature can be immediately placed in the document. How can I do this?

Thank you.

Cheers
Ralf

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Re: Define key for a signature from "Signatures and Initials

Post by Will - Tracker Supp » Mon Dec 05, 2016 1:15 pm

Hi Ralf,

Thanks for the post - This isn't currently possible, but I'll pass along the feature request.

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Re: Define key for a signature from "Signatures and Initials

Post by Seeker45 » Mon Dec 05, 2016 1:21 pm

Thanks. As background: We are considering to use PDFX-Change for signing a notable number of documents, where the signature has to be placed individually on each document. Having a key (short-cut) to activate the signature would ease the overall process.

Cheers
Ralf

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Re: Define key for a signature from "Signatures and Initials

Post by Will - Tracker Supp » Mon Dec 05, 2016 2:28 pm

:)
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Re: Define key for a signature from "Signatures and Initials

Post by BangkokBob » Tue Jan 31, 2017 4:46 am

Hi Seeker45,

A number of years ago I had a topic titled 'Document Signing' which I am still very interested in. As part of that post series (Apr 29 2014) a discussion evolved which was about a desire to not only simply sign documents but also to have some sort of process associated with the fact of the document being signed. This may also be of interest in your post and may help to raise the visibility of my request. What follows below is a snip of my last request under my topic
I think that a default save location for signed documents is a separate issue from last used location which is the location the file was opened from anyway, and the selection is presumably somewhat dynamic predicated by where ever the PDF document is launched from.
Also, my logic behind the deleting the original unsigned document is that after a document is signed, that becomes the document - that was the reason it was signed. A PDF is a generated document, should there be a reason to change the content I would generate a new PDF. Having two different copies of the one file serves no purpose.
I think heavy users of the signing functionality may agree with me.
The application I currently use for signing documents - OmniSign allows under saving options a default folder and an option to delete the original, both items to my mind very necessary for someone who intends to sign PDF documents in a regular way.

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Re: Define key for a signature from "Signatures and Initials

Post by Tracker Supp-Stefan » Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:04 pm

Hello Seeker45,

Have you checked the "Add Digital Signature" feature in the new PDF Tools?
It allows you to digitally sign multiple files in "one go". I know it's a separate product - but given that you need to batch process multiple files - the Tools is the right product to try, as it is the one we have built specifically for that purpose.

Regards,
Stefan

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Re: Define key for a signature from "Signatures and Initials

Post by BangkokBob » Wed Feb 01, 2017 3:08 am

I don't want to take over this topic, but I have no requirement to batch multiple files. I just want to sign them one by one, and by the process of signing them move the document to another location.

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Re: Define key for a signature from "Signatures and Initials

Post by Tracker Supp-Stefan » Thu Feb 02, 2017 12:46 pm

Thanks for the clarification BangkokBob,

After you place a digital signature - you should be asked where to save the signed copy - so you can save it in the new folder.

Regards,
Stefan

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Re: Define key for a signature from "Signatures and Initials

Post by docu-track99 » Fri Feb 03, 2017 6:09 pm

Stefan,

On this note (and sorry to hijack topic, couldn't find anything related to my question elsewhere), I was wondering why the control forces the user to "Save As" after placing a Digital Signature. Is there an easy way to change this to allow the Digital Signature to be placed on the working copy of the PDF, (without having to "Save As" and overwrite the doc you have open).

Thanks,
Doc.It Development

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Re: Define key for a signature from "Signatures and Initials

Post by Patrick-Tracker Supp » Sat Feb 04, 2017 12:03 am

Hi docu-track99,

A digital signature is a mathematical technique used to validate the authenticity and integrity of a message, software or digital document. As such, the document should not be changed after the signature is placed because it invalidates the signature. Therefore, we offer the option to save a signed copy via the Save As menu or to overwrite the existing editable PDF.

I will discuss this in next week's meeting to evaluate the possibility of enhancing this behaviour to better suit a greater number of clients. In your opinion, what would be a better way to handle this?

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Re: Define key for a signature from "Signatures and Initials

Post by docu-track99 » Mon Feb 06, 2017 6:39 pm

Hi Pat,

Though I don't necessarily disagree with your design, I think the expectation is that if I'm signing the document, I should be the one to choose whether to 'Save As' or not. By forcing a 'Save As', it means: if I want to overwrite the working copy then I have to manually browse to the working copy folder which contains the PDF I'm working on; in my tests, I found the control doesn't by default bring you to the same location that the PDF was opened from. As an enhancement if you don't change the design: it would be nice to ensure the Save As dialog brings you to the same location of the opened PDF.

Or, instead of forcing it, you can have a message box which explains the rationale behind why the user might want to use Save As, and let them make the choice. Give them the option to say "Always Ask" or "Always Remember my Selection".

For our purposes, either way, we'll need to think of a workaround. Is there an event that fires when the Digital Signature is placed on the document that we can catch, and therefore suppress the 'Save As'? In essence, assume the user is signing and saving the working copy. That's how our users like to work with digital signatures.

Thank you,
Doc.It Development

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Re: Define key for a signature from "Signatures and Initials"

Post by riuy » Mon Jul 10, 2017 8:06 pm

We are an engineering consulting firm producing plans for construction. There are multiple engineers that contribute to the plans.

We usually create pdfs, and then have each engineer sign each page that they authored (sometimes multiple signers on one page), then submit a combined pdf to the client.

Is this something PDF-Xchange can do?

Thank you.

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Re: Define key for a signature from "Signatures and Initials"

Post by Paul - Tracker Supp » Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:46 pm

Hi riuy,

welcome the the Tracker forums.

Much depends on what you mean when you say each engineer will sign the pages he authored. If you want a graphical signature, that is easily done by creating a stamp of the signature from a scan of a written signature on paper.: https://www.tracker-software.com/knowle ... ture-stamp You can do that with the PDF-XChange Editor. Have each Engineer sign each page and save them then use the Editor's combine feature to create a single PDF from the pages. (File --> New Document --> Combine files into a single file)

The problem I see is if you are talking about a digital signature to validate the state of the document against unauthorized changes. If your engineers individually sign their pages as separate files prior to assembling the final one, those signatures are going to become 'Invalid" in the final document.

In order to maintain a valid signature for each of your engineers you are going to have to assemble the final PDF prior to signing them. Each Engineer can place a "Signature field" on his pages using the forms creation tools but he should not digitally sign it before the final PDF is assembled. One you have the final PDF with all pages and signature fields, then your engineers can digitally sign the document.

Of course if you are only putting a visual signature on each page and are not concerned with the signature also validating the state of the document changes post signing then a stamp of the engineers handwritten signature is easily done.

I hope that helps.
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Re: Define key for a signature from "Signatures and Initials"

Post by riuy » Thu Jul 27, 2017 9:59 pm

Hi Paul- thank you for your quick response.

Yes- I do need to maintain valid signatures and the client be able to verify that the document has not been altered since we signed.

1. If my pdf has 500 pages, can I place a signature field automatically on all pages at once (they are located in the same x-y location)?
2. Once the fields are in, I ask each engineer to sign the pages they authored. Say Engineer 1 authored pages 1-15, 34-48, 289-310. Can they sign those automatically in one go, or do they need to click on each page?
3. I tried signing a field, and it asks to save the entire pdf after every signature. Is that the process? It looks like it gets saved as a Revision.
4. I signed two fields, and had to save twice. For the first signature under Revision 1, it now says "The revision of the document that was covered by this signature has not been altered. However, there have been subsequent changes to the document." Revision 2 says "Document was not modified." So "Document" means that page only?
5. Eventually, we need to swap out some pages that are updated. Is there a way to manage that, while keeping all the previously signed pages, and resign and add in the new ones? And still have it say it is verified and no changes have been made?

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Re: Define key for a signature from "Signatures and Initials"

Post by Lzcat - Tracker Supp » Fri Jul 28, 2017 6:25 am

Hi riuy.
Looks like you do not fully understand how signatures works. In PDF you cannot sign a part of it, you can sign only entire file, and file must be saved after that. If you sign document several times, but only last signature will say that file was not modified, all previous will say that file was modified (and it is correct - adding signature is file modification too). If you have several signatures you can see each signed version, however there is no guarantee that person who place second signature was not modified document before signing, and only one way to detect such changes is compare two versions of file.
So regarding to your questions:
1. No. You can place something which will looks like signature, but it will not protect page or document, so in security purposes it is useless.
2. No. they can sign only entire document too. They may try to put something looking like a signature and sign entire document, but this will not protect pages. For example engineer 1 add his "sign" on page 1 and sign entire document using PDF signature. Then engineer 2 copy "sign" of engineer 1 to pages 2 and 3, place his "sign" on pages 1-3 and sign entire document using PDF signature. When you receive this document you will se that pages 1-3 was signed by both engineers, which is not true. When you check PDF signatures all of them will be marked as valid, and all except last will say that document was modified after signing. And only if you inspect all signed versions you may notice that engineer 2 was not honest. Or not.
3. Yes.
4. No, in that case "Document" mean entire document. PDF file can contain several versions of document, and each of them may be signed.
5. No, changing page order will modify document. So you can break all signatures or simply add one more version of document. But in second case when you try to look one of previous signed versions you will see document with old pages order.
As for me you have 3 options:
1. Don't care much about security, use something like "sign" (in most cases Stamp or "Signatures and initials will be enough). And if needed you can sign PDF file after adding all of them. This will require to inspect all versions of document to verify was everybody honest.
2. Split document on one-page documents and sign each page (document individually). This will allow you to reorder pages as you want (renaming file does not break signatures). However you still must check each version of each page because anyone can alter document before signing.
3. Use some other document type which support security you need (but to be honest I don't know which one it can be), and convert only final version to PDF (if needed).
HTH.
Victor
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Re: Define key for a signature from "Signatures and Initials"

Post by riuy » Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:56 am

Victor-
Thanks for your information. It makes sense relative to what I see happening with the digital signatures.

Can you read Paul's response right before mine, and maybe I am not understanding what he is saying? He mentioned "signature field," and that is what I am referring to in 1., prior to putting a digital signature.

Essentially, we need to follow the state of Washington guidelines for delivering Engineering Documents electronically (pdf). We put together a combined pdf of construction plans, where each page needs to be stamped and signed by the engineer that authored it. The signatures must be digital signatures and meet the guidelines below. (Otherwise, we wet sign the plans, then scan them into pdf. The quality gets lost and the time required to scan is not fun.)

Digital Signature: Means a secure signature in electronic form that can be
attached to an Electronic Record. The Digital Signature must have the following
properties:
A. It must be unique to the licensee;
B. It must be capable of independent verification;
C. It must be under the exclusive control of the licensee;
D. It must transform the Electronic Record such that a recipient can
determine that the record was signed by the licensee,
E. It must transform the Electronic Record such that a recipient can
determine if the initial record was altered since the transformation was
made.

Any suggestions would be welcome!
Thank you.

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Re: Define key for a signature from "Signatures and Initials"

Post by Will - Tracker Supp » Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:33 am

Hi Riuy,

You can sign each page individually and the signatures will be valid, but each subsequent signature will be taken as a modification to the document and this will be reflected when viewing the status of the previous signatures. Please take a look at the following example:
New Document4.pdf
(85.5 KiB) Downloaded 52 times
You can view the signatures under View --> Other Panes --> Signatures Pane.

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Re: Define key for a signature from "Signatures and Initials"

Post by lev » Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:45 am

Riuy,

Digital signing of engineering plans has been used in Florida for a few years. The procedure is described in http://www.fdot.gov/roadway/PPMManual/2 ... Chap03.pdf. There's an exhibit http://www.fdot.gov/roadway/PPMManual/2 ... 03-exh.pdf. I am having a hard time imagining that you would be required to sign and seal each sheet digitally (electronically), but you may be required to place an image of your stamp on each sheet. Check with the board to avoid any violations. Let me know if you need further clarifications.

Lev

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Re: Define key for a signature from "Signatures and Initials"

Post by Tracker Supp-Stefan » Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:57 pm

Many thanks for your input Lev!

Cheers,
Stefan

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Re: Define key for a signature from "Signatures and Initials"

Post by riuy » Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:10 pm

Lev,
That is really helpful. I re-read our State guidelines and you're correct- I mistakenly thought that we needed digital signatures on each sheet. Instead, I can have electronic ones on each one, but as long as there is one digital signature of the responsible licensee on the combined pdf set, that works. However, the question is who is this "overall responsible licensee" if we have a lot of subconsultants and disciplines, etc, and there is not only one person who can do so for the entire set.

That's where I am interested in looking at the signature sheet per the guidelines you linked to. How do you insert the multiple signatures onto the pdf, without running into what I was referring to with the different revisions? Does the pdf that is submitted allow someone to validate those signatures, and check if the pdf has been modified? Can you help me understand what the difference is with digital signature appearance?

Our guidelines state that a digital signature has the following properties:
A. It has a hardware or software cryptographic protection (such as a public/private key pair) that is unique to the licensee.
B. It can be independently verified by a third-party certification authority.
C. The Electronic Record to which it is attached is encrypted such that the recipient can verify that the document was uniquely signed by the licensee.
D. The Electronic Record to which it is attached is encrypted such that the recipient can verify if the document has been altered since the licensee signed it.

The revisions section process was also really helpful- because plans are never really final until they get as-builted. :)

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Re: Define key for a signature from "Signatures and Initials"

Post by lev » Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:56 pm

Riuy,

Signing engineering documents is a sensitive subject that can easily get you afoul of the Board. You need to fully understand (and explain) the terms in your response, such as "digital signatures" and "electronic" one to avoid confusion.

The Board wants you to get a certificate for a certification authority. That certificate will consist of a private key and a public key. You will be a sole possessor of the private key. If you want to know more about this subject see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_key_infrastructure.

In Florida we get certificates from Identrust (https://identrust.com/fdot/).

If a set has to be signed by multiple signatories status will invariably show that there have been subsequent changes to the document. The last signatory may change permissions to "No Changes Allowed". An intermediate signatory may want to change permissions to "Allow Form Filling, Signing, and Creation of Template Pages" to pretty much limit what can be modified after he has signed the document.

We try to keep our plan sets separate as much as possible, i.e. Roadway, Structures, Lighting, etc. This way if a revision has to be done, we only have to send a set to a couple of subs.

Let me know if you have any questions.

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Re: Define key for a signature from "Signatures and Initials"

Post by riuy » Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:32 pm

Apologies-
The WA state engineering Board has definitions of digital versus electronic signatures (see below for more info). I attached our entire guideline too.

We don't split our plans up because there are not enough for every discipline. For example, for large projects, one project had 3500 total plan sheets, and per client requirements, it was about 15 separate volumes of max 250 pages each. If we separated all the disciplines, we would end up with way more separate volumes. For smaller projects, we would have just one set of 150 pages total, where each discipline is about 10 to 15 sheets each.

I'm trying to understand more about the cryptographic protection requirement. It says "such as a certification authority." I previously tried to read about PKI and I don't think I completely grasp it yet.

I tested digitally signing a sample document (attached, on our State guidelines), and using our company's certificate. My understanding is that since we log into the system using our own user name and password, that would help satisfy all the conditions under digital signatures (unique to me, independent verification, exclusive control, etc). If you have some time, would you mind opening this attachment and letting me know if it doesn't satisfy A and B?
A. It has a hardware or software cryptographic protection (such as a public/private key pair) that is unique to the licensee.
B. It can be independently verified by a third-party certification authority.
C. The Electronic Record to which it is attached is encrypted such that the recipient can verify that the document was uniquely signed by the licensee.
D. The Electronic Record to which it is attached is encrypted such that the recipient can verify if the document has been altered since the licensee signed it.

Board definition of electronic vs digital signature
----------------------------------------------------------------
Electronic Signature: A signature in electronic form attached to, or logically
associated with, an Electronic Record or Electronic Document. An Electronic
Signature DOES NOT incorporate encryption or security measures. An
Electronic Signature, by itself, DOES NOT meet the requirements of WAC 196-
23-070 (2). An Electronic Signature can be a sound, image, icon or graphic that
has been adopted by the signer. Common examples of Electronic Signatures
include:
A. Digitized images of a “wet” signature,
B. Graphical representations of a handwritten signature (constructed using
graphics software or special fonts), and
C. Other icons or representations adopted by the person with the intent to
sign the document.



Digital Signature: Means a secure signature in electronic form that can be
attached to an Electronic Record. The Digital Signature must have the following
properties:
A. It must be unique to the licensee;
B. It must be capable of independent verification;
C. It must be under the exclusive control of the licensee;
D. It must transform the Electronic Record such that a recipient can
determine that the record was signed by the licensee,
E. It must transform the Electronic Record such that a recipient can
determine if the initial record was altered since the transformation was
made.
Attachments
State of WA eDocsInterpretiveGuideline- Test Signed.pdf
(139.61 KiB) Downloaded 39 times

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Re: Define key for a signature from "Signatures and Initials"

Post by lev » Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:17 pm

Riuy,

I checked the file and the certificate you signed with does not chain up to a valid certification authority (CA), so it violates Item B. You have to acquire a certificate from a third party CA, such as IdenTrust. PB most likely has a record with IdenTrust, so verifying your identity is about half-done. Check with your colleagues in Florida on how to apply.

One thing you need to clear up is whether the Board sees each signee as being responsible for his sheets based on having his electronic signature pasted on those, and a project manager as being responsible for assembling the entire set. If this is the case, a PM is the only person who has to have a certificate compliant with the Board rules to digitally sign the final PDF (setting permissions to "No Changes Allowed") once final PDF is in order.

Lev

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Re: Define key for a signature from "Signatures and Initials"

Post by riuy » Tue Aug 08, 2017 12:12 am

Lev,
You've been super helpful. I got in contact with our Florida folks and am looking into purchasing certificates.

Yes- after re-reading, it seems pretty clear regarding digital signatures required on an electronic document. However, I'm leaning towards the signature page where all the engineers digitally sign the signature page like FDOT requires, instead of asking just one "licensee who is taking responsible charge" (say, the PM) to place their digital signature for the whole set.

--------------------------------
The electronic final documents or records can be combined into a plan, plat or
document set as a single file. For plan/plat sets each page should have an
electronic copy of the responsible licensee’s seal, the date, and an Electronic
Signature
. This plan set can then be signed by the overall responsible licensee
with a single Digital Signature.

a. As long as the documents are combined into a single file prior to
application of the Digital Signature, a Digital Signature only needs to be
applied one time to the set
. Separate application of the Digital Signature
to every page in the set is not required. Separate application of a Digital
Signature to the set by every responsible licensee is also not required.
Only the licensee taking responsible charge of the entire set needs to apply
his digital signature.

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Re: Define key for a signature from "Signatures and Initials"

Post by Tracker Supp-Stefan » Tue Aug 08, 2017 2:02 pm

Hello riuy,

Then the "Signatures and Initials" field in the Editor should suffice for the FDOT requirement. That way each of your engineers can place a visual representation of e.g. their hand written signatures, and you won't need a digital certificate for each and then at the end - once the file is created in what you want to be it's final state - the responsible person with the correct digital certificate can place just one digital signature to verify that this state of the document is the one you want to certify.
Regards,
Stefan

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