Of course, if you can implement a more high tech eSignatures regime, do so.
For examples of available platforms, see the “Vendors” links in my eSignatures Bibliography.
In any event, here is a lower tech method . . .
- STEP ONE
If the final content of the agreement is available in Word format, convert the agreement into .PDF:
- Open the relevant Word file.
- Choose Create PDF from the Acrobat drop-down menu
- Agree to save the .pdf by, in the “Save” window by navigating to the desired drive location.
- Once conversion is complete, page through the PDF file and make sure that the content and pagination are correct.
- Scrub the metadata in Adobe Acrobat Standard or Professional via:
- STEP TWO
- Scan the signature page(s) (and then convert) into .pdf
- OCR the signature page(s) by using Acrobat’s built-in Recognize Text tool
- If there is only one signature page, once you get the Recognize Text window, press the Enter key or click on OK
- With multiple signature pages, click to fill the radio button to the left of All Pages
- Press the Enter key or click on OK
- Once all the pages have been OCR’d, SAVE THE FILE
- STEP THREE
- Open the converted-from-Word file
- Click on the Pages tab
- Right click on the thumbnail of the unsigned version of the signature page and choose Replace Pages . . .
[If there are multiple signature pages, you can select them all via Shift+Click or Ctrl+Click]
- Navigate to the .PDF file having the scanned signature page(s)
- Follow the prompts until you have replaced the unsigned version of the signature page(s) with the scanned signed version(s)
- SAVE THE NOW-MODIFIED CONVERTED-FROM-WORD FILE
- STEP FOUR
- Document > Reduce File Size in Acrobat version 9 or lower; OR
- “File > Save As > Optimized PDF…” in Acrobat version X (a/k/a) 10 or lower
- Then follow the prompts to re-save the file.
- In general, some great how-to’s (video’s and text) on OCR, Reduce-File-Size (each of which was moved to a different location within Adobe Acrobat upon the issuance of version X), etc., etc. are at these links:
- Rick Borstein’s Acrobat for Legal Professionals Blog (geared toward legal professionals); and
- Simplify reviews and approvals (one of many helpful “how to” pages at Adobe Acrobat Family/Solutions for Work)