Sign of the times

Easily add signatures with Adobe’s new software

Picture it: you receive an email about forms or contracts you need to sign back at the office. You read this email on a touchscreen-enabled device – your smartphone, perhaps, or your tablet. And you wonder why you can’t just draw your signature on the screen using your finger.

Wonder no more. The digital-media experts at software giant Adobe have created solutions to this and other productivity gaps with Adobe Acrobat XI, released late last year.

To better understand the issues businesspeople were experiencing with technology, Adobe sponsored a white paper last summer. What they found: people were losing time researching and assembling documents, managing the document-review process, working with forms and, of course, reviewing and signing documents.

The result: Adobe integrated EchoSign, its online signature service, into its latest Adobe Acrobat release. EchoSign allows you to electronically sign documents and send them to others for their signatures. Previous versions of Acrobat allowed users to sign PDFs, but the incorporation of EchoSign makes it easier, not to mention more secure. Now, even the free Adobe Reader software lets you sign forms on touchscreen devices.

Need to gather information from clients? No problem. Use FormsCentral, Adobe’s PDF-form creation tool, which Adobe also merged into the new Acrobat. FormsCentral can designate certain fields as “required,” and otherwise help users complete forms whether they use Reader, Acrobat or a Web browser.

Adobe scratched other itches in this release, as well. For instance, Acrobat XI lets you package documents stored in Office 365 and SharePoint right from its interface. It also lets you export a PDF’s contents to a usable PowerPoint document, as well as its Microsoft Office suitemates Word and Excel.

This article originally published in Connected for Business Magazine. For a PDF of this article, click here.

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