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Craig Wall

The Best Approach to Paperless (signing and storing PDFs)

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I am trying to help a non-profit agency go paperless, but have run up against a wall because I can't seem to find a way to "sign" a PDF while staying inside FileMaker. Acrobat seems intent on preventing that from happening, I suppose due to security and/or Adobe's business objectives.

 

I expect others have an interest in my objectives as well. 

 

Here was Plan A.

 

1. I would present the staff a list of required documents that they needed to review/complete and sign.   ( I've blurred out client information in the screen grabs. Craig Wall = me)

 

PDF1.png

 

2. When they clicked to launch a particular document my script would create a copy of the PDF with their employee Id appended to the name. The unique PDF would be stored externally and encrypted. The script would then take the user to a second screen where they could review/complete and sign. It's the signature part that has proved problematic. 

 

PDF2.png
 
 
I'll continue this in post #2

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When attempting to place a digital signature, this is the dreaded message:

 

PDF3.png


Obviously asking the staff to move PDFs in and out of Filemaker is impractical.

 

I do have a plan B, but it involves more work for me and is likely less elegant than Plan A. Does anyone know of a way to sign the document within FileMaker. Would using a web viewer work better?

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Could the staff sign in a FM layout, and then convert that to a pdf  / print afterwards?

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I really don't want to recreate 10 PDF forms into filemaker forms. That might take 100 hours. PDF is an accepted standard for paperless and signatures.

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Fair enough - how about pasting the pdf or a jpeg of them into a form and then putting the signature field over the top?

 

Sorry my solution isn't more sophisticated; I'm not very good at this! If someone smarter chips in, for goodness sake listen more to them :-)

 

Cheers.

Mike

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Mike,

 

That might work in one sense, but I don't think if scrutinized that the security folks would be happy with that solution.

 

I'll try to articulate my plan B here later today or tomorrow...and hope that it works. But I've got another fire to put out first.

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Have you considered using a document signing service?  Some of the bigger ones have an api that you can make calls to. Most of the templates and application of the processes are xml based.

 

It may take them to a web page to sign the document. But you should be able to keep that within FM.

 

Mike,

 

That might work in one sense, but I don't think if scrutinized that the security folks would be happy with that solution.

 

I'll try to articulate my plan B here later today or tomorrow...and hope that it works. But I've got another fire to put out first.

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