6 Replies Latest reply on Dec 16, 2015 12:45 PM by supportw34835115

    Using Echosign or Adobe Reader to get signatures

    akanick Level 1

      Hello. I would like some feedback on which way to get a document signed in multiple places by multiple parties. I have a secure document that is approximetly 16 pages long that requires signatures by three or more parties. I created an account with EchoSign, because I've read that it's a secure way to transport the document back and forth between the parties who need to sign. I'm just wondering if anyone has any experience using either one of these methods and if you have any advice on which method I should go with. I should add that I've created the document in Adobe Acrobat Pro and I plan to add the electronic document to our web site for the purposes of employee onboarding.

      Thank you in advance.


        • 1. Re: Using Echosign or Adobe Reader to get signatures
          Dave Merchant MVP & Adobe Community Professional

          If you use EchoSign then you can't post the PDF to your website and let anyone grab a copy - the premise of EchoSign is that there is no PDF during the actual signing process, people log into the website and place their signature on a visual representation of the document shown in their browser (not in the Adobe Reader plugin), which is converted into a certified PDF and emailed back to those involved once everyone has finished the signing process. Unlike with a conventional PDF signing workflow, the document isn't passed between the signers, and you have to specify in advance who the signers are.


          If you want a general-purpose form that anyone can download and sign, stick with a regular Acrobat form in a PDF file - but that of course means your employees will need their own digital IDs. EchoSign removes that requirement but in doing so it has to restrict the workflow.

          • 2. Re: Using Echosign or Adobe Reader to get signatures
            akanick Level 1



            Can I send you to my web site where I will create a link for you to look at the form I've created? would you be willing to make a recommendation on how I should get secure signatures? My goal, once the form is complete,  is to have the form available through my agency's web site to new employees whom I give access to the employee portal. IT HAS to be digitally signed and sent back to my agency.

            • 3. Re: Using Echosign or Adobe Reader to get signatures
              Dave Merchant MVP & Adobe Community Professional

              The first question is not where the form should be hosted, but what you mean by "digitally signed".


              • A self-signed ID created in Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader is meaningless in terms of proving identity, as anyone can make up any ID - it doesn't even have to have a valid email address. There's no traceability so the signature is not legally admissible, so it's no better than getting them to tick a box or click an 'OK' button.
              • Verifiable and legally-approved digital IDs are available from commercial vendors, but they cost a fair amount of money and require the application to submit identity documents. Very few people will have one, and nobody will buy one for the fun of it.
              • EchoSign has no real way to tell who is signing the form, other than the fact the link went to a known email address - the digital certificate on the returned file is actually Adobe's own ID, and it simply proves that someone followed a particular link and drew in their signature on a stated date and time. Because the identity of that person is only traced through their email address, EchoSign will never give you a generic URL to link to the form - in fact you never get to see the encrypted URL sent to your recipients either. You have to enter the email address of each recipient by hand on the EchoSign website, the form can't be hosted on your own server.
              • 4. Re: Using Echosign or Adobe Reader to get signatures
                SimonATS Adobe Employee

                Dave you're missing a few things.


                EchoSign has the option to create widgets, which let's you host a form on your website either as a url link or embedded javascript and let anyone sign it who comes across it. (Though as you say the form itself wil be hosted by the EchoSign service.)

                Echosign does have a real way of identifying a signer, not only is the (unique) email used, but also the dat and time of signing and the IP address during signing are also captured. In addition a passowrd/pin can be set for each signing. (Though this is for regular echoSign transactions and not widgets).

                perhaps not as strong as a fully qualified certificate, but good enough in the US and UK and  other countries, not to mention a lot cheaper and more practical compared to qualified disgital certificates.


                Also Echosign does form fields as well. using Acrobat 11 it's possible to add EchoSign field directly to a PDF,


                using the Echosign API there's all sort you can do in combination ith regular PDF forms as well. For example you can have a PDF hosted on your own website which can submit to the EchoSign API in order to e-sign it.

                • 5. Re: Using Echosign or Adobe Reader to get signatures
                  Jodi1725 Level 1

                  Okay so with EchoSign i am unable to open a PDF and then sign it myself using echosign and then forward it on to others.  SInce self signed digital id isn't really secure any ideas other than a 3rd party?  I would love for the digital id to have the IP that would seem like it would give a more secure "signature".  looking for suggestions

                  • 6. Re: Using Echosign or Adobe Reader to get signatures

                    How do I view the IP Address?