How digitally sign PDFs on iPad

Discussion in 'iPad General Discussions' started by Hgieson, Jun 29, 2010.

  1. Hgieson

    Hgieson iPF Noob

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    Does anyone have a good application for using a digital signature to certify and sign documents on the iPad? Mainly looking to sign PDFs.
     
  2. john

    john iPF Novice

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  3. cyclista

    cyclista iPF Noob

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    iPad signatures using iannotate

    Don't buy the iAnnotate software if you just want to digitally sign PDFs. My PDFs that I want to sign are protected. I'm not sure how to sign my PDF docs yet. Does anyone have any ideas?
     
  4. chowdown

    chowdown iPad Fan

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    What's wrong with iAnnotate? Is it something to do with the fact that the PDFs are protected?

    GoodReader, Noterize, Note Taker HD can all import PDFs, allow you to write on them, then export as PDFs.
     
  5. Lagranger

    Lagranger iPF Novice

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    Just to clarify: When you mean 'digitally sign' are you referring to an 'electronic' signature that cryptographically verifies the signer's identity (and prevents document tampering)?

    ...or do you just mean the ability to stamp a graphic of your handwritten signature on a document?

    If the former, then I don't believe any of the current crop of iOS PDF apps support this, as it appears to be an Adobe-specific feature.

    If the latter (the ability to save and stamp an image of your handwriting), then PDF Expert for the iPad does this.

    Hope this helps.
     
  6. cyclista

    cyclista iPF Noob

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    Thanks

    After much heartache it appears that the pdfs that I want to sign are protected and apart from Adobe nobody can allow me to sign or modify a protected document. However I downloaded iAnnotate and PDF expert. They are both good however PDF expert works way better to sign unprotected docs. Thanks for all you help.
     
  7. jgrapes

    jgrapes iPF Noob

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    Hi,
    I'm considering buying an iPad for preparing real estate sales contracts in the field. Totally paperless.

    My cloud based provider of the contracts permits form filling online but emails a protected pdf file. To collect signatures without paper I was considering any of these:

    iAnnotate PDF
    GoodReader
    Noterize
    Note Taker HD
    PDF Expert

    No reading your old iPadForum posts I see that my plan might not be possible. Did you ever find a way around this limitation?


    I was thinking perhaps a printing the protected pdf file to a new unprotected version might work.

    Your thoughts?
     
  8. Tim SPRACKLEN

    Tim SPRACKLEN iPad Legend

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    Several members have been using SignMyPad for this - it allows signing of PDF documents and the insertion of radio buttons and text boxes. The resulting document can be 'flattened' and emailed to the customer there-and-then. The developer is very supportive, so contact them via their website (access via the App Store) if you have any specific questions.

    Tim
     
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  9. 4phun

    4phun iPad Junkie

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    IAnnotate is the most powerful and will do what you want in SPADES.


    GoodReader was updated this morning and is a fine alternative for what you want, just use a cursive font if you do not want a free hand signature.

    I have no use for any of the others which I have too, waste of money!

    One other app worth looking at is Notability, which also just received an update. Apple is big on this one for use in education but it could be adapted to your needs. There is a learning curve associated with each of the above apps to get the most out of them. It is time well spent.

    Sent from my iPad using iPF
     
  10. 4phun

    4phun iPad Junkie

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    GoodReader QUOTE

    Data Protection (File Encryption)

    GoodReader takes advantage of iOS's Data Protection API. This API encrypts files, to make sure that your data will be secure, even if your device gets lost or stolen. While this feature is designed to be as transparent and effortless as possible, there are some procedures that need to be performed to enforce data encryption. Also, some limitations apply, so please be sure to read the following section, if you want to use this feature.

    Data Protection provides a fairly strong level of data security. If you use it properly, it will continue to protect your files even if an attacker jailbreaks your device and uses various hacking techniques to access encrypted files. You can also use Apple's Remote Wipe feature to erase all data remotely from a lost or stolen device.

    Data Protection works in conjunction with the passcode that you use to unlock your device. If you don't lock your device with a passcode, your files will NOT be encrypted. However, locking a device with a passcode doesn't automatically mean that your files will be encrypted. The following conditions must also be met (we have divided them into two categories - Apple's prerequisites and GoodReader's usage rules).

    Apple's side of protection:

    Since Data Protection relies on a special hardware to encrypt files, it doesn't work on older iOS devices. It does work on the following ones: all iPad models, iPhone models starting with 3GS and newer, iPod touch models starting with 3rd generation and newer.
    iOS 4.0 or later is required
    Data Protection is active only if you enable Passcode Lock in main device Settings, General section. If you don't use passcode lock, your files will not be encrypted.
    The trickiest part of preparing your device to use Data Protection comes to play when your device previously used to work under an older version of iOS. Data Protection requires disk drive of your device to be fully reformatted in a special secure mode. This automatically happens when you fully restore a device to iOS 4.0 or later, but it does NOT happen when you simply upgrade from iOS 3.x to iOS 4.x. During a simple upgrade process your disk drive is left in the older insecure mode. In this case you will have to perform a full restore (“full-erase install”) of your device to iOS 4.0 or later. The following paragraph describes how to check if your device is fully prepared for Data Protection or not.
    To check if your device is fully prepared to encrypt your files, go to main device Settings, General section, and select Passcode Lock. Make sure that Passcode is turned on. If Passcode is on, and your device's disk is properly formatted, you will see the “Data protection is enabled” label at the very bottom of Pascode Lock settings window:

    If you see this label, your device is fully prepared to encrypt files. The rest of setup is done in GoodReader.
    As an additional security measure, tell iTunes to encrypt your backup files
    If you represent a company that manages a set of iOS devices via Configuration Profiles, enforce a certain policy on your managed devices: require that Data Protection is enabled, require password length and complexity, require maximum passcode grace period, require encrypted iTunes backups. If a device is compromised, instantly use Remote Wipe.
    GoodReader's side of protection:

    In GoodReader there are two passwords to restrict the access to physical files - app startup password and password for protecting individual files and folders. Both of them are set up in GoodReader app settings, General section. Both these passwords apply encryption to files.
    It is important to understand that GoodReader itself doesn't encrypt or decrypt your files. It does two things - restricts the access to protected files via GoodReader's own user interface, and asks iOS to encrypt certain files (or all of them, if you're using app startup password). iOS, in its turn, locks these files within a few seconds after you lock your device with a passcode, and instantly unlocks them when you unlock your device with a passcode. It means that when you unlock your device with a passcode, all your files become decrypted and fully accessible, even if GoodReader app is not being run at the moment, and you haven't entered any of GoodReader's passwords yet. So, if your device is unlocked, GoodReader will prevent the access to protected files via its own user interface, but nothing prevents from copying these files via, for example, File Sharing section of iTunes (USB transfer), without knowing GoodReader's passwords. So please be sure to ALWAYS lock your device with a passcode, even if you leave it just for a minute. This will turn the physical hardware-based protection on. And while Auto-Lock option in main device Settings may be of great help with this, it never hurts to manually lock your device every time you leave it.
    GoodReader must explicitly tell iOS about files it wants to encrypt. This brings up an issue when you transfer files to GoodReader without GoodReader's direct participation, for example, using File Sharing in iTunes, or using some other undocumented technique. GoodReader takes care of everything when it directly participates in transferring process (when using documented WiFi transfer, or downloading files from remote servers via GoodReader's user interface). But if you have transferred files to GoodReader's protected zone using techniques that do not involve direct GoodReader's participation, you must make sure that GoodReader learns about these new files and explicitly asks iOS to encrypt them. You do it by simply launching GoodReader and browsing to a folder where these new files are located. Once GoodReader opens that folder and shows you this folder's list of files, it instantly discovers all new files being shown in a list, and tells the system if these files need to be encrypted or not.
    Things to consider:

    Your data protection is only as good as your passcode is. If you use “1234”, your name, your birthdate or your zodiac sign for a passcode, rest assured - an attacker will crack it in a minute. Choose strong alphanumeric passwords consisting of random characters, not words. Enter your passcode only when nobody's looking. And don't forget to change your passwords periodically.
    GoodReader can work with files on a locked device under certain circumstances. For instance, it can play audio when locked, or upload/download files for a short period of time (until WiFi module shuts down). However, if you use Data Protection, and a file you're working with is in a protected zone, iOS will physically block the access to this file within several seconds after locking, so don't be surprised if playback of a protected audio file suddenly stops when you lock a Data Protection-enabled device.

    Sent from my iPad using iPF
     
  11. Tom811

    Tom811 iPF Novice

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    Give upad a look if you simply need to capture a signature. Also serves as a great note taking app.
     
  12. jgrapes

    jgrapes iPF Noob

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    There is a lot of great apps

    Thanks everyone for sharing your favorite apps. I'm leaning to getting all of these, each has slightly different features:

    Notorize, SignMyPad and PDF Expert.

    Over the weekend I asked a question of the support team at Readdle and today they gave this response:

    Dear Jim,

    Thank you for contacting us. PDF Expert for iPad allows to add and save signatures in password protected PDF documents.

    Best regards,

    Olga Tatarchenkova,
    Marketing manager,
    Readdle Inc.



    Looks like getting signatures on protected PDF documents (paperlessly) is not going to be a problem.
     
  13. juniorgolf18

    juniorgolf18 iPF Novice

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    Do you actually sign on the "dotted line" so to speak or do you sign in a box and then drag it to the line?? This is how I've seen before??
     
  14. agencius

    agencius iPF Novice

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    Remember though, if your password is so tough for you to remember, that you have to write it down. That paper is a key as well, (except of course if you make it inconvenient physically such as locking it into a safety deposit box at a credit union or bank).

    Also, one of the classic security problems that bypasses passwords, no matter how good, is called buffer overflow. Thus far, the iOS world has been spared to my knowledge of attacks and Apple has made it very difficult to even have someone try and create code to do this.

    Maybe now that Adobe is folding it Flash tent on mobile, they will bring out their own PDF tool to the iOS world with direct signature support, it would probably at $10 to $20 a shot and wide acceptance, only make them a few hundred million dollars real quick on the iPad with paperless initiatives going on all over the place. My guess, they will make it $19.99, but first release it for $5 on debut to get publicity.

    Adobe will need no advertising to make hundreds of millions on iOS secure signature App software! Talk about profits, they can ditch flash and make far more on mobile just doing your 'John Henry' on iPad and maybe later on Android, (RIM job and Win iMMobile).
     
  15. Nataly

    Nataly iPF Noob

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    You can easily sign PDF documents with PDF Forms. Besides that it allows you to fill PDF forms and annotate PDF documents!
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2012

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