Sending faxes with signatures

Advanced feature discussion, beta programs and unsupported "Labs" features.
4 posts Page 1 of 1
by virtualmike » Mon Aug 08, 2011 1:27 pm
A couple of comments have been made about using's "Send A Fax" tool for sending documents that require signatures or other annotations.

The situation is that one receives a fax as a PDF document, but needs to sign it or make other updates, and then return to the sender as another fax. Without a fax machine, how does one print, sign, and fax?

A program called NitroPDF Reader, a free alternative to Adobe Reader, includes functionality to "sign" PDFs, as well as to complete and save PDF forms (the ones with a box for each datum to be entered) and type data into PDFs (when the PDF doesn't have boxes, but the user needs to enter information).

Nitro explains the process to create a signature here, using a scanner or a phone with a camera. Once created, a signature can be added to any PDF document (unless the person who created the PDF has secured it, which shouldn't happen with a fax).

But wait! There's more! With NitroPDF reader, one can create PDFs. The program installs a "virtual printer," allowing the user to print from any application to create a PDF. Need to send an Excel spreadsheet as a fax? "Print" it to NitroPDF, and use's "Send A Fax" tool. In many cases, it is possible to drag a file onto the NitroPDF icon and have the file opened as a PDF, ready to save. (I often "print" web pages to PDF to save to read later.)

NitroPDF Reader is free to download and install. Works with Windows XP, Vista, and 7.

(I've tested sending a document "signed" using NitroPDF reader, through's Send A Fax service, and it arrived at the destination looking exactly as intended.)
by nicknick » Mon Aug 08, 2011 2:20 pm
It may look like a properly signed document but is it a legal signature if you insert the same scanned copy of your signature into every document you are 'signing' this way?
by virtualmike » Mon Aug 08, 2011 2:56 pm
nicknick wrote:
... is it a legal signature if you insert the same scanned copy of your signature into every document you are 'signing' this way?

In most cases, yes.

The only time I have found it to be a potential issue is with a contract or other document that requires multiple signatures, or is part of a series of multiple documents. I've always ensured the master contract/document has a clause or stipulation that electronic signatures are acceptable.

If in doubt, ask the person who is requesting the signature whether an electronic signature is acceptable. If yes, the fact that it's copied is irrelevant.

Note that most checks issued by large companies have electronic signatures. There isn't a person who sits down and manually signs batches of hundreds of checks.
by rlvh » Mon Aug 08, 2011 4:14 pm
Also when you sign a paper document and fax it to someone that signature is in turn a digital copy of the actual page you signed.
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