Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Working with PDFs

Most lawyers, especially those who do e-filing in the federal courts, are working with PDFs on a regular basis. If you want to improve your PDF skills, be sure to check out the Acrobat for Legal Professionals blog. I found two of the recent tips especially helpful:

Fixing Text Reflow Issues when you Copy and Paste Text from PDFs tells you how to modify any PDF you are copying and pasting text from so that the line breaks are removed and the text reflows in its new destination. This works well with OCRd documents that contain hidden text and slip opinions from the Fourth Circuit.

Creating a Transparent Signature Stamp tells you how to put your signature on a PDF you've created without using the cumbersome digital signature tool that everyone hates. Some people don't like to e-mail PDFs converted straight from word processing documents because they lack a signature. So, they print the document, sign it, scan it, then e-mail the scanned PDF. That's a waste of time and paper. Save your time. Save a tree. Use the stamping tool in Acrobat. If you're worried about the recipient lifting your stamp, you can flatten the image and integrate the stamp as part of the document by printing the finished product to your Adobe PDF paperless printer driver. That way, the risk of misappropriation of your signature would be the same as if you signed in ink and scanned it (or faxed it).

One of my earliest posts in this blog (which is now five years old, can you believe it?) was questioning why more people aren't using electronic signatures. Who knew that five years later, I would still be wondering the same thing. Maybe this tip will help get us there.

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