Among the most powerful tech tools available to the mobile attorney is the electronic signature. All an attorney needs is their tablet and an internet connection, and documents that formerly needed to be printed and signed at the office can now be signed and sent without ever taking paper form. Among the most popular apps on the market for electronic signatures is eSign by Landtech. And it’s popular for a reason.
This fantastic app allows you to electronically sign any PDF document and email it to its recipient, right from your iPad. What’s the big deal, a lot of apps do that? See for yourself…
eSign comes built in with a number of options for opening documents AND for what you can add once you’re there. When you first open the app, it will request a default email address. This is the email that all of your signed documents will be sent to once signed (don’t worry, you’re able to specify a different email or additional emails at that point). The strength of the app becomes apparent immediately when you realize how many different ways eSign allows you to import a document for signature.
Opening a document
eSign allows you to receive a document for signature in a variety of ways. As you can see, you’re able to open documents from email, from your Dropbox account, or by photo-scanning a document with your tablet’s camera. However, this list truly gives an incomplete look at how many ways you can open documents for signatures in eSign.
With an easy-to-use interface, and step-by-step instructions available, eSign allows you to add a signature to basically any PDF document that you have on your tablet, exporting from nearly any program. My personal favorite app for reviewing and editing PDF documents, iAnnotate PDF for iPad, allows me to export any PDF directly to eSign to add my signature. By easily exporting any supported PDF format, from basically any app that allows you to open a PDF, you don’t have to worry about difficult or complex importing issues when you need to sign the document.
Signing a document
Here’s where, in my opinion, eSign really knocks it out of the park. Ok, so I have my document open in eSign. First, you should know that you have the option of signing the document using either your finger or a stylus.
While I’m still not the biggest fan of having to sign documents with my finger (and it takes some considerable getting used to), after a couple tries, it worked very nicely. Additionally, you’re able to change the width of the lines, the color of the ink, and even whether you want to be able to see the underlying document text while you sign. Not to worry, though, you can easily delete or resize a signature to fit where it needs to go.
In addition to just your signature, though, eSign allows you to insert text, the date, or a photo instead of, or in addition to, your signature. This is perfect for documents that need to be dated before sent, but are traditionally left blank (or created on a date when it wasn’t certain when the document would be sent. Adding dates can also be quite handy for documents requiring multiple signatures.
If you’re not wild about using the sign-by-finger or stylus technique, you can always take a photo of your signature and incorporate it into the document like a stamp, rather than by signature.
Once you’ve signed your document, you have several options regarding what to do next with that document. As you can see, you have the option of saving the signed document over the original, unsigned version, saving as a new document, and save-and-email. Once your document is signed, you will be able to email it directly from eSign to your designated email address. Notably, eSign does not appear to allow you to export signed documents to the PDF readers from which you were allowed to import the unsigned versions. Hopefully, they will address that issue in a future update.
Killer Feature: Signature Peripherals
By allowing you to add extra text, the date, or a photo to your signature (or as your signature), eSign by Landtech really goes the extra mile to provide not only a capable e-signature app, but a truly useful tool for attorneys to leverage the power of the electronic signature in their practice.
Fatal Flaw: None.
While the interface could be a little more smooth, and it would be nice to see them add functionality to export signed documents directly to the input source (such as Dropbox or iAnnotate), that’s really nitpicking. Since you’re able to email the document, it can be easily saved again wherever you need it.
Note: A problem with the iOS7 update prevents users from importing documents by photo-scanning it, but only when using the iPad (according to Landtech representatives, the iPhone version works fine, and they are working for a patch to remedy the iPad issue. Further, I wanted to note that even though there is a problem, the speedy response to my questions by Landtech support was quite impressive.
eSign by Landtech is a fantastic app for using electronic signatures on-the-go. With the ability to import PDF documents from email, Dropbox, and pretty much any PDF reader/viewer you might have on your tablet, eSign is incredibly accessible and easy to use. With the options to add text, date, or even a photo along with your signature, eSign should meet the needs of any attorney who wants to be able to sign documents when they’re out of the office. And as a free app, the price REALLY cannot be beat.