Using electronic signatures to ensure security and authenticity.

So you have spent a lot of time, resources and negotiations to finalise the offer or proposal for a potential new client, that all important document with so much information and details is ready to be sent…

Between you and your client you have revised and created version after version so now how do you ensure this one is the final one and by you?

Traditionally you would sign the document yourself or even further back in time use your insignia, now with todays technology you can still have your brand and signature on each document you create but how do give it that final seal of approval to exhume authenticity?

We use what is called electronic signatures these are attached to a document and hold the same legal standing as a handwritten signature. They must stick to the requirements laid out by the governing regulation, here in the European Union for example we follow the regulations laid out by eIDAS (electronic Identification, Authentication and trust services) you can find out more information on this regulation here.

This is a great way to show to your clients that you appreciate privacy and authenticity but, more than that, electronic signature of PDF documents using certificates ensure two important things for any document reader:

  1. You or your organization was the author of the document
  2. The document was not altered after being electronically signed

Today I will show you briefly on how to set up your electronic signatures in Docuo document management doftware and how to use them.

Setting up your signature

You will need to add your digital certificate(s) and create a signature through the electronic signatures manager. This is available to your Docuo administrators from the wrench button in the desktop application.

You will introduced to a window with two sections…

The first section (1) is where you upload your digital certificate. Here you enter the name, file and password of your certificate and also select the algorithm your certificate adheres to.

The second section (2) is where you create a signature for that certificate. This will be information you supply to cement the user(s) who can electronically sign documents allocated with the digital certificate.

Here you can:

  • Give a name
  • Give a reason for the signature
  • The location / repository it is associated with
  • The type of signature, you can chose between CADES or CMS
  • Add a trusted time stamp signature
  • And a key feature allocate the user(s) you give permission to use this electronic signature to sign.

All of these details can be adjusted at anytime and further information can be found here.

Now your digital certificate is set up and your electronic signature is created you can now sign files in Docuo, but how?

Using your electronic signature

The only type of file that can be signed in Docuo are PDFs, any PDF stored in Docuo can be signed, whether the documents, attachments or files stored in a file type field.

Signatures can only be configured by an Docuo administrator. There are many ways to sign documents and see if a document is signed.

how to sign:

  • You can right click on the document in question either in the results list or the document details. You can use this option to also remove a signature.
  • In the file step of the category manager you can set it that each time the document in that particular category is published as a final version it can automatically be signed with the electronic signature you choose.
  • Another great fast way is each time a document is moved manually or automatically along a transition  it can be signed automatically. You can set this up in the process step of the category manager. Here you can also create a new signature.

How to identify a signed document:

There a few ways to help identify a signed document…

First is in the results list, a small padlock symbol helps you identify signed documents in a large list.

In addition the padlock symbol appears in the icon in the document details “Main file”.

When you open the PDF document it will be shown that the document is signed and all signatures are valid.

It is important to know each time a document is modified that signature will become invalid and will need resigning to clarify full authenticity.

Remember you can find more information and other features in our online documentation here.

So even though electronic signatures are very simple to set up and use they show your clients the commitment to professionalism and security.

You can even use them through our secure email notifications and also create a company unique web portal for your clients to securely download.

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See you in the cloud!!


James Storey