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I have been experimenting over the weekend with a signature pad from a German company called StepOver. One of our major clients uses these pads for all of their service engineers. I have to admit that it’s a very neat solution and the signatures produced are legally valid.

stepover

 

It’s extremely simple to use. First you produce your job sheet (or whatever document you want to sign) from within e-Quip, then you print it. This is the clever bit. The signature pad comes with a virtual printer driver called the “StepOver PDF Converter“. Rather than sending the document to a printer it creates a PDF file from it and opens that file in an application called e-Signature Office.

This application has a button labelled Sign. When you click this you can then draw a rectangle anywhere within the document as shown below.

esig2

You then sign using the signature pad and that’s it. e-Signature Office saves the PDF document in such a way that it cannot be tampered with. More importantly the signature cannot be copied to another document.

esig3

The watermark in the picture above is because I was using the evaluation version of the software. In the final document you can double-click on the signature to see its validation details. All in all, a very capable solution. We are looking into their programming interface (API) to see if we can make it better still.