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This is an interim solution until a permanent solution can be implemented by Information Technology Services.

This guidance is being provided by the Disbursements area of the Controller's Office. This provides an alternative to collecting a handwritten signature when faculty and staff are telecommuting, a printer is not available, or any other situation where obtaining a handwritten signature is not an option. Disbursements will also accept email authorizations in lieu of signing for the time being for the Travel Forms Package, e.g., Travel Authorization (TA) and Travel Reimbursement Expense Report (TRER), Mileage & Transportation Form (MTR), and Employee & Student Direct Pay Request (ESDPR).

Please check with other departments/units before submitting a digitally signed form to verify they allow this alternative.

Before you get started, make sure you have Adobe Creative Cloud installed on your computer along with Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, which is included with Adobe Creative Cloud.

Section I - Convert file to a pdf

Skip to the next section if the file you are using is already in pdf format

  1. Open the Excel (or Word file) form
  2. Select File > Save as Adobe PDF
  3. From the Acrobat PDFMaker pop-up box, you have the option to publish a selection of sheets, a single sheet, or the entire workbook
  4. Click Convert to PDF once you’ve selected your conversion range and options. You will be prompted to save the file

    Acrobat PDF maker screenshot

Section II- Open the pdf file & initiate the digital signature process

Note: The exact steps may vary depending on software version

  1. Open the form using Adobe Acrobat Pro DC to utilize the secure digital signature feature and other built-in functionality

    Consult the University Digital Signature Guidance to determine if the signature you plan to use meets the criteria as an ‘Acceptable’ digital/electronic signature

  2. Fill and Sign the document
    1. Select Tools >  Fill and Sign

    2. Select the appropriate signing option, e.g., Fill and sign or Request Signatures

      1. If you need to sign the form first, before obtaining signatures from others, select Fill and Sign
        1. Adobe will activate the option to type the text for printed names
        2. Select the Sign button on the top toolbar to sign the document by typing or drawing a signature if one does not exist
          Adobe Acrobat Pro DC sign button screenshot
        3. Once your signature is created, add it to the form in the appropriate signature field
  3. Request signatures
    1. To obtain signatures from others, select the Next button at the top of the page

    2. Save the document when prompted to do so
    3. Select Request Signatures option to send the completed document to others to sign and click the Get Started button
      Adobe Acrobat Pro DC how do you want to send your file screenshot
    4. Add signers' email addresses in the order you need the form approved/signed.

      If you do not need approvals in a specific order, you can change that under the “More Options” field by toggling to Complete in Any Order

    5. Add your subject and message to recipients, then click Specify Where to Sign
      Adobe Acrobat Pro DC specify where to sign screenshot
    6. The document will load and you will have the option to select fields to specify where to sign or type text
      1. If you are routing the document to more than one person, Adobe will give the option to assign fields to specific users for signature or completion.
      2. Click in the correct signature field on the form to assign the first (or only) recipient to and select their email address from the drop-down box. If you are routing the document to more than one person, Adobe will give the option to assign fields to specific users for signature or completion.
      3. Select the pen tool to set the field as a signature field
        Adobe Acrobat Pro DC pen tool screenshot

        If you need the signer to add a date or other text, select the text icon. You can use both options in the same document.

    7. After assigning fields, click the Send button at the bottom of the screen. The document will be routed to the first person listed in the "select a recipient to assign field." Once they have signed the form, it will route to the next email address on the list if there is more than one signer designated.
    8. Adobe will send the creator a pdf copy of the signed document via email once all parties have completed signing. The final copy will contain a final audit report page at the end.
      Adobe Acrobat Pro DC final audit report screenshot
  4. Submit the fully signed document and final audit report page to Disbursements
    1. Upload electronically to Disbursements via the Imaging Document Submission (IDS) in the imaging system.



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