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Summary:

Adobe has had a system for signing documents electronically built into such products as Acrobat for a while, but it is now offering Adobe eSignatures, a free cloud-based alternative. Just provide your name and an email address, and you’re ready to go.

Adobe has had a system for signing documents electronically built into such products as Acrobat for a while, but it is now offering Adobe eSignatures, a free cloud-based alternative.

Just provide your name and an email address, and you’re ready to go. If you wish, you can upload an image of your signature, or the system will add a generic one for you.

When you need to have a PDF document signed, you can upload it, enter the email addresses of the recipients, add a short cover message, and select a due date. eSignatures will send a reminder when the due date is approaching.

The other parties can review the document online and add their signatures. You can sign first, or after everyone else has signed. A copy will then be ready for download for up to six months.

Documents signed using Adobe eSignatures are certified that they have not been changed after being signed. Adobe Reader and Acrobat will detect changes and the certification will disappear.

Adobe says that eSignatures complies with both the ESign Act of 2000 and the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA), making its electronic signatures legally valid in the U.S., although there are other factors to take into consideration when choosing whether to sign documents electronically.

Although Adobe eSignatures is in beta, it seems to be well designed and stable. eSignatures will be joining several other cloud-based electronic signature services (for more on the cloud, check out our Structure conference in June), but its simplicity, and Adobe’s marketing power, will make it a formidable competitor.

How do you sign documents?

Related GigaOM Pro content (sub. req.): Report: The Real-Time Enterprise

By Charles Hamilton

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  1. Bryan Thompson Friday, May 14, 2010

    Tried Adobe’s new product, disappointed. It’s not even comparable to RightSignature, which seems to be the best esign application we’ve found.

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  2. I agree with Bryan. Adrobe’s new product is a disappointment. It is lacking many features that other services are already doing. I am beta testing for TurboSignature and it clearly blows away Adobe’s eSignatures. Any service that offers electronic signatures is really way better than Adobe IMO.

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