In This Issue:

In this month's edition of the FileCenter Newsletter, read about:

PDF Signature Stamp »

CrashPlan: PCMag Editor's Choice »

Stamp Your Signature in PDFs

Do you ever find yourself printing a PDF just to sign it then rescan it? What if you could create a "stamp" out of your signature? Then you could stamp your signature right on the signature line – no printing, no re-scanning. This month's tip will show you how.

Prepare Your Signature

The trick is to create a custom stamp out of your signature. So the first step is to get your signature on your computer:

  1. Sign on a clean sheet of paper using the biggest signature you'd ever expect to need (it's easy to shrink a signature, harder to enlarge one cleanly)
  2. Scan it into FileCenter's Edit tab
  3. Zoom the display to 100-150%
  4. Go to the Windows Start button and type Snipping Tool in the Search box, then open the Snipping Tool
  5. Draw a rectangle close around your signature
  6. Save it as a PNG file

Now we need to remove the white background. If you have a favorite graphics program, you probably already know how to do this. If you don't, follow these steps:

  1. Go to http://pixlr.com
  2. Scroll down until you see a button to Launch Web App and click it
  3. Click Open Image From Computer
  4. Browse to your signature and open it
  5. On the left you'll see tools; select the third one down in the left column: Magic Wand
  6. On the toolbar above the image, de-select Contiguous
  7. Click anywhere in the white
  8. Go to the Edit menu > Invert Selection
  9. Go to the Edit menu > Copy
  10. Go to the File menu > New Image
  11. Select Create Image From Clipboard and Transparent
  12. Click OK

You now have a second copy of your signature, this one with a transparent background (it looks like a checkerboard, but that just tells you that there is no background).

Finally, go to File > Save, select My Computer on the left, be sure to select PNG as the format, then click Ok.

Now give it a name and choose somewhere to save the file.

Import Your Signature

Now you have a transparent signature that you can use anywhere. What we care about is getting it into FileCenter. Open a PDF in FileCenter's Edit tab, then do this:

  1. Click the drop-arrow next to the Stamps button (it's the button on the far right side of the PDF editor's toolbar)
  2. Select Show Stamps Palette
  3. On the stamps palette, click New to add a new collection, and give it a name, like "Signatures"
  4. On the right, select From Image
  5. Browse out to the signature you just made and open it

Your signature will now appear as a stamp in the palette. You can close the palette now.

Use Your Signature as a Stamp

You're done creating your signature stamp. It's ready to use. So let's sign something:

  1. Click the drop-arrow next to the Stamps button
  2. Scroll down until you see your signature
  3. Select it
  4. Stamp it on the PDF
  5. Use the corner handles to resize it to fit the signature line

There's one more step. Right now you can still delete the signature from the PDF. To make it permanent, you need to burn it in, something we call flattening. Go to the Comments menu > Flatten Comments. Note that this will burn any kind of annotation into the PDF. So if you have other annotations in the document which you want to keep as annotations, be sure to limit this to the Current Page.

CrashPlan: PC Magazine Editor's Choice

Your hard drive will fail on August 1. Total meltdown. Every file, every legal document, every digital photo will vanish. Luckily, fate has given you a month to prepare. You are allowed to make one, and only one, backup – to a Cloud backup service. Will you stick with the one you have? Will you trust Carbonite? Mozy? Because neither of those made the PC Magazine Editor's Pick this year. Which backup service did? CrashPlan:

PC Magazine's CrashPlan Review

We often hear customers say that backup is backup. But for us, our business literally lives and dies by its files; if we lose the source code for FileCenter and FileConvert, we lose everything.

CrashPlan has proved itself to us in the trenches. It runs fast and silently, and it has come through again and again on restores. So much so, in fact, that we entrust our source code, documentation, and website to CrashPlan. This newsletter is backed up to CrashPlan. Our day-in-and-day-out experience with CrashPlan underlies our decision to resell it to our customers.

Because of our partnership with CrashPlan, we're able to offer you unlimited enterprise-grade backup for up to four computers at the price of $180/year. At the end of the day, what we care about is that you're backing up your FileCenter data. But if you're going to back up, put some careful thought into the quality of your backup.


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