Digital signatures are used to validate the authenticity and integrity of digital documents. They act as an equivalent to a stamped seal that provides assurance that the document has not been altered since creation. Digital signatures are a perfect fit for the architecture, engineering, and construction industry because they reduce paper waste, decrease overhead costs, and shorten project timelines.
Bluebeam Revu 2019 supports the addition of digital signatures on PDFs, allowing users to create a signature, sign, and certify documents directly from the application.
This article will outline the process of creating a digital signature and signing a document in Bluebeam Revu 2019. This process consists of four steps: creating a digital ID, exporting a digital ID certificate, creating a digital signature appearance, and creating a signature field.
These examples are taken using the 64x Bluebeam Revu 2019 eXtreme edition, but these functionalities are available within all versions of Revu.
Creating a Digital ID
In order to digitally sign a document, you first need a Digital ID. Digital IDs can be purchased from a third-party certificate authority, but Revu also allows for the creation of a digital ID within the program. Digital signatures created within Revu are called “self-signed” and will require you to provide digital certificates to parties receiving your documents in order for them to be validated.
To create a Digital ID in Bluebeam Revu, go to Tools > Signatures > Digital IDs.
From the Manage Digital IDs dialog box, select the + button.
The New Digital ID box gives several options: Browse for existing Digital ID, Create Digital ID file, or Create Digital ID in Windows Certificate Store. As we are creating a self-signed ID from within Revu, select Create Digital ID.
Under Identity, enter in identifying information; Name and Email Address are the only required fields here, but more information can be included if needed.
The self-signed digital ID has now been created, and will appear listed in the Manage Digital IDs box.
Exporting Digital ID Certificate
With a self-signed digital ID, you will need to send copies of your ID certificate to anybody who will receive documents with your digital signature on it so that it can be properly validated. This should be done before sending a digitally signed document. To send this certificate, simply export your digital ID.
To export your digital ID, select the ID and press Export. Save the certificate file to a location of your choice. Once saved, this certificate can be easily shared via email or network sharing system.
Creating a Digital Signature Appearance
Once the digital ID has been created and exported, you can now create a digital signature and set its appearance. Bluebeam Revu allows you to create multiple appearances for your digital signature to work for any signing need. To create a new digital signature appearance, select Manage Appearances, then the + button.
From the Signature Appearance dialog box, first give your appearance template an easily recognizable name in the Title field. This is especially useful if you plan on creating multiple signature appearances.
Under Graphic, there are several options to choose from:
- None will apply no graphic to the signature
- Name prints the signer’s name as a graphic
- File will apply a specified graphic from your computer to your signature, such as your company’s logo
The Position option will determine where the graphic will appear in the signing box, whether it be on the left, right, or in the background (behind the text) of the signature.
- In the Text section, you can choose which information will auto generate when the signature is applied. Check or uncheck text options to ensure your signature includes all the information you need.
- The Alignment option allows you to determine how the text will be aligned on the signature.
- To set the font size of the text options manually, you can uncheck Auto and select the desired Font Size.
- Labels will create field names such as “Digitally signed by” and “DN” to appear in the signature box. If you want to remove these field names, uncheck Labels.
- Logo will create a Bluebeam icon watermark – to remove this watermark, uncheck this option.
The preview of the digital signature will update whenever an option is set. Once you’re satisfied with your digital signature appearance, select OK.
Once your digital signature and digital ID have been created, you can now use it to sign documents.
How a PDF is digitally signed depends on how it was created. When receiving PDFs to be signed, a signature field will generally have already been added to the document in preparation for your signature.
Creating a Signature Field
In some cases, however, you might need to add your own signature field before signing. To add a signature field to a PDF, select Tools > Signature > Sign Document. Drag a rectangle on the page to define a signature field.
Under Signature Type, you can choose to sign the document or certify it. To add a digital signature, keep Digital Signature selected.
The Options section lets you choose a Reason for signing from the drop down and enter in Contact Info and Location. These are all optional fields and can be left blank.
Under Appearance, you can choose a signature appearance, if you have more than one created.
With all your settings chosen, select OK to place your signature. You will be prompted to save the document once again. Your digital signature will now appear on the PDF.
Lauren Hecker is a Bluebeam Certified Instructor and teaches Onsite Bluebeam Certified Courses, virtual Bluebeam Basics and Advanced courses, and custom onsite or virtual courses. To see her next open enrollment course, please visit our calendar. To schedule an onsite or custom course, please contact us!