Adobe adds forms signer to Acrobat 5.0

Agencies that already use Adobe Portable Document Format can add digital signature capability for $39 per seat, Adobe Systems Inc. announced today.

The Acrobat 5.0 Approval software is specific to PDF forms and documents, whether inside or outside a Web browser, Adobe's David Rodrigues said. The approval software can't create the PDFs but can fill in, spell-check, sign and save them locally. The contents can be routed to Open Database Connectivity-compliant databases and processed in Extensible Markup Language.

A valid digital signature appears either in characters or as a handwritten facsimile superimposed on the Adobe PDF triangular symbol beside a green check mark. The date and location of signing appear beside the signature. Rodrigues said attempts to alter anything in a signed document will cause an 'invalid' message showing who tried to modify it and when.

The password-protected user signatures, which must be set up by a network administrator, are compatible with third-party certificates issued by Entrust Inc. of Dallas and VeriSign Inc. of Mountain View, Calif., Rodrigues said.

Adobe's Christy Hubbard said the IRS, which Web-publishes its tax forms in PDF, licensed an earlier generation of the signature software.

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