How to Add a Signature and Date to a PDF file

One of the questions we frequently get is:  Can I use Win2PDF to add a signature to a PDF file?

While Win2PDF doesn’t directly support this, many people don’t realize the free Adobe Reader software they already have installed already has this capability.  And it’s quite easy to use.

Sign_or_initial-1

For example, suppose you are using Win2PDF to create a sales quote for a new customer, and you want to have them sign, date, and return the quote as a PDF file so it can be archived.  In the “old days”, the customer would need to print the PDF file, sign the paper, and then scan it back in to the computer.  With Adobe Reader, this is not necessary.  Just open the PDF file, insert a digital signature and add text for date, initials, PO number, etc., and then save the PDF file to return it.  Here’s a short tutorial that shows how it can be done:

For additional information, you can visit Adobe’s support page on signing PDFs.

Happy signing…

Video tutorial – Save PDF invoices electronically & print to a paper printer at the same time

One of our customers recently asked us how they could streamline the process of printing out invoices to their normal paper printer, and saving an electronic PDF file at the same time without any user prompting.  The paper invoice would be mailed to their customer, and the PDF file would be date and time stamped and saved in a directory that would be backed up nightly.

It just takes a few steps to set up a copy of the Win2PDF printer that will do all of this. We’ve posted a short video tutorial that walks you through this process, and this and more video examples can be found at our Win2PDF YouTube channel:

You could use this same process to create your own Win2PDF printer with your customized ‘Print and Save’ settings for any type of document.


	

Print to PDF – A Win2PDF Tutorial

Recent posts have focused on some of the new features in our Win2PDF 10 update.  Now, we’ve created a tutorial that illustrates how you can use these new features to create a copy of the Win2PDF printer that is dedicated to a particular use.  In our example, we’ll save encrypted business receipts as PDF files to a specific folder without any user prompting.

This is one example — you can use the same basic principles to set up multiple versions of Win2PDF that are streamlined for specific uses.  It’s an easy way to quickly back up files to a specific folder with minimal user interaction.

Watch the following tutorial and then experiment on your own.

If you have any questions, let us know at our Win2PDF Technical Support page and we’ll help you out.

Win2PDF 10: Adding new copies of the Win2PDF printer

In Win2PDF 10, there is a new Add Win2PDF Printer option in the Win2PDF program group (which is accessible from the Windows Start menu or Start screen).  This feature can be very useful if you want to dedicate a version of Win2PDF that has specific settings for a specific application, a type of company document, or a particular group of users.

win2pdf blog copies

For instance, consider if you were a Win2PDF Pro 10 user and you wanted to have special Win2PDF printer created that would: ALWAYS create a PDF file with a company watermark.  ALWAYS password protect a document.  Or ALWAYS save certain file types (e.g., invoices or weekly reports) to a specific folder location without any user prompting.  And you could do all of this while still having the main Win2PDF printer reserved for normal interactive printing.

With Win2PDF 10’s Add Win2PDF Printer new menu item, you can easily make as many of these special-use PDF printers as you’d like. Here’s a short video showing how to add a new copy of the Win2PDF printer.

In an upcoming blog post, we’ll describe how to combine this and other new Win2PDF 10 features to automate tasks and improve your workflow with PDF files.

 

New Auto-name features in Win2PDF 10

One of the most significant improvements to Win2PDF 10 is the enhanced Auto-name options.  The Auto-name feature allows you to save a PDF file without being prompted for the file name.  You can simply print any document and the file will automatically be saved in a location of your choosing, with a file name that you’ve customized.  This Win2PDF 10 update improves the user-defined options that are available to use for the file name.

Here is a brief video that shows how to use this new feature.

For a complete description of the Auto-name feature, visit the Win2PDF online support guide sections on How to Automatically Name PDF Files.

Win2PDF 10 is now available for download!

We’ve just released our latest and greatest version of Win2PDF with some significant new features, and it’s available now at our Win2PDF 10 download page.

We’ll be covering these features in greater detail over the next several weeks, but here’s an overview:

Autoname

  • Win2PDF 10 makes it easier to add a new copy of the Win2PDF printer.  Auto-name and other settings are stored separately for each printer, so you can create different Win2PDF printers for specific settings.
  • Win2PDF 10 improves performance and reliability.

Win2PDF 10 is a free upgrade for Win2PDF 7 users.  If you purchased Win2PDF before October 2009, you can purchase an upgrade for Win2PDF 10 on the updates page.

We’ll be adding more updates on these new features in the coming weeks, but please download you copy today and get started.

VDI Management: In-house and In-the-cloud

As a follow up to our previous posting, we thought we’d link to some additional resources on Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI).  In particular, how are VDI solutions being managed today, and where is this technology going in the future?  And how can you use Win2PDF with VDI to expand PDF functionality across more platforms and devices?

VDI in the Cloud
VDI in the Cloud (image from Virtual Bridges)

There are a couple of different ways of managing a Virtual VDI implementation – either hosting the infrastructure components in-house or hosting them in the cloud.  We won’t go into all of the details in this  post, but we did think it useful to share some resource links to the major vendors in this area.

The most common way VDI management is handled today is to have each enterprise host both the hardware and software in a centralized location.  This can be pricey (since the company needs to buy all the hardware and software components), complex, and difficult to manage from a load-balancing and performance perspective.  Organizations utilizing this type of approach probably use a solution from one of the major players in the VDI software space and you can find more information about each following the links listed below:

The second, newer way VDI solutions are managed are by utilizing a cloud-based service.  In addition to the providers listed above, a relatively new entrant into this space is Amazon.com, with their Amazon WorkSpaces product.  The following video provides a good overview of how their cloud hosted VDI solution differs from the traditional in-house solution.

Amazon’s hosting infrastructure could be a game changer in the way enterprises deploy VDI.  It allows organizations an easy way to support Windows apps on non-Windows devices, such as Android or iPad tablets.  And, as user mobility becomes increasingly common, the ability to support Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) technologies will only become more important.  Providing secure application access on any device is the ultimate goal.

Whether enterprises move their VDI management to the cloud in serious numbers still remains to be seen, but it is an interesting option for companies that want to get started without the upfront cost and complexity.  Our Win2PDF products support both the tradition in-house VDI solutions and the new Amazon WorkSpaces product.  It’s a great way to provide the ability to generate PDF files to any BYOD user.

Using PDF Software with VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) Solutions

Recently we’ve been getting some questions about using Win2PDF in a virtualized desktop environment. Specifically, how can customers license and install Win2PDF in this type of configuration.

The good news is that Win2PDF is supported and it works the same as in the traditional individual PC environment. Before we get into the specifics, we should provide a little overview to this topic. What exactly is Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), or as it is also called, Desktop Virtualization?

Traditionally, a typical corporate IT department will manage a large number of physical PCs. Each employee may have a desktop or laptop PC (or both), and loaded onto each PC are operating systems, service packs, anti-virus software, office applications, printer drivers, and a host of other computer programs. For large organizations in particular, maintaining this type of computer environment can be quite challenging since the applications are installed specific to the hardware of each PC. And each user may update or upgrade applications at different rates, creating a patchwork of different versions for applications on different PCs.  And if a computer fails, the user may lose data or be offline for a period of time.

This is where VDI becomes useful. Essentially, it is a way of easily managing user desktops by using software that separates the desktop and associated applications from the physical client device that is used to access it. Since the desktops are not dependent on the physical hardware of each PC, the IT department can create a standard image that contains the desired operating system version and all of their applications.  A VDI service then connects users to virtual machines running the standard image.

Desktop Virtualization Benefits
Desktop Virtualization Benefits

The advantages of this type of configuration are numerous. Rather than trying to keep track of each individual PC with all of its changing applications and versions, IT only needs to manage the central image. When a new update or application becomes available, they can test it and upgrade all users simultaneously by updating this central image.

It is also useful for backup and disaster recovery. Again, if a particular computer hardware component fails, no data will be lost since the application data is all stored in the virtualized desktop environment. A new PC can be inserted and the user can login and continue working without any interruption or loss of data.

Now, back to Win2PDF: How does Win2PDF fit into this type of VDI environment? Basically, it works the same as in the traditional individual PC environment. Each virtual desktop will require a license of our standard Win2PDF or Win2PDF Pro software.  For large organizations, we provide volume license pricing and a volume license installer to facilitate the deployment, so it is still easy to manage many licenses.

VDI may not be for everyone, but we’ve seen a definite interest in this technology, especially with our larger enterprise customers.  If you have any specific questions about your own deployment of Win2PDF in this type of environment, let us know.

New Win2PDF update supports Windows 8.1

Our latest update to Win2PDF (Version 7.6) now supports the new Windows 8.1 operating system update.

Win2PDF 8.1
Win2PDF 8.1

This is a free update to registered users of Win2PDF 7 or later, and the updates can be downloaded and installed from our web page here:

http://www.win2pdf.com/download/download.htm

In addition to the Windows 8.1 support, this update also includes the Win2PDF Desktop App, which provides easy access to the Win2PDF PDF conversion process and supports drag and drop functionality. During the initial installation of Win2PDF 7.6 you will be prompted to add (or not) this optional add-on.

Win2PDF Desktop App Setup
Win2PDF Desktop App Prompt During Setup

For more information about the Win2PDF Desktop App, please see our official documentation here:

How to use the Win2PDF Desktop App

And, as always, if you have any questions about the new Win2PDF 7.6 software, you can go to the Win2PDF Technical Support Page.

Editing a PDF file with Adobe Reader – Part 2

In our last post we looked at the new annotation features in Adobe Reader XI.  Those features are useful if you need to makes comments or markup a PDF file.  But what if you want to extract pages from a PDF file, or rearrange the pages, or combine multiple PDF files together into one document.

Win2PDF can be used with  Adobe Reader (or any other PDF viewing application) to accomplish these tasks.  You’ll essentially need to open a existing PDF file in Adobe Reader and print a range of pages to Win2PDF.  If you print just a simple range of pages once, you can “extract” pages.  If you print a series of different pages and then merge them together in a new file, you can “rearrange” the PDF.  Or, if you print an entire PDF and append the results to a different PDF file, you can effectively “merge” the two files together.

Print a range of pages from Adobe Reader
Print a range of pages from Adobe Reader

To see a detailed description of each Win2PDF procedure, please visit our support pages here: