More and more companies are embedding handwritten electronic signature solutions in their processes. Within the last 12 months SOFTPRO`s E-Signing solutions were rolled-out in banks, insurances, at the POS in the retail sector, in the health, for service technicians and a lot of other purposes. The popular E-Signing solution SignDoc is now available in version 3 for download on Softpro`s website for a free 30 days test with full functionality.

SignDoc is the natural, simple yet effective method to sign digital which everyone understands. It is the equivalent to the traditional signing ceremony on paper for the 21st century. SignDoc supports to fill-in forms, sign and seal documents with a trustworthy legally binding electronic handwritten signature in various file formats.

  • In its standard version the rich client allows to manage and sign electronic documents in the formats PDF, TIFF and DOC (Microsoft Word). This client is designed for usage in-office or in-the-field and also supports environments where users are working partially offline
  • SignDoc Web is the covers the ultra-thin client that allows trustworthy E-Signing in the web-browser. It enables the seamless integration in the electronic workflow, like the following process steps: Pre-filling form-fields with data (e.g. from a customer relation management system), storing documents in a enterprise content system and the option for storing signature data found in the documents into a signature database - the ultra-thin client enabling these features in the web-browser - supporting PDF and TIFF - for usage online - see also

Handwritten Signatures in the Digital Workflow

An increasing number of banks and companies in many other verticals have successfully integrated handwritten signatures in electronic processes using SignDoc. It is easy to understand why, since handwritten signatures offer what Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) or other Biometrics such as finger prints cannot provide:

  • Signatures are a non-intrusive proof of intent.
  • Signatures are culturally accepted and understood
  • Signing is the most personal way for authentication.
  • The invisible biometric characteristics of signatures such as the different levels of writing pressure cannot be spied out.

These are reasons enough for more and more companies to take signatures seriously. SOFTPRO`s SignDoc allows to trust in the authenticity and integrity of electronic documents signed with the handwritten signature.

Attractive Paybacks

SignDoc enhances productivity and efficiency thank to a straight-through electronic document workflow. The use of paper for the sole purpose of capturing a signature may be skipped easily. Electronic signing results in attractive paybacks. Some of SOFTPRO`s customers have calculated their savings which range between 1,50 and 2,50 Euro per document on average. They have also gained time to focus on customer service instead of managing paper documents. The potential cost savings derive from the avoidance of several steps in the document management process such as printing, storing, preparing, signing, routing, shipping, scanning, indexing and physical archiving. In addition to these factors one aspect should not be underestimated: The improvement of the service experience by customers. A significant reduction in paper usage in creating a `green workflow` is likely to be a vital asset in a company`s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy. Using SignDoc results in an effective reduction of the greenhouse gas emissions and helps to save trees.

Unreliable Workarounds and Half-way solutions

The original aim of signing on paper is that the signer declares an intent which is related to the content of the document. Nowadays many companies are capturing a signature image (graphic file, i.e. JPG, GIF) and paste it into documents or even a e-mail message. This image will not allow any further verification process if its authenticity is in doubt. It is more or less decoration.

Handwritten signatures on paper are often also described as wet ink signatures. The electronic equivalent is a digital ink signature. Digital ink became a common feature in the mainstream PCs with the launch of Windows Vista, e.g. for comments or annotations. Digital is a feature which is available in Microsoft Office 2007 or in Adobe Acrobat 9 (Apply Ink Signature). These features put a handwriting-like signature on a file that could be printed out or emailed, much in the same way a fax signature might work. These signatures can be manipulated, duplicated or deleted. There exists no protection against document tampering hence these kind of signature can be repudiated easily.

It is important to keep in mind that a signature which was captured using digital ink is not securely bound to a document. A simple click on an `I accept` button which triggers a signing process (often defined as websigning) is not appropriate to replace a paper-based process where the signature is documenting a proof of intent of a particular signer and not just a click of a user (which could be theoretically anybody).

Important: Focus on Authenticity and Integrity

An electronic document is signed with SignDoc in exactly the same manner as it would be signed on a piece of paper. This kind of electronic signature is also known as a dynamic signature, biometric signature or on-line signature. Signature data is captured using one of many supported signature capture devices such as a signature pad, pen pad, an interactive pen display or a Tablet PC. Softpro provides in its download section at detailed information about supported capturing devices.

A signature captured with SignDoc contains much more than just an electronic image: The signature contains biometric information about how the signature was signed such as speed and pressure of pen strokes. These characteristics represent a biometric profile which is unique to every individual and cannot be reproduced by a forger. The biometric information of handwritten signature captured on appropriate devices includes signals of location (x, y coordinates), time (t) and pressure levels (z). The authenticity of the signature can be verified at any point in time either manually, or using SOFTPRO's unique automatic combo-verification to provide a high level of trustworthiness. This process can be executed on demand or pre-embedded.

The integrity of the signature and the document are secured using state-of-the art technologies for encryption and integrity protection. SOFTPRO's technology secures non-repudiation of electronic processes to ensure that your documents are legally binding. An easy integrity check within a standard PDF-viewer (like Adobe Reader) allows every recipient of a document signed with SignDoc to verify if this document was tampered after the signing process. Softpro provides in-depth information about the aspects of trustworthy electronic signing with the handwritten signature at


The SOFTPRO Group is the worldwide leading vendor of systems for capture and verification of handwritten signatures. The company is based in Boeblingen, Germany with local subsidiaries in North America (Bear, Delaware), the United Kingdom (London), and Asia-Pacific (Singapore).

The group currently employs an international staff of over 60 people, enabling more than 200 companies worldwide to streamline their document and transaction workflows.

With its eSign Workflow product line, SOFTPRO provides solutions for securing the authenticity and integrity of documents within electronic processes, such as those required for legal contracts. For this purpose, a unique signature technology is used to extract and evaluate both the static and dynamic (biometric) characteristics of handwritten signatures.

SOFTPRO`s Fraud Prevention Solutions portfolio provides a holistic approach to detecting and preventing fraud in paper-based processes (such as payment transactions), as well as increasing operational efficiency using signature management and verification solutions.
Among SOFTPRO‘s customers are American Express, Bank of America, Barclays, Chase, Citigroup, Discover Financial, Fifth Third, SEB, Sunrise, Standard Bank of South Africa, UBS and Wachovia.

Since 2002, the offer to secure electronic documents with handwritten signatures extended the customer portfolio of SOFTPRO to other industries such as banking and insurance, telecommunication, health and pharmacuticals, retail, government, automotive and logistics.

Frost & Sullivan, one of the leading growth consulting companies worldwide, presented SOFTPRO GmbH with its Customer Service Leadership Award for having excelled in serving its customers and gaining superior customer satisfaction levels. This award recognizes the company that has gained the best insights into customer needs and product demands.

SOFTPRO is privately owned.

SOFTPRO`s partners include: A2iA, Adobe, Betasystems, Disoft, Fujitsu, Gijima AST, Gizmotech, IBM, Lenovo, Microsoft, Motion Computing, Siemens, Toshiba, TeleCash (First Data), Unisys and Wacom.

Please contact us for additional information:

Wilhelmstrasse 34
71034 Boeblingen

Phone: +49 7031 6606 0
Fax: +49 7031 6606 66
Joerg-M. Lenz
Manager PR