Ink Signatures enable you to capture the hand written signatures of your web form users and to save these with their form submissions.

What Do Ink Signatures Look Like?

Picture of part of a sample Web form that includes an Ink Signature.

Why use Ink Signatures?

Easier than digital Signatures!

Ink Signatures differs from digital signatures since the end user signs something cryptographically. Use of digital signatures requires special software and requires that the end user have this software and the capability to encrypt content. There's a significant technical and conceptual barrier to the use of digital signatures with website forms.

Better than a checkbox!

Many websites (including LuxSci.com) use a checkbox to signify agreement. This is technically a legally binding action. However, use of a checkbox is weak, because:

  • It's hard or impossible to prove exactly who checked the box
  • The checking of a box can technically be forged

For these and other reasons, using a checkbox as a digital signature, while simple, is not recommended in places where you need stronger proof of identity!

Case in Point: If someone buys something from you and pays with a credit card, and you don't have a written signature from them authorizing this, then you have no defense if they "charge back" the money. With their written signature, you can prove who ordered it and stop the charge back.

User-friendly and familiar!

An Ink Signature is a box you can put in your Web form where your user can sign his/her name by:

  • Drawing it with a mouse
  • Drawing it with a stylus and a drawing pad
  • Drawing it with a finger or stylus on an iPad, iPhone, or Android-based device.

When the writer submits the form, you get this signature as a digital image.

Compatibility

Browser/Device
Internet Explorer v9+
Internet Explorer v6-v8 (requires a third-party JavaScript library)

These old versions of Internet Explorer do not support the HTML5 "canvas" object needed for this feature. However, there is a work-around. Using a third-party library called ExplorerCanvas, canvas support is available in Internet Explorer 6 and up. All that's required is to include a single JavaScript file on any page that uses the canvas element.

Experience in running example pages included with the ExploreCanvas library show that IE's rendering of canvas elements is very slow and resource-heavy, so the experience is not ideal for those using old versions of Internet Explorer — but at least it works.

Firefox v3+
Safari v3+
Chrome v3+
Opera v10+
iPad (all)
iPhone (all)
iPod Touch (all)
Android-based touch screen device (all)
PDF forms

Mobile devices: Users sign by drawing their signature using a stylus or their finger.

Desktop/Laptop devices: Users sign by drawing with the mouse (click and drag to draw) or by using a stylus and drawing pad.

Features

Feature
Compatible with website forms
Multiple signatures per form
API: robust JavaScript API for interacting with the signature objects

API includes:

  • Support for dynamic Signature Object creation
  • Reset/Clear the signature area
  • Lock/Unlock the signature area
  • Check if the user has signed anything yet (i.e. for validation)
  • Dynamically change the signature image file name and included caption text
Look: Control the look and feel of the signature area
Image Format: Produce a gif, jpg, or png image of the signature
Dynamic File Names: The signature image files can have a custom/dynamic file names
Dynamic Caption Text: The signature images can include optional dynamic caption text
Added to PDF Templates: The signature images can append to re-filled PDF templates
Inline in HTML Templates: The signature images can insert into refilled HTML templates in form data email messages
Storable: You can save the signature image in WebAides, on FTP/SFTP sites, and/or in email messagese.

* Ink Signatures requires JavaScript and HTML5 support in the user's Web browser/device and do not work in PDF forms.

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