The PDF (Portable Document Format) is an easy and convenient way to share documents between users with different operating systems and devices. It's no wonder it's become one of the most used document file formats on the internet, and is commonly used for downloaded documents, and documents sent between different users, departments, and businesses.
The fact that PDF's can be file protected works in their favor for maintaining the integrity of the information and data sent in them, and this has made them especially use for business contracts, as well as service agreements, EULAs, NDAs, and other important documents.
This is all the more reason why it's useful to be able to sign PDF's directly, rather than have to print them out, sign, them scan and send. This is where E-signatures, or eSigning, comes into its own, simplifying the process of authorizing documents in your name within the PDF or similar format.
Luckily, there are a number of software packages available that deliver exactly this feature and service, meaning you can work more easily with confidential documents and contracts.
As we enter 2020 here we'll showcase the best in eSigning and E-signature software solution.
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Best esign software - at a glance
- Adobe Sign
- Secured Signing
- OneSpan Sign
- KeepSolid Sign
The smarter way to sign
We're going straight in with the big boy - Adobe Sign is the e-signature solution offered by one of the most famous names in the software business.
Adobe's service offers plenty of features and functionality. It's available via both the web and mobile app, so you can easily use your e-signature when away from the office. It offers an authentication service to ensure that those applied to important documents clear basic legal compliance, and of course you can personalize your e-signature, too.
Recent enhancements include compliance for life science and pharmaceutical firms and integration with SAP SuccessFactors. Adobe Sign also works across all Microsoft Office products. Pricing for a single user is $9.99 per month.
For small businesses, pricing is $34.99 per month per user, with medium to small businesses expected to pay $39.99 per month per user.
Moving business forward securely and reliably
Claiming to have more than 200 million users worldwide, there's no denying the popularity of DocuSign. The company is a dedicated e-signature solution provider, offering straightforward to use software to quickly and easy get your documents signed.
It's easy to get going with DocuSign thanks to its number of integrations with the likes of Google, Windows, Apple and SalesForce, as well as a number of apps for mobile devices. It puts a lot of emphasis on security, using strong encryption technologies and employing industry best practices for protecting the data it handles.
Indeed, as of March 2018, DocuSign has had its application for Binding Corporate Rules (BCRs) approved. This is the EU's highest level of certification for data transfers outside the bloc.
Its pricing isn't dissimilar to Adobe's, though single users pay a dollar more at $10 per month. The Docusign Standard Plan works for up to three users and costs $25 per user per month. You can try DocuSign for free first with a 30-day trial.
Save time and hassle with digital signatures
Secured Signing is a more cost effective software than the above two e-signature solutions. It's cloud-based, meaning that it's easy to access and use your electronic signature from desktop, laptop or mobile device.
We're impressed by the sheer amount of extra services it offers. For example, there's a video confirmation feature where you can identify the signer and prevent any document tampering (if that's a concern). You can invite others to sign. And there's even options for document negotiation - a one-stop service to get to the all important dotted line as soon as possible.
Secured Signing also supports PDF files, including multiple numbers of signature fields for the same witness and multi-page signing. However, do note that pricing plans work on the number of documents to sign as much as the number of users.
Pricing starts from £9.95 a month for a single user working with up to 10 documents per month. After that pricing becomes dependent both on the number of users as well as the number of documents signed per month.
Although only overall pricing is provided on the website, on a per-user basis Secured Signing actually works out cheaper than a lot of other services, unless you have hundreds of documents to sign each month.
Designed for large and small organizations
If you want endorsements from some familiar names, OneSpan Sign has got some pretty big companies using its e-signature software. How do IBM, BMW and the US Army sound for starters?
That said, OneSpan Sign still says that it's equally useful for small and large businesses alike, with an optimized, easy-to-use workflow across devices and personnel. It can be deployed on a public or private cloud, within your computing infrastructure only or a combination of the three. But as well as flexibility, the software also has the protection of your company's security at its heart.
There are also a number of integrations options also available to connect it to other services, such as Salesforce, Sharepoint, and Microsoft Dynamics. However, while both Professional and Enterprise plans are advertised, no flat-rate pricing is provided on the website so you will need to contact OneSpan for a quote.
Trusted and loved by over 5 million people
Although SignEasy can obviously be used from your office or home computer, it seems to have channeled a lot of effort into making it mobile ready. It's cloud-based - so can be accessed on the go - and the mobile experience for phones and tablet is very smartly laid out.
Otherwise, it has many of the same features as the above e-signature services, but there's a real focus on simplicity (as the name suggests). You can annotate signature boxes so that it's crystal clear who needs to sign and how. And if you find that the same kind of documents need to be electronically signed over and over again, then it's easy to set up templates for reuse.
Pricing for SignEasy is potentially very competitive, with the Standard plan available from $10 per month for a single user, when paid annually. However, it has limited functionality and so the Plus and Professional plans, available from $15 or $20 per month respectively, might prove more useful.
Even then, SignEasy remains one of the most price competitive of all the services here, though more expensive plans elsewhere can offer more functionality. So it depends on whether those are features you'd rather pay for or not, with SignEasy providing a good entry-level service that is still useful for small and mid-sized businesses.
Sign anything anywhere, even offline
KeepSolid Sign is the offering from security and encryption specialists KeepSolid. It promises rapid, legally-binding signatures on any device, as well as offline access to signed contracts.
In terms of usability, there are annotation and collaboration tools alongside document tracking so its easy to make changes and work together on projects or legal processes. You can get documents from virtually any major cloud or email repository, including Google Drive, Dropbox, Box and iCloud. Simply import the document into KeepSolid Sign and add your signature.
The key selling point of KeepSolid is its security credentials as it fits into the company’s wider portfolio of safety and privacy tools and the app is protected by AES-256 encryption.
There’s a 14-day free trial, and a personal plan starting from $9.99 per month for an individual user. For teams, you can select either the Small Team plan for $34.99 per month for up to 5 users, or the Big Team plan for up to 10 users for $64.99. Note that these prices are per team, not per user, like most rival services. Additionally, there's a 25% discount for paying annually, making this a potentially price competitive service.