Author Archive

July 24, 2013

Adobe EchoSign – Huge Potential to Save Time and Money!

EchoSign Testimonial

Early in the year I received an unsolicited email from a customer that works for a large Texas independent school district touting the benefits of their EchoSign purchase.

 “Today I did a MegaSign of about 1,000 Letters of Reasonable Assurance to our at-will, non-contract employees who don’t work during the summer (we send about 3,000 total).  A process that used to take a team of people months to complete (printing letters, stuffing envelopes, mailing, tracking, receiving, logging, scanning….), with EchoSign, I was able to do this myself.  I had about 40% back before I left work (with an average processing time of 21 minutes).  Incredible!”


Mike went on to explain that receiving signed Letters of Reasonable Assurance is extremely important in that it protects schools from paying unemployment during the summer break.  Without the letter, districts would “pay enormous sums in unemployment.”

 So…what is EchoSign?

Adobe EchoSign provides an extremely easy-to-use electronic signature solution.

EchoSign can work with all kinds of documents.  The most common documents formats used with EchoSign are:

  • PDFs
  • Word Documents
  • PowerPoint
  • Excel
  • Common image formats


With EchoSign there is no need for your customers (or students, faculty, and parents) to download or signup for anything. They can use their mouse, stylus, or finger to sign the document (heck, they can even type their name into a field and have EchoSign create a signature for them), and you don’t have to worry about what device or browser is supported.  EchoSign works on all browsers, across all devices.

As a parent, I would love for my child’s school to offer me a digital signature option.  For example, say my daughter’s teacher is charged with collecting fieldtrip permission slips from the entire 7th grade.  She could use EchoSign to complete this task. The teacher would simply upload the form into EchoSign, adds a signature field (drag and drop simple), and send the digital permission slip to the parents via email.

I would receive the email on my mobile phone, open the email, click a link and sign my daughter’s permission slip with my finger (touch devices are amazing)!   For those parents that do not have a touch device they can use their mouse or a stylus.  I submit the permission slip and receive a signed copy within seconds.  The teacher also receives a signed copy (everyone is happy).

For those that don’t immediately sign, the teacher can setup reminder emails that reoccur on a set schedule.  The teacher no longer has to deal with last minute phone calls with parents scrambling to find and return important school documents.

“But how do I know that it truly was the parent that signed the permission slip?”

That is a great question!  If you think about it, e-signatures provide more security than the paper-based permission slips that the students are returning. The teacher has no idea that the paper-based document truly reflects the parent’s signature or a forgery.  However, with an e-signed document, the parent must log into their email account (presumably using a password) to view the document. An email-based delivery mechanism provides a layer of security that the student’s backpack does not.

More on EchoSign security…

I’ve also viewed more than a few documents that require complex signature routing.  For example, a change of course document may require a signature from the student, professor, student advisor, and the dean of the college.  If each person takes a day it can easily take a document almost a week to process.  EchoSign can handle that kind of complex routing as well, and greatly reduce the time it take to process multi-signature documents.

Below are examples of common documents that require a signature.

  • Contracts
  • HR Documents
  • Permission Slips
  • Parent/Teacher/Administrator documents
  • Progress Reports
  • University change-of-course forms
  • Student Parking Forms
  • Student Housing Forms

…and the list goes on!

Fantastic!  How can I get it?

There are a few ways to purchase EchoSign.

  • Signup Online by going to (great for individuals or small teams)
  • Speak to your Adobe Account manager (best for larger departmental and institutional purchases).  I highly recommend speaking to your Adobe account manager, as they can make recommendations based on your organization’s needs and also provide you with the best pricing options.  

When you think of your organization’s document workflow think of the headaches you experience when trying to get paperwork signed and returned on a TIMELY basis.

Bottom-line… EchoSign has huge potential to save your institution time and money (while saving you from a huge document-induced migraine)!


Scott Trudeau
Senior Solutions Consultant, Adobe Inc.

For more Adobe Tips, Tricks, and Information Follow me on Twitter @scott_trudeau

6:14 PM Permalink
March 3, 2010

Adobe Captivate – Branching Slides

Adobe Captivate – How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
This tutorial will demonstrate how to create a slick interactive photo slide presentation using Adobe Captivate’s branching tools.
Learn how to:

  • Create a Photo Slide Show
  • Set up branching
  • Add buttons
  • Insert an image
  • Set up slide transitions
  • change slide backgrounds

View the tutorial

9:19 AM Permalink
January 25, 2010

Adobe WorkflowLab

Adobe recently released a new Air application that “provides an easy way to learn about, track and share workflow best practices.” WorkFlowLab provides a collaborative environment that will allow designers, developers, and project managers to communicate and share workflows.
I imagine that students could use WorkflowLab to help manage their classroom multimedia projects (think an interactive Gantt chart) …and heck, it’s free!

6:58 AM Permalink
January 7, 2010

Flash Player on Mobile Devices

Walk down any high school or junior high hall and you will notice how popular mobile devices are. It seems that just about every kid has access to a “smart phone.” However, students have been unable to access engaging and rich web content delivered in the Flash format. This is starting to change.
Recent releases of certain mobile devices are realizing how much content is delivered via the Flash format (over 80% of web video is distributed as Flash video) and will, in the near future, support Flash Player 10.1. Students that carry smart phones that include Flash Player 10.1 will be able to visit sites like National Geographic and Brain Pop (just to name a few) and teachers will gain an exciting instructional delivery tool!
Read more…

6:21 AM Permalink
December 1, 2009

Educational Sites Worth a Peek

Dr. Larry Sanger, co-founder of Wikipedia, has created a website that sifts through the fluff and delivers only educational videos. Dr. Sanger says, ” think of it as YouTube meets Wikipedia, filtering out everything but quality educational videos.”
All the videos on WatchKnow are hosted by external websites (National Geographic, YouTube, etc.) which may cause issues with filtering software, but so far, I’ve found it easy to use and loaded with lots of great content.
WolframAlpha is a “computational knowledge engine.” A normal search engine returns links based on search parameters. WolframAlpha returns answers.
For example, I typed in “December 25” and Wolfram returned:

  • Christmas Day
  • Birth of Hal Scardino (actor)
  • Gorbachev resigns as president of Soviet Union
  • Cyclone hits Australia (1974)
  • Coronation Stone is stolen (1950)
  • Daylight information
  • …etc.

12:35 PM Permalink
November 17, 2009

Adobe BrowserLab

Testing your web sites in multiple browsers is a drag.
I typically test web pages in Safari, Firefox, and the latest release of Internet Explorer. However, I have found it necessary to test in older versions as well. This can prove difficult because I don’t have older browser versions installed on my computer(s).
Adobe BrowserLab comes to the rescue!

“Adobe® BrowserLab is an online hosted service that lets you test the pages of your web site across a variety of web browsers and operating systems. The service works by taking screen shots of your web pages in different browsers, and then displaying them in the BrowserLab application window.
You can use BrowserLab as a standalone service, or integrated with Dreamweaver CS4. The standalone service lets you test pages that you’ve posted to a server within the context of a web browser. If you use BrowserLab as an integrated service with Dreamweaver, you can test your pages from within Dreamweaver without publishing your pages to a server.”

The following browsers are supported:

  • Firefox 2.0 – Windows XP
  • Firefox 3.0 – Windows XP
  • Firefox 3.5 – Windows XP
  • Chrome 3.0 – Windows XP
  • Internet Explorer 6.0 – Windows XP
  • Internet Explorer 7.0 – Windows XP
  • Internet Explorer 8.0 – Windows XP
  • Safari 3.0 – Macintosh OS X
  • Safari 4.0 – Macintosh OS X
  • Firefox 2.0 – Macintosh OS X
  • Firefox 3.0 – Macintosh OS X
  • Firefox 3.5 – Macintosh OS X

BrowserLab also gives you the ability to view your page in “2-up” view and the very cool “Onion Skin View.” Two-up view allows you to scope-out a web page in two different browsers in a side-by-side layout. Onion Skin View overlays the pages so that you can quickly spot any major layout problems.
Visit Adobe Browserlab
2-up View
Onion Skin View
Scott Trudeau

8:14 AM Permalink
September 25, 2009

Photoshop CS4’s Contact Sheet Options – GONE!

The other day I had to create a contact sheet from a folder full of images. I opened up Photoshop CS4, clicked on File > Automate, and…to my surprise… the contact sheet options were gone. Vanished!
Where in the heck did the Contact Sheet plugin go? Well, Adobe now provides us with a much more elegant solution via the “Adobe Output Module.” Using the Output Module script, you can create Adobe PDF contact sheets that include header and footer information or throw together a PDF presentation in just a few clicks.
Here’s how

7:00 AM Permalink
September 23, 2009

Adobe Photoshop Elements & Premiere Elements 8 – New Features

Adobe announced the release of Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements 8 today. The release included a bundle of great new features that are sure to help jazz-up your fall and holiday photographs.

  • Recompose photos to any size without distortion – This feature is amazing. You’ll have to see it to believe it.
  • Combine multiple exposures into one perfectly lit shot using Photomerge
  • People Recognition – find specific friends and family members in a flash.
  • Manage your photos and video in one place – the fully featured new Organizer!
  • Sync your photos and video on multiple computers using “Automatic Syncing!”

-Want more? Take a deeper dive into Element’s amazing new features.

1:24 PM Permalink
September 18, 2009

Adding Buttons to an Adobe InDesign Document

Adobe InDesign makes it extremely easy to add action buttons to your document. This is great if you intend on publishing your InDesign project to a digital format and want to “spice it up a bit” with some interaction. This tutorial will demonstrate how to add buttons to an InDesign project and publish the project as a Flash (.swf) file.
View Tutorial

8:13 AM Permalink
September 9, 2009

Students get over 80% Off Adobe MAX Registration

Hankering for a killer deal? For the first time ever, Adobe has decided to offer huge pricing discounts for students. Students can register for a full conference pass at the deeply discounted price of $199.00 (a $1400.00 value). If you can’t afford the time, you can also choose the day pass for $99.00. What a Bargain!

6:10 AM Permalink