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Peepo

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jun 18, 2009
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I just accepted a new job and was emailed all the contracts in Word format. There were seven documents to sign.

I though I would try doing this on my iPad Pro.

This is what I did:

1. Copied them to Dropbox. The first issue I had is that I could not create a new folder from here so I had to first load the Dropbox app and create one - eg. New Job. Then I long pressed each doc in Mail and saved.

2. Then I opened each one in Word where I was easily able to sign with the Apple Pencil, and then save a PDF copy back to Dropbox.

3. I then responded to original email and had to add all seven of the PDFs individually, each time navigating through my entire Dropbox structure to select each file.

Although it worked, Steps 1 and 3 were convoluted. I could have done the entire thing MUCH faster if I had used my Mac to do those steps and iPad to just do the Annotations. If I didn't have the iPad, I would have just imported a signature graphic into word.

Are there any steps I could do to streamline this in the future?
 
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zhenya

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Jan 6, 2005
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Adobe Acrobat has pretty good Dropbox integration (it is one of the few apps that can read/write files directly without saving duplicate copies) and the free tools are good enough for basic annotation. Not sure it would help with the attachment issue though.

Agree that the iPP is great for filling in and signing documents - I do this fairly regularly myself - but the overall process could be a lot better.
 
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SHirsch999

macrumors 6502a
Apr 19, 2011
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Well done. It can be a bit convoluted but is definitely doable and helps to become paperless/paper light. I do something similar every 2 weeks with a time sheet for my main job, but I do it using an air 2 and mini 2 with a stylus. I have a template for the time sheet saved in Numbers which I edit and sign using PDF Expert and then store and email using a file in Dropbox. It works for me, and I had my boss asking how I do it.
 
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M. Gustave

macrumors 68000
Jun 6, 2015
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Grand Budapest Hotel
1. Copied them to Dropbox. The first issue I had is that I could not create a new folder from here so I had to first load the Dropbox app and create one - eg. New Job. Then I long pressed each doc in Mail and saved.

You could have opened the Word doc directly from the email, signed it, then saved it to your OneDrive. That merges 1 & 2.

Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure you can only add attachments one at a time in the iOS Mail app, which yes does suck.

Maybe it would be faster on a pc, but maybe not. How fast were you the very first time you tried to navigate adding attachments to an email in a desktop OS. People *completely* discount the familiarity most of us have with desktop OS's when judging the 'productivity' of iOS.
 
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Peepo

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Jun 18, 2009
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You could have opened the Word doc directly from the email, signed it, then saved it to your OneDrive. That merges 1 & 2.

Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure you can only add attachments one at a time in the iOS Mail app, which yes does suck.

Maybe it would be faster on a pc, but maybe not. How fast were you the very first time you tried to navigate adding attachments to an email in a desktop OS. People *completely* discount the familiarity most of us have with desktop OS's when judging the 'productivity' of iOS.

I wanted to archive the original .DOC files which is why I copied them first.

This took me about half an hour of experimenting around. Maybe next time I could do quicker since I know the workflow. But on my MAC it would have taken me a fraction of the time in regards to the organization of files.

I am thinking that maybe Spark Email may work better. I had it installed to test a while back but found it a bit slow/clunky compared to Outlook. But it may allow handling attachments better... I am going to try again and report back.
 
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Peepo

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Jun 18, 2009
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Ok, I just tried Spark on my iPhone (presume iPad version has same features) and impressed how I can attach multiple PDFs from Dropbox etc. Still cannot download them all to a location though. Not sure I want to move from Mail App and Outlook for my Work though just for the few times I will do this.
 
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Wackery

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Feb 1, 2015
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Ok, I just tried Spark on my iPhone (presume iPad version has same features) and impressed how I can attach multiple PDFs from Dropbox etc. Still cannot download them all to a location though. Not sure I want to move from Mail App and Outlook for my Work though just for the few times I will do this.
pdf expert
 
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Peepo

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Original poster
Jun 18, 2009
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pdf expert
I have that app and I don't like it and never really use.

Explain how I can reply to an email and attach multiple PDFs or other documents in the reply ? I realize one can email multiple PDFs from pdf expert but only if they are downloaded and not directly from Dropbox for example. Besides, I want to reply to an existing email.
 
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tgara

macrumors 65816
Jul 17, 2012
1,058
2,812
Connecticut, USA
How did you do Step 2, especially the bolded?

2. Then I opened each one in Word where I was easily able to sign with the Apple Pencil, and then save a PDF copy back to Dropbox.

As far as I knew, there was no way to save a Word file on the iPad as a PDF.
 
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Peepo

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jun 18, 2009
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How did you do Step 2, especially the bolded?



As far as I knew, there was no way to save a Word file on the iPad as a PDF.
Open the docx in Word and upper right there is person with plus sign. Send attachment, PDF, send a copy. Can do whatever you want eg copy to onedrive, save to Dropbox.
 
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tgara

macrumors 65816
Jul 17, 2012
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Connecticut, USA
Open the docx in Word and upper right there is person with plus sign. Send attachment, PDF, send a copy. Can do whatever you want eg copy to onedrive, save to Dropbox.

Thank you!!!! I've been looking for this for a long time! Are you an Office 365 subscriber? I am. I think I read somewhere that this feature is part of the subscription only.

I wish MS would just make a Save as PDF button instead of us having to go through all the tap, tap, tap steps. Anyway, thanks again, I needed this.
 
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barkomatic

macrumors 601
Aug 8, 2008
4,191
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This is a perfect example of how people are willing to make a process more complicated simply to incorporate different technology. When I've done this I just sign the form, scan it and at the scanner I am able to enter the email address of the recipient. I guess if you don't have an office/access to standard office equipment than this doesn't apply -- but otherwise I don't see the need to reduce efficiency.
 
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Peepo

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jun 18, 2009
1,081
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This is a perfect example of how people are willing to make a process more complicated simply to incorporate different technology. When I've done this I just sign the form, scan it and at the scanner I am able to enter the email address of the recipient. I guess if you don't have an office/access to standard office equipment than this doesn't apply -- but otherwise I don't see the need to reduce efficiency.
I agree. I was doing this more of experiment than anything. I would have normally done similarly to what you described except I would have used my document scanner at home and a real computer. I guess iPad workflow works good considering I can do what I did anywhere, but it fails if I were required to do tasks like this frequently.
 
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zhenya

macrumors 604
Jan 6, 2005
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This is a perfect example of how people are willing to make a process more complicated simply to incorporate different technology. When I've done this I just sign the form, scan it and at the scanner I am able to enter the email address of the recipient. I guess if you don't have an office/access to standard office equipment than this doesn't apply -- but otherwise I don't see the need to reduce efficiency.

The first time you needed to figure out that workflow it was not efficient either. And it's still not - you have to print a form, sign the printed copy, scan the form, enter the email address on the crummy interface of your scanner, etc. You're just used to it. This isn't perfect, but once you've done it a few times it's no more clunky and it doesn't require any extra equipment.
 
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Badrottie

Suspended
May 8, 2011
4,317
334
Los Angeles
I just accepted a new job and was emailed all the contracts in Word format. There were seven documents to sign.

I though I would try doing this on my iPad Pro.

This is what I did:

1. Copied them to Dropbox. The first issue I had is that I could not create a new folder from here so I had to first load the Dropbox app and create one - eg. New Job. Then I long pressed each doc in Mail and saved.

2. Then I opened each one in Word where I was easily able to sign with the Apple Pencil, and then save a PDF copy back to Dropbox.

3. I then responded to original email and had to add all seven of the PDFs individually, each time navigating through my entire Dropbox structure to select each file.

Although it worked, Steps 1 and 3 were convoluted. I could have done the entire thing MUCH faster if I had used my Mac to do those steps and iPad to just do the Annotations. If I didn't have the iPad, I would have just imported a signature graphic into word.

Are there any steps I could do to streamline this in the future?

That's great!!! I never use PDF Expert for signature. I used scanned signature and save it to iCloud but I wish Word document with picture insert would open iCloud folder. I had to move it to photos app so Word can see it
 
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Peepo

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jun 18, 2009
1,081
521
Here is another trick I'll throw in this thread.

If you notice that some apps like word when exporting a PDF may be limited in the share sheet or extension then export the PDF to a new note first. Then go to the note and select the PDF then press the yellow share button in top right and see how much more you can do with the PDF (varies what other apps are installed). I am curious why Word and other apps limit this vs. What notes does.
 
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SHirsch999

macrumors 6502a
Apr 19, 2011
658
196
This is a perfect example of how people are willing to make a process more complicated simply to incorporate different technology. When I've done this I just sign the form, scan it and at the scanner I am able to enter the email address of the recipient. I guess if you don't have an office/access to standard office equipment than this doesn't apply -- but otherwise I don't see the need to reduce efficiency.

Look at my previous post. My method is no less efficient than yours for reasons also cited above. But, my method can be done while at my daughter's gymnastics practice, sitting outside by the pool, or while waiting for a doctor's appointment, etc.
 
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Peepo

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jun 18, 2009
1,081
521
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