Creating That Just Scanned Look

Have you ever found yourself being asked to provide a scan of a document that you’ve printed and signed? Have you ever found yourself in that position without a printer and/or scanner?

That happened to me recently. I’d been asked to provide a signed copy of document and so I pasted an image of my signature in the appropriate place in the electronic (word processor) document, generated a PDF from the document and emailed it to those concerned.

An hour or so later I got a response stating that the document was not acceptable as it had been “electronically signed”. I responded pointing out that it was a little behind the times to be demanding scans of hand signed documents and asked whether or not it would be acceptable if I took the time to make the PDF appear to be a scan of a piece of paper that I had signed.

I didn’t get a written response to my question, but received a phone call explaining why asking for a scan of a signed copy of a print out of a word processed document was to protect me from fraudulent activity. After questioning what additional security regarding my identity they were getting, considering they already had a scan of my passport, I took on the challenge of creating a PDF that appeared to be scanned…

May I introduce the excellent www.lookslikescanned.com. As it says, “Beat the bureaucrats.”

I sent the new document and shortly after was informed that everything was now in order. What a mad world!

It seems worth pointing out that the PDF you download from www.lookslikescanned.com after it has been “scanned” has some embedded data that could give you away if the person receiving the PDF is really on the ball. Having spotted this it seemed prudent to generate a PDF from the PDF before emailing it.

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