Digital Signature Creation/Setup (Aurora Only)

Learn how to create, configure, and use your digital signature in WinTOTAL Aurora.

Document 5056  ¦  Last updated:  01/06/2014 MJY

The overall process for setting up a digital signature is like this:

  1. Using your scanner, create an image of your signature in BMP, JPG, or GIF format.
  2. Load your digital signature file into WinTOTAL.
  3. Sign your reports and/or fine tune the signature file.
If you've already set up a signature under a different WinTOTAL username, or if you've set up a signature in WinTOTAL on another computer, click the second panel below that reads "Have your digital signature file ready?" for instructions on locating the signature file that was set up previously and applying it to another WinTOTAL username.

Click any of the items below to see details on how to create, load, and adjust your signature, or to fix any problems you might be having.


Don't have a digital signature?  Start here.

If you have a scanner, you can use it to scan your signature then edit it with WinTOTAL.  These instructions assume you are familiar with your scanner software.

  1. On a blank sheet of paper, using a medium‑tipped (preferably black) pen, sign your signature as you would normally.
  2. Scan the signature using your scanner.  Scanning software varies depending on the manufacturer.  Generally, you will be able to control settings like DPI and file format.
    • For best results, use 300 DPI resolutions.
    • Many scanners default to a file format of PDF.  This will not work, as a PDF is not an image file.  For best results, set the file format to GIF, BMP, or JPG.  If you're unable to change the file type, go ahead and save the scan as a PDF, then follow document 5094 to take a screenshot of the signature afterwards.

    For assistance with your scanner settings or help with using your scanner, refer to the product manual or contact the manufacturer.

  3. Crop the image as closely to your signature as possible, leaving minimal white space around the signature.  If your scanner doesn't have image editing software built in, use a separate program to accomplish this.
    Windows comes with a program called Microsoft Paint that is beneficial in this process.  Locate Paint by going to Start, [All] Programs, Accessories, then click Paint.  If you're using Windows 8 or 10, simply type Paint into the Start screen and press Enter.
  4. Once you've cropped the signature, save the file.  Make note of, or remember, the path you've saved it to.

Have your digital signature file ready?  Click here to load it into WinTOTAL.

Signatures are based on each user’s profile.  This is a one‑time setup.  After this, it’s just a couple of clicks to sign a report.  If you have your signature file ready, click here to jump to Step 1

If you've configured a signature in WinTOTAL under another username or if you've configured it on another computer, a copy of it was automatically saved in your WinTOTAL Users folder as soon as the signature was applied.

If WinTOTAL is installed on a network:
Simply browse to the WinTOTAL folder on your network drive, open the Users folder, and then open the folder that corresponds to your WinTOTAL username to locate the signature file.
If you're on a standalone machine, or if WinTOTAL is installed locally:
Browse to C:\a la mode\WinTOTAL\Users and open the folder corresponding to your WinTOTAL username to locate the signature file.

Once you've located your signature file, follow the instructions below to apply it to your WinTOTAL username.

  1. In WinTOTAL, click Options, Configure WinTOTAL Settings from the menus.
  2. In the screen that appears, click Select a user in the General pane on the left.

  3. Select the profile you want to add the signature to and click Edit.

  4. Click Browse, locate and select your signature image, and click Open.

  5. Move the signature (if necessary) by dragging and dropping it into the desired spot.  Note that when you move the signature, the X and Y offset values change in the Signature section to the right of the signature preview.  If the X and Y offsets are both 0, the center of the image shows on the bottom of the signature line.

  6. Click Password protect my signature to add a password to your signature.  Though optional, it's a good idea to do so.  Adding a password to your signature ensures that nobody can place your signature on a report without your permission.

  7. Type a password, type it again in the Verify field, and click OK.  Then, click OK to close the user configuration screen.

You're now ready to digitally sign reports.

Does your signature appear wrong, or not at all?  Click here.

Is your signature too small?

The most common cause of a signature that looks too small - or doesn't even appear at all - is a problem with the cropping.  If the white space in your signature image isn't cropped out, WinTOTAL tries to fit the entire image — white space and all — into the signature line of your report.  Usually, this means that you can't see the signature or it looks like a tiny smudge.  So, if you can't see your signature after you've loaded it into WinTOTAL, check the instructions you used to create the signature file, and make sure you've cropped out all possible white space from the image.

Just can't see your signature at all?

Many times, if your signature just doesn't appear, the problem is the "offset" - the position of the signature on the line.  If the offset is such that the signature is nowhere near the line, you won't be able to see it.  To fix this, revisit the instructions you used to create your signature file, and set the X and Y offsets to 0.  That should let you see the signature, and you can adjust the position from there.

Is the signature too big?

When scanning a digital signature to use with WinTOTAL, the resolution chosen for the scan determines the actual printed size of the signature.  WinTOTAL is expecting 300dpi.

  • If scanned at 600dpi, it prints at twice the original size through WinTOTAL.
  • If scanned at 300dpi, it prints at the original size through WinTOTAL.
  • If scanned at 150dpi, it prints at half of the original size through WinTOTAL.

For this reason, it is important that you scan your signature at 300dpi and 100%.  If you scanned your signature at a resolution other than 300dpi, you will need to re-scan the signature at this resolution to use it properly in WinTOTAL.

Since WinTOTAL employs its own encryption scheme, you can use any image of your signature ‑ GIF, BMP, or JPG format.  Many scanners default to saving their output as a PDF.  Since a PDF isn't an image format, that won't work.  Be sure to change the output to one of the formats noted above.

  • Use a medium tipped pen.  Black works best: WinTOTAL can change it to blue or red when you use it.
  • Use 300dpi because that is what WinTOTAL expects.  Using the wrong dpi will cause your signature to print the wrong size.
  • Save the image as a GIF (CompuServe Graphics Interchange) file for best results.

Is your signature upside-down, backwards, or misplaced?

There are only two causes of these problems.  Either your signature has some horizontal or vertical offset pushing it elsewhere in the page OR you need to crop your signature.

  • To change the offsets for your signature, open your WinTOTAL user profile using the loading instructions in this document and set the X and Y offsets to 0.
  • Make sure the background is white and crop any extra white space around the image.

If you're ready to sign your report, click here.

In just a couple of clicks, you can have every page in your report signed.

  • Click Sign in the WinTOTAL toolbar to sign the report.  Select Sign as Appraiser or Sign as Supervisor, and click OK.
  • Click the name you want to sign with in the Select User list.  The actual digital signature then displays in the Signature window.  You can set the signature to display in red, blue, or black, or the default color by clicking the appropriate button.  (The default is the color the signature was created with.)  Click OK.
  • If you have a password associated with your signature, you're prompted to enter it.  Enter your password and click OK.

After making your selections, WinTOTAL automatically saves your data when you sign the report.  Your reports are “locked” from additional changes while they are signed.

Clicking Sign in the toolbar a second time gives you two options.  You can either Sign as Supervisor or Remove Appraiser Signature.

  • If you choose Sign as Supervisor, simply follow the steps outlined above.  It’s no different than signing as the appraiser.
  • A password is not required to “unsign” a report, since a report without a signature is worthless.

If you click Sign a third time, you're given the option to either Remove Both Signatures from the report or to just Remove Supervisor Signature.


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