In the March JCR, I collaborated with Keith Lemons and Sandy VanderPol on the best apps for court reporters using the iPhone/iPad, Android, and Windows 8 platforms. It was amazing to hear from court reporters across the nation regarding their enthusiasm for the article! One of the questions I received was the following:
Being as I am a freelance reporter, I work with many agencies that each have their own order forms. I can download them, correct (and fill them out ahead of time if I have standing orders and just want to verify with counsel), and counsel will be able to add to it, if needed, and sign? If this works the way I think it will, from your description, it would be WONDERFUL!
This is the excerpt from the JCR article regarding the Adobe Reader app:
For court reporters who strive to go paperless and want to have their transcript order forms on a tablet, the Adobe Reader app is the perfect option and it’s free! You may open a PDF document/transcript from an email or any app that supports the “Open in …” option within the Adobe Reader app. Annotations are also available utilizing this app by highlighting, strikethrough, underline, freehand tool, Add Text tool. You may even convert PDFs to a Word doc. When you’re done proofing your transcript on screen, you can email the marked-up doc or save it to Dropbox so you can make the corrections later when you’re back at your laptop.
There are other great app options available to annotate and sign PDF documents, but this article will be focused on Adobe Reader.
Now to answer that reporter’s specific question.
There are many options to open your PDF transcript order form within the Adobe Reader app. My preferred method is to utilize Dropbox — it’s an amazing tool for me.
- Navigate to Dropbox on your iPad.
- Locate the particular transcript order form you wish to open.
- Use the icon at the top for “Open in…”
- Select “Open in…”
- Swipe through to find the Adobe Reader app and then click on that icon.
- Your document will now be visible within the app.
- Tap the doc to bring up different editing tools located at the top of your screen.
- Select the Pick a Tool icon so you can start editing.
- At the bottom of your screen, you will see the editing tools: Add a note, Text to highlight, Text to strikeout, Text to underline, Where you want to add text, Drag to draw, Add your signature.
- Once you have added your edits, select Done at the top of the screen to continue.
- Do use the Add your signature option for the attorney to sign the transcript order form with either his finger or with an iPad stylus.
- After the form is filled out completely and signed, select the icon with the up arrow for saving options: E-mail Document, Open in… and Print Document.
- When emailing the doc to the attorney for his records, be sure to choose the Share Flattened Copy.
- If you wish to keep a copy for yourself, either include yourself on the email or use the “Open in…” and save it back to your Dropbox.
Create a unique file name for each order form:
- If you want to add a specific file name to the transcript order form, go to the Edit screen, select Edit, then highlight the doc you wish to rename.
- Next, select the icon to the left of the trash can.
- Enter your unique file name for this transcript order and click Rename.
Create folders for better organization:
- Go to the Documents screen.
- Click on Edit.
- Go to the bottom of the screen and click on the folder icon.
- Type in the name of a folder you wish to create.
- Tap on Create folder.
Move documents to folders:
- Select the specific file name you wish to move.
- Tap on Edit at the top of the screen.
- Go to the bottom of the screen and tap on the icon that looks like two pages.
- Select Move.
- Choose the location/folder where you want that doc to be moved to.
How to straighten or resize a signature to sit on signature line:
- Once the attorney signs his name, the signature will be highlighted with a resizing tool. Simply drag the corners to resize the signature and drag to position the signature on top of the line.
- Tap the Save button to effectuate the changes.
To learn more on how to create templates for your specific needs using the Adobe Reader app or to learn about other options for creating and using a Transcript Order Form, leave a comment below or contact me any time.