TLDR version: How can we automate the "Print to PDF" step to flatten a signed PDF "agreement"?
Here's the higher-tech MONTHLY workflow I've streamlined so far (you wouldn't believe the previous workflow, although I'm sure every office uses the same flow...):
1. Employee 1 (E1) fills out an XFA-formatted State-official fillable PDF.
2. E1 "prints to PDF" the completed XFA to flatten the PDF. (This took us long enough to figure out).
3. E1 opens flattened copy of PDF.
4. E1 selects "Request eSignatures".
5. E1 enters email address of Therapist 1 (T1), selects signature field and date field, and clicks Send.
6. T1 receives email with link to sign PDF.
7. T1 clicks link, places signature on PDF, clicks Click to Sign.
8. Power Automate flow is set to auto-save any completed "Agreement" (a term I'm starting to demise) as a file in a shared Sharepoint folder (maybe OneDrive would with better, maybe it wouldn't make a difference). Employee 2 will need to access the saved Agreements in this folder.
9. E1 repeats steps 1 - 8 about 20 - 30 times this month to obtain signatures on dozens of therapy logs for T1, T2, T3, etc., maybe a dozen different therapists.
10. E2 locates all signed PDFs in the shared folder. E2 needs to take a few of those agreements and merge them into one large PDF file with an invoice PDF (not signed), dozens of therapy notes exported from an online EHR system, and other forms as needed.
11. E2 sends the final merged PDF via email to a specific payer who will send funds to company.
12. E2 repeats steps 10-11 for a dozen different payers each month.
Here's the hiccup:
Steps 10 is no longer working since the Flow with Adobe Sign is saving the signed PDFs as official "agreements" that can no longer be merged into the final PDF to send to payer.
NOT IDEAL Low-tech option:
1. E1 or E2 or another employee needs to open each signed Agreement in shared folder and select Print to PDF to flatten each document. (We do not need to keep a digital signature).
2. Then steps 10 and 11 can proceed.
PREFERRED higher-tech option:
1. Power Automate flow saves a copy of each signed "agreement" as a flattened PDF (via auto Save a Copy function, export as, print to PDF, etc.).
Rant about eSignatures and "agreements":
Here's the issue... I completely understand why a tech company like Adobe would have a hard time understanding why anyone would want a signed PDF that cannot be digitally verified. But in the real world, maybe an elementary school, a day hab facility, or a mom-and-pop shop, a signature is a signature is a signature, whether or not it was typed in, drawn in, stamped in, photocopied, etc. If I make an IOU on a sheet of paper, I don't need my SO to digitally sign it. But I'd consider it signed if I witnessed them sign it (or sent it to their email address and they sent it back to me signed). I should still be able to USE that PDF for a million different reasons. One of the most common office workflows is to collect a dozen or more individual PDFs, such as invoices, therapy logs (each completed and signed by a different therapist), other logs that don't need signatures, etc., and send a merged pdf on a monthly basis to another company for billing or other purposes. There seems to be no reasonable solution to simplify collecting all of these signed and flat documents every couple of weeks. Employees are literally wasting time sending, opening, signing, saving, sending, downloading, opening, saving, merging, waiting, saving, merging, etc......
So, if you don't want either the advantages or limitations of digital signatures, just don't use them. You are just creating massive obstacles to your work.
This is not using digital signatures, it's using eSignature.
Sure sounds like it's a digital signature, if it's preventing you from merging the files...
Also, what you ask for is not possible. You can't specify the file-name when "re-frying" a PDF (ie. printing it to a virtual PDF printer to create a new file).
That's what I thought too, that by "placing" a signature (eg, using the stamp to put your written name on the line), it would not count as a digital signature. But by using Adobe Sign, the process automatically considers the stamped/placed signature as an eSignature, thus, it locks the PDF and adds a disclaimer at the top saying the signature is valid. I.e., this is the difference between an eSignature and Digital Signature.
I just need to be able to DO something with a PDF that has gone through the signing process (even when it was eSigned but not digitally signed (password-protected encrypted signature)).