Don't rasterize the documents -- preserve searchable text and vector graphics
Currently, HelloSign appears to be rasterizing the user's PDF documents and converting them to images. After the document goes through HelloSign, the text in the PDF is no longer searchable, vector graphics (such as logos) become badly pixelated, and the print quality is much lower that the original PDF -- all of that is bad!
Please keep the PDF files as-is, with fonts and vector graphics -- just add the text fields and signatures on top of the existing PDF.
This is becoming a deal-breaker for me (my +1 frustration), and I can't believe the issue has been around for so long!! It's a major disability problem, not at all purely aesthetic. The aesthetic resolution quality does matter as well, for both form and function – I am a graphic designer, and it's critical that everything I provide to my clients is clear to read and exemplary of a high standard of work. I can't think why rasterization would be a good idea, even if it were sharp enough to view on screen, but this is too low for print AND screen viewing, which is completely unacceptable.
"This request currently under review by our team, and you'll be updated by email as soon as the feature is complete." – Jenna, Customer Support at HelloSign, June 2014. (It's now the end of July 2015, and this was first reported in 2012 – come on guys.)
Dan Dascalescu commented
This was a HORRIBLE decision to even get the business of signing documents started. How did you guys manage to get funding? Have your investors ever signed a document and actually LOOKED at it?
I'm sorry, but making a bitmap out of a PDF destroys quality and is a no-go.
Yes, this is my #1 frustration with HelloSign and I'm now strongly considering switching to DocuSign b/c of it. Seems like a simple change that should've been made long ago. It makes HS less ideal for legal docs, particularly long ones, b/c they're impossible to search later. And like you say, the image quality is really poor. Really too bad b/c I otherwise like the product and want to support this startup. :(
Steven Martins commented
Has this been looked at yet? 2 years since it was first reported and no signs of any traction says quite a lot....
Yep, the same document finalized via EchoSign is 458 kB. :(
I'm just evaluating services myself right now, and I did run into this here at HelloSign. The visual quality is acceptable for the file copy of a contract, in my opinion, but there are still the missing features to be concerned about: searchability and comparability.
My biggest gripe, however, is the size. My upload was a 7-page PDF weighing in at 284 kB. The executed PDF is 1.9 MB. I don't really want to archive a bunch of contracts of that size, if avoidable.
At the same time, I realize there is a security aspect of this design. A PDF that has not been reduced to images is editable. Perhaps I'd just like to be able to control the final size better; when I scan documents to PDF and optimize them with Acrobat I get the same quality in about half the file size.
+1. As a designer, everything I create is scrutinized. My squished-up PDFs reflect badly on my professionalism and skills.
Thanks for the comment. This request currently under review by our team, and you'll be updated by email as soon as the feature is complete.
If you happen to have a side by side example from your testing, please send it to email@example.com.
Steven Martins commented
PandaDoc preserves searchable text and vector graphics. I've just tested both PandaDoc and HelloSign and while there are several features more polished on HelloSign, the conversion of documents to images by HelloSign is a road-block to me. Would love to use HelloSign instead of PandaDoc but until this issue is addressed I'm sticking with them.
This is THE missing feature, without this business will not find the software useful.
+1 this is a serious issue and isn't just aesthetic. It is a massive accessibility issue for those with disabilities and makes no sense that documents submitted become JPGs. Another issue is that it's impossible to compare documents before and after signing using Adobe.
Note: Other comparable services like EchoSign preserve text.
Kate Willink commented
Please, please, pleasse address this. I've started trials with nearly every online-contract-signing service out there and only found disappointment. Finally, I found your service and was so excited to see what I needed- streamlined, professionally designed, and efficient. But then I come to find the actual contract itself, despite uploading a high quality PDF, ends up terrible quality and difficult to read! So sad!