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Locked files.......am I missing something?

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Larry Lyke

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2002
Nancy --

I save and electronically sign my a la mode report, then have a la mode load it onto the Adobe Distiller 5.05 and e-mail it to the client. No matter how big, it's always gone through the pipe since my DSL line.

Are you now telling me that I've just sent the appraisal in the clear and the client can doctor it at will?

Maybe that's the reason I never get any calls about typos or my value opinion.

Please comment. Thanks.
 

Charlotte Dixon

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Delaware
Nancy, I printed out your instructions....(have never tryed to mess with security settings :oops: )...I have 5.0 Acrobat Writer. When I click "file"....."security" is grayed over.....Do you have a clue why?
 

Nancy in Friday Harbor

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Washington
Larry,
Go to Adobe. Open your appraisal file in Adobe, not in alamode.
If there isn't a little yellow key symbol along the lower edge of the screen, just a little left of center, the appraisal is NOT locked in Adobe.

My experience is only with using SFREP---maybe David Biggers has made this automatic for you guys with alamode, but I'd check a couple of those files if I were you.

Another way to check is to go to the Help screen & find out how to change something---then try to change it in your open report. If you can change anything in that file, so can someone else.

I know my big revelation came when I realized I needed to add a copy of a Purchase & Sale to an appraisal report and did it in Adobe. No problem--and then I realized that the digital signature was still on the report and that the appraisal was unchanged in the appraisal software. WHOA!!! "If I could do it," says I.........YIKES!!! Scan something in here, take something out there, click a coupla keys and ol' Nan's signature is still right there at the bottom!! The hair stood up on the back of my neck!

Charlotte,
Do you have a file open? If it's just the blank screen with nothing open, security is grayed over for me too. I haven't checked to see if that is the case with someone else's file that may be locked when I receive it. Again, check for that little key or try to change something. Maybe your appraisal software takes care of that automatically...or not.

I'm sounding like I know what I'm doing here....but I found all this out through trial and error......and was alerted by someone else here in Wayne's World a bunch of months ago. I'm NOT an expert....this is an official disclaimer! If in doubt, read the instructions from Adobe and/or contact your appraisal software vendor.

Good Luck!
Nancy
 

Charlotte Dixon

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Delaware
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
Nancy.......Gotcha!!!!

I'm a little afraid to do anything with Adobe since the nightmare I went through last Fall. I had a hell of a mess. I don't know about the security, and you know what???? I don't care much! I know what I said in the report, the value, etc. The digital signature locked the file. They will find a way to change it one way or another if they really try! I'm not foolin' with the thing and screw it up again....Don't worry, I won't follow your directions :lol: :lol: :lol:
 

Nancy in Friday Harbor

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Washington
Hey Charlotte,

Maybe I'm wound a little too tight, but.....

IMNSHO, sending an unlocked .pdf file is like giving everyone the password for your electronic signature.

'Nuf said.
 

Larry Lyke

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2002
Nancy --

I too am a little skittish because when I loaded Adobe 5.0 Distiller et al, we had to tear my whole brand new system down when my guru (on site), a la mode's support person and then their $75/hr guru (hired by me)decided that was the way to go.

Without success, finally my guru learned from talking to Microsoft engineers that Adobe 5.0's new version was the problem and sent my guru to Microsoft's tech website to download the Adobe 5.05 patch that Microsoft itself had concocted.

Has worked perfectly ever since the bills came in for $369.

I cannot make any changes to an a la mode appraisal once I've signed it electronically. THEREFORE, I've never been tempted to fool with Adobe -- I'm even afraid to look.

Comments please.
 

Jo Ann Meyer Stratton

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Arizona
Thank you very much Nancy! I just recently installed Day One Nova and Adobe Acrobat Writer 5, so I followed your instructions exactly and now I have that neat little gold key at the bottom of my screen! Just getting ready to email it to my best client. If they have any problems they will let me know immediately--so it will be a good test. Since each pdf file is locked individually, I don't think it would effect anything else. So for you not so brave souls--do a sample like I did. I created a dummy file, affixed my electronic signature to a one page form, saved that one page to a pdf file. Created three exactly alike, one only secured within Day One, one secured within Adobe with no check marks, and one within Adobe with all check marks except printing. Then I emailed them to a couple of my kids that are computer gurus, but not appraisers. Waiting to hear what the results are. But I liked the little gold key so much decided to try it out on my client even before I heard back from the kids.
 

Nancy in Friday Harbor

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Washington
Jo Ann,

I think that's the trick.
When you use Adobe Writer or Distiller (SFREP doesn't like Distiller, so you have to use Writer) as if it were a printer, it creates a 2nd, separate file of your appraisal report. One is filed as your software's file wherever that file is and the second one is a .pdf file that you put wherever you want to put it (I have a separate file folder named, creatively, "AppraisalPDF" where I keep my .pdf copies) What you do to that .pdf file has nothing to do with the original appraisal in your appraisal software program--assuming you saved it.

I'm fortunate in that I bought the program with the fix already in it and I haven't had the problems the others have. I might be a little gunshy too, but........the lock on your appraisal software and digital signature (mine, at least) doesn't mean diddly squat to Adobe.....unless you lock it through Adobe too.

So, download the patch, create a dummy (or make a second copy of an existing appraisal report under a different name) and experiment. Granted, you're only keepin' the honest folks honest and a really determined hacker can change anything they want. But, at least, I'm gonna make 'em work for it!!
 

Nancy in Friday Harbor

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Washington
Larry,

I can't change anything in an SFREP appraisal once it's signed either.....when I open it through SFREP.

The .pdf copy of that report (just think of it like printing a paper copy of the report, except that it exists within the computer) can be changed, shuffled, and played with at will...unless it's locked.

When I installed Adobe, both Distiller and Writer show up in my list of available printers, just like the HP1100 and the HP2000. So when I'm ready to "print" my appraisal, I just pick PDF Writer instead of the HP2000.
It lets you set up the paper size, collate, ...all the stuff you can do with your printer. It's just that you don't get a paper copy in your hands. It is a totally separate file than the one in your appraisal software.

The question is, which file do you attach to your email to send to your client? The alamode/SFREP/DayOne file? Or is it the .pdf file? If it is the second, you have to lock it separately.
 

Nancy in Friday Harbor

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Washington
A thought just occurred to me.

Sending a PDF file of an appraisal report with your digital signature on it without locking the pdf file is like mailing out an appraisal report written in pencil with a pen and ink signature. 8O
 
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