Combine Cover Sheet and Digital Support Documentation to Create a Single PDF

Once you have created the PDF cover sheet, you will need to add the receipts, authorizations, and other support documentation required to process the voucher for payment. In other words, you will need to assemble a single PDF by combining two or more PDFs.

This can be accomplished using the Combine Files Tool in Adobe Acrobat Pro or Acrobat DS.

If you have electronically signed documents as support documentation, please read this entire page before beginning.

Combining Documents that DO NOT Contain Electronic Signature or Saved Form Fields

  1. Open the Tools panel in Adobe Acrobat and select Combine Files 

  1. This will bring you to a screen that allows you to choose the files you want to combine: 

  1. The added files will appear on a work screen where they can be sequenced. Be sure that the Voucher Transmittal Form is the first file. Then select Combine

The resulting binder file should be renamed with the payment voucher Doc ID, e.g. 70VP2555888. This file can be uploaded to the appropriate folder:

  • UPLOAD - Payment Processing
  • Or, UPLOAD - Final Approved folder

When combining files, you may receive an alert message asking if you would like to create a Portfolio PDF. Or, you may not receive an alert message but find that the resulting binder file contains pages with missing information. In either case, you may be trying to combine files that have electronic signatures or saved form fields. Refer to instructions below for Combining PDFs that contain electronic signatures or form fields.

NOTE: Do not upload Portfolio files to an UPLOAD folder. The imaging system cannot process Portfolio files. If you create a Portfolio file, you must convert to a binder file using the Combine Files tool before submitting the voucher to be imaged. Refer to instructions below for Converting a Portfolio file to a Binder file.

Combining PDFs that DO Contain Electronic Signatures or Saved Form Fields

PDFs that contain electronic signatures may require additional preparation before they can be Combined with other PDFs. This may also apply to PDF forms containing saved form field data.

Issues with digital signatures and form fields can be detected by Combining files, overriding warning dialog box messages, and reviewing the resulting PDF. If one or more of the files appear to have blank areas or missing pages. You will need to take additional steps to prepare those PDFs before Combining.

 

CAUTION: If support documentation includes electronically signed documents such as contracts, leases, or other binding agreements, you must retain the original, intact PDF of the executed document within your department.

Electronic signature applications such as DocuSign or Adobe Signatures assure the integrity of signatures by sealing the completed document to prevent alterations. The extra preparation required to image these documents “breaks” the seal. Therefore you must use a copy of the original to prepare for imaging.

Retain the intact, electronically signed PDF contract or agreement with other files related to the contract for seven years after its terms have been met in accordance with UTRRS series AALL570.

Preparing Sealed PDFs or PDFs with Saved Filled Fields

Breaking the seal to prepare a document for imaging may be as simple as using the Adobe Acrobat print function on the sealed PDF to print a new copy of the document. Be sure to convert to a black and white PDF at the same time.

  1. Open the PDF you need to prepare and select the print function. 

  1. Select Adobe PDF as the Printer and be sure grayscale (black and white) is checked​

  1. Select Printer Properties

  1. Choose Black and White on the Paper/Quality tab

  1. Print your document to a new PDF and name the PDF with the Doc ID.

If the PDF protections do not allow the document to be printed, you may be able to save the file with a new name or export to a Microsoft Word document and then follow the print-to-PDF steps. If you are unable to print or save the sealed PDF, contact oa.rec@austin.utexas.edu for assistance.

NOTE: If you have access to an Apple OS X system, the built-in Preview function may be able to open sealed/filled PDFs and print to a new PDF.

Converting Portfolio PDFs to Binder PDFs

If you have created a Portfolio PDF, you must convert it to a Binder.pdf before it can be imaged.  You must also rename the Binder.pdf to match the Doc ID.

  1. Open the Portfolio document using Adobe Pro or Adobe DC.
  2. Select File Menu > Create > Combine Files into a Single PDF.
  3. In the Combine Files tool, select Add Open Files below the Add Files button.

  1. The Open PDF Files dialog box will display all open PDFs. Select the Portfolio PDF you need to convert.

  1. You will receive the following warning. Select OK.

The Combine Files tool will display all of the files contained in the Portfolio and allow you to sequence them. Be sure that the *DEFINE voucher page, also known as the Voucher Transmittal Page, is the first file.

NOTE: If you receive a warning at the bottom of the screen that “One or more of your files contains digital signatures” you can proceed, however you must review the final PDF to ensure that all of the files have been captured correctly. Files containing digital signatures require additional preparation before the Combine File process can be completed. Refer to Preparing Sealed PDFs or PDFs with Saved Filled Fields for more information.

  1. Press the blue Combine button on the upper right corner.

The following alert may be an indication that one or more files contain digital signatures or other features that will require additional preparation before the Combine File process can be completed. Refer to Preparing Sealed PDFs or PDFs with Saved Filled Fields for more information.

  1. The files will be combined into a Binder.pdf which must renamed with the Doc ID number and uploaded to the appropriate imaging folder.

Quality Control for Your Final PDF

Be sure to do good things and check your work!

  1. Entire document must be black & white
  2. PDF must be renamed with Doc ID, example 70VP2444888.pdf
  3. PDF must NOT be an Adobe Portfolio file, refer to above instructions regarding portfolio files
  4. All pages must be present, please double check to confirm all pages are included
  5. All electronic signatures and filled field information must be visible
  6. If any files were originally scanned from paper documents, please refer to the page for Preparing Paper Documents.

Departments are required to retain a departmental copy of the uploaded vouchers in case they need to be resubmitted for any reason. Departments must keep that copy until they have verified that the vouchers have been final approved or released to the Image Retrieval System (IRS).