Most medical schools require that letters of evaluation be submitted on letterhead and bear the author's signature. We recognize that including these items on a letter to be submitted electronically is not always easy. Read below for instructions and tips for uploading letters.
How can I convert my letter into a PDF?
If you are writing the letter in Word, you should start by using a letterhead template with your signature. If you already have a template like this, simply type the body of the letter and click "Save As" when you are finished. Choose to save the letter as a PDF (or, in older versions, change the “Save as type:” option to the file extension .pdf). You can then upload this letter to the AMCAS Letter Writer Application, or Interfolio (prehealth advisors only) and send it to AMCAS.
If you’re using other word processing software that does not allow you to save the document as a PDF, there are several free PDF converters available online.
If you have already printed your letter on letterhead and signed it, you can use a scanner to convert the page into a PDF. You should configure the settings of your scanner to convert the document as a PDF (as opposed to an image file, like a JPEG); depending on your scanner you may have to adjust the settings before scanning. Your scanner should let you know when it is finished and you will be able to view and save the PDF. You can then upload the saved PDF to the letter service of your choice and send it to AMCAS.
For more help, also see instructions from Adobe.
Note: Not all scanners are equal, nor do they produce the same PDF. AMCAS software has some technical requirements of PDFs, which allows us to check the authenticity of letters. The PDFs that some scanners generate are not "valid" in the eyes of our software. Should you receive an error while uploading a letter, this could be the cause of the problem. Try scanning your letter as an image file (JPEG, TIFF, etc.), then convert the image of your letter using Adobe Acrobat (not Adobe Reader) or another PDF tool (free converters are available online). Of course, if you still need assistance, contact Advisor Relations.
How do I create an image of my signature to include in my letter?
The simplest way to add an image of your signature to a Word document is to sign a piece of paper and scan it. When you sign, use a slightly thicker pen or marker and sign a little larger than you normally would. Scan the page as an image file (JPEG, PNG, TIFF, or other). Use an image editor to crop the size of the scanned image to include only your signature, getting rid of all the empty space around it and reducing the size of the image. Save the cropped image.
In your Word document, insert or copy and paste the image of your signature below the text of your letter and resize it as necessary. Finally, save the document as a PDF and upload it to the letter service you’d like to use. After you create the image of your signature you can reuse it for other letters.