How to Sign a PDF Document Electronically

How to Add a Digital Signature to PDFs

Do you need to add a digital signature to a PDF document? Perhaps you’re looking to sign a contract or agreement electronically. In this guide, we’ll show you how to add a digital signature to PDFs using Adobe Acrobat. We’ll also cover the benefits of using digital signatures, and explain how they can help improve the security of your documents.

How to Sign a PDF Document Electronically

If you want to sign a PDF document electronically, you can use a handwritten signature, e-sign it with specialized software, or utilize a digital signature with the Adobe Acrobat toolbar to enhance data security.

The most popular way of electronically signing a PDF document is through the use of a digital signature. This can be done by using software, such as Adobe Acrobat. In order to sign documents digitally, you need to first obtain a digital ID.

How to Obtain a Digital ID

A Digital ID is a certificate that is provided by a certificate authority (CA). CA are recognized third-party entities that create digital certificates for other people to use. There are many commercial CAs from which you may buy a certificate or receive one for free, including some well-known names like VeriSign, Thawte, and Rapid SSL. Many organizations, governments, and businesses have the authority to issue their own certificates.

Once you have a digital ID, you can then sign the document electronically. This is a convenient way to return documents without having to go through the hassle of printing, scanning, or faxing. In addition, it also helps to ensure that the document is not altered or forged in any way after it has been signed.

Before we get into Adobe Acrobat and how to sign PDFs with it, let’s go through some of the other signing options and their advantages.

Handwritten Signature in PDF

One option for creating a signature on a PDF document is to use a virtual handwritten signature. To do this, you first need to create a handwritten signature. This can be done by signing a piece of paper and then scanning it or taking a picture of it with your phone.

Once you have your signature, you will need to convert it into a digital image. This can be done using an online tool or by using an image editing program like Photoshop. Once you have your signature in digital form, you can add it to the PDF document by using the Sign function in Adobe Acrobat Reader. This will allow you to insert your signature anywhere on the PDF document.

The signature input field in Adobe Acrobat Reader also offers suggestions for drawing your signature with a mouse or touchpad or just typing it.

Once the signature has been added, the document can be saved and sent electronically. This is a convenient way to sign documents without having to print them out and sign them manually.

If you just need to leave a print of your name to indicate yourself as the author or confirm critical data, this option is ideal. A handwritten signature, on the other hand, is less reliable than a digital signing. So, if you need to safeguard your data as securely as possible, you should think about e-sign or digital signatures.

Electronic Signature vs. Digital Signature

Before we go any further, it’s important to understand the difference between an electronic signature and a digital signature. They are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing.

An electronic signature, also known as an e-signature, is a virtual version of a handwritten signature that can be used to sign documents electronically. E-signatures are legal and binding in many countries, including the United States, Canada, and the European Union.

E-signing is possible by using special software such as Pandadoc, DocuSign or AdobeSign propose. These and many other services are generally offered as a comprehensive package of services for signing, exchanging, and tracking paperwork for both individuals and businesses. It’s a great choice to e-sign PDF documents because this option allows you to work with many different document formats and sign a large number of papers in one go. Also, most of the services are integrated with other programs, such as Microsoft 365, Salesforce, Google Drive, Workday, Notarize, and others.

An electronic signature, on the other hand, does not use encryption and is most often utilized for non-confidential documents. Digital signatures are more secure than electronic signatures since they are considerably more difficult to counterfeit. Digital signatures can also be used to authenticate the official signer’s identity, while electronic signatures can not.

As a result, digital signatures are often used for important legal documents, while electronic signatures are more commonly used for everyday communications.

How to Add Digital Signature in PDF

As previously said, you’ll need a digital ID to digitally sign documents. There are a few different ways to go about this, but the most important thing is to make sure that you get an ID from a reputable source. Adobe Acrobat Reader can also be used to generate your digital ID.

How to Create digital ID with Adobe Acrobat Reader

If you choose Adobe Acrobat Reader to create a digital ID, follow these steps:

1. Open Adobe Acrobat Reader and select Edit > Preferences.

2. Select Signatures from the left sidebar and then Identities & Trusted Certificates.

3. Click on More… and then select Digital IDs.

4. Click on the icon with a “+” and picture.

5. Select A new digital ID want to create now and then click Next.

6. Then choose where you want to store your certificate and click Next.

7. Fulfill the graphs with your personal information (Name – Country/Region) and then click Next.

8. At last you can enter a file location on your computer and come up with a password. Click Finish after that and close the window.

How to Customize Digital ID Appearance with Image

You can also add an image to your digital ID. This can be done by following the steps below:

1. Open the Preferences window by going to Edit > Preferences.

2. Select Signatures on the left sidebar and then Identity Management.

3. Select Creation and Appearance and click More…

4. Click on New to the left of the field Appearances.

5. In the Title field enter your information (e.g. Eric Alder Signature).

6. After that choose Imported graphic and click File… to choose the image of your handwritten signature from the computer.

7. Browse the image you want to use and then click Open > OK. The image will now appear instead of “your common name here”.

8. In Configure Text you can also select other credentials which you would like to be shown next to the signature image. Or change text direction in Text Properties.

9. Click OK and close the windows.

Add Digital Signature in PDF

Once you have obtained or created a digital certificate, you can finally use it to sign PDF documents following these steps:

1. Open the PDF document in Adobe Acrobat Reader.

2. Click on the Tools > Certificates.

4. Choose Digitally Sign under the toolbar.

6. Once you’ve chosen the place where you want your signature, move the cursor to that location and drag a section of the document as long as you want your signature to be.

5. The window Sign with a Digital ID will be opened, so you can choose your digital ID, click Continue and choose in the right upper corner of the window your Appearance of the signature. Here you can lock the document if needed, enter your PIN in the right field at the bottom and finally click Sign.

6. Save the document by clicking on the File menu and selecting Save As. Choose a location on your computer to save the document, and click on the Save button.

That’s all! Now you know how to add a digital signature to your PDF documents using Adobe Acrobat Reader DC.

FAQs about Adding Digital Signature to PDF

What is the best program to use to add a digital signature to a PDF?

Adobe Acrobat is the most popular program to use for adding digital signatures to PDFs.

Can I add a digital signature to a PDF without Adobe Acrobat?

Yes, there are many other programs that you can use to add a digital signature to your PDFs. Some of these include Soda PDF, PDFelement, and Sejda PDF Editor.

Can I add a digital signature to a PDF with my finger?

Yes, you can add a digital signature to a PDF using your finger if you have a touchscreen device.

Is it free to add a digital signature to a PDF?

Adobe Acrobat offers a free trial, and there are many other programs that have free versions available as well.