How to Sign a PDF in Adobe

by Dustin ThorntonUpdated September 28, 2017
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Just like a physical paper document, you can sign a PDF document to show approval or specify that you've read the document. Signing a PDF document can have its advantages over signing a paper document, as it reduces paperwork if there are several recipients or copies of the document. Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader support this function, allowing you to electronically sign a PDF document using your Adobe digital ID if you have one or by manually drawing in your signature, as long as the document creator set up the function when the document was created.

Electronically Sign PDF With Ink

Launch Adobe Acrobat or Reader, depending on which program you have. Click "File" and select "Open." Navigate to the location of the PDF document on your computer that you want to sign. Double-click it to open it.

Click "Advanced" in the file menu and select "Sign & Certify," if using Adobe Acrobat. Click "Document" in the file menu and select "Sign," if using Adobe Reader. A side menu will appear.

Scroll over and click on "Apply Ink Signature."

Draw your signature using the cursor, on the area of the document where you want your signature to appear.

Click "File" and select "Save As." Specify a name for the signed document and specify a location on your computer where you want to save the PDF. Click "Save."

Digitally Sign PDF

Launch Adobe Acrobat or Reader, depending on which program you have. Click "File" and select "Open." Navigate to the location of the PDF document on your computer that you want to sign. Double-click it to open it.

Click "Advanced" in the file menu and select "Sign & Certify," if using Adobe Acrobat. Click "Document" in the file menu and select "Sign," if using Adobe Reader. A side menu will appear.

Scroll over and click on "Sign Document."

Click on the document where you want to sign it, click on it and scroll over, creating a signature field. Note that you can skip this step if the document already has a signature field. The "Sign Document" dialog box will appear.

Click the "Sign As" drop-down menu and select your digital ID from the list. Input your digital ID password into the "Password" field below.

Click the "Appearance" drop-down menu and select an appearance for your signature. Note that you can select "Create New Appearance" if you want to create a new signature appearance specifically for the document you are signing. Draw your signature in the space allotted if you chose to create a new signature appearance.

Click "Sign." A "Save As" dialog box will appear. Input a name for the signed document, specify a location on your computer and click "Save" (Acrobat) or "Submit" (Reader).

Tips

Change the color of the electronic ink signature by right-clicking the "Pencil" icon in the "Comment & Markup Toolbar." Click on "Tool Default Properties" and select the color from list. A digital signature is more official than an ink signature as Adobe records and embeds information about your identity in the PDF file.

Warnings

The PDF creator must implement the feature when creating the document to sign a document with electronic ink in Adobe Reader.

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