How to Digitally Sign a PDF | Easy Step-by-step Guide

It can really be daunting when you have a vital document to sign ASAP and the document is in soft form. What this means is that you can’t put ink on it manually. The sole aim of this article is to help you learn how to digitally sign a PDF seamlessly.

There are so many reasons why you want to sign a document digitally. One of the reasons is to securely record your identity as the author of a document and to also verify that the content has not changed.

Digital signatures in a PDF document can appear in so many ways. It can appear as text or an image. It can be a photo of your handwritten version of your signature.

As we progress in this article, I’m going to show you how not to be frustrated again when you have a PDF to sign.

Why do people digitally sign pdf?

There are different reasons why people digitally sign PDFs.

Authentication: The name of the signer is seen through the use of a digital signature. This shows that the signature on the pdf was really by the stated person.

Integrity: Digital signatures help to protect the document’s integrity by confirming that it has not been changed or messed with after signing. If you digitally sign a pdf, any change made to it is useless.

Because digital signatures are non-repudiable, the signer of the pdf cannot remove their name from the paper. This offers safety.

Efficiency: Digital signatures save both time and money by removing the need to print, scan, and send real copies of papers.

Security: Digital signatures employ encryption technology to protect the secrecy of the document’s information and the signing process. This ensures that the pdf can only be viewed.

How to Sign a PDF on Windows Using Adobe Reader

Adobe Reader is one of the most feature-packed and actually has excellent support that allows for the signing of PDF documents.

What distinguishes Adobe Reader from other third-party PDF readers is that the signature feature is free whereas other ones may require you to purchase a paid version before using their signature features.

If you use a Windows device, here’s a quick way to sign your PDF using your device without having to print it out.

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Steps to Sign a PDF on Windows Using Adobe Reader

1. To sign a document using Adobe Reader, first open the PDF document in the Adobe Acrobat Reader DC application and then click the “Fill & Sign” button in the right corner.

2. After you’ve clicked on the “Fill & Sign” button, click on the “Sign” button on the toolbar and select “Add Signature” to add your signature to Adobe Acrobat Reader DC.

3. You can also add other information to the document if need be. For example, you can type text or add check marks to fill in forms using buttons on the Fill & Sign toolbar. You can create a signature in one of three ways. By default, Adobe Reader selects “Type,” so you can type your name and have it converted to a signature. This won’t look like your real signature, so it probably isn’t ideal.

4. If you don’t want to use the one that allows you to type, you find and use the “Draw” option and then draw your signature using your mouse or a touch screen. If you’d like to sign a piece of paper, scan it with a scanner, and then add your written signature to Adobe Reader. You don’t need to do this again. The signature will be saved, and you can use it at any time.

5. Once you are done creating the signature, click “Apply” to apply it to the document. Leave “Save Signature” checked so you can quickly add this signature to other documents in the future.

6. Place your signature where you want it on your document with your mouse, and click to apply it. If you choose to save your signature, you’ll find it easily accessible in the “Sign” menu in the future.

7. If you are done, save your signed PDF document. Follow this: click File > Save and select a location for the file.

How to Sign a PDF on Mac Using Preview

If you are an Apple user, you may not be able to use the Adobe Reader to sign your document. You can rather use the Mac Preview app.

MacBook users will find appending a signature to digital documents a lot easier than other device users. With the trackpad, you can draw with one of your fingers to enter it into Preview. This is even more pressure-sensitive on new Mac devices, allowing for even more accurate signatures.

Conversely, you could just sign a piece of paper and “scan” it with your webcam if you prefer creating your signature the old-fashioned way or if you don’t have a trackpad.

Steps to Digitally Sign a PDF on Mac Using Preview

Here’s how to sign a document with the Preview App.

#1. To sign a document, open a PDF document in Preview.

#2. Click the toolbox-shaped “Show Markup Toolbar” button, and then click the “Sign” button on the toolbar that appears. You’ll be prompted to either create a signature by dragging your finger over the trackpad or by signing a piece of paper and scanning it with your webcam. Capture your signature once, and Preview will remember it for future use.

#3. After you’ve captured a signature, you can select it in the menu that appears after you click the “Sign” button. Your signature is applied as an image that can be dragged around and resized to fit the document.

#4. When you’re done, simply click on the “File” menu and “Save” to save the PDF. This automatically applies the signature to your document. You can also click “File” and then “Duplicate” instead to create a copy of the PDF and save your changes into a new copy of the file without modifying the original.

Interestingly, you can also use Adobe Reader DC on a Mac. It’ll work just like signing a document on Windows. Follow the same instructions for signing on Windows.

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How to Sign a PDF on iPhone and iPad Using Mail or Adobe Fill & Sign

If you are an iOS user, you can simply sign documents using the markup feature in the iOS Mail app. If you already use a Mac device and use Preview to sign documents, your signature will be synchronized from your Mac to your iPhone or iPad, so you don’t have to create it a second time.

You’ll appreciate this feature more if you have documents sent to your email that you’ll need to sign immediately using your phone.

It is quite simple to do this. You just need to have the email with the PDF file attached. Simply tap the PDF attachment and click the toolbox-shaped “Markup and Reply” icon at the bottom right corner of the screen.

You’ll find the signature button at the bottom right corner of your screen. Kindly add a signature by tapping this area. If you want a quick one, you can simply type your name or whatever you use as signature into the text box.

Simply tap “Done” once you are done. Once you are done, the Mail app will automatically create a reply to the email with your signed document attached. You can type an email message and then send the signed document.

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Using Adobe Reader to Sign on iOS

While you need the mail app to do this, which could mean some level of limitation, you may also consider using the Adobe Fill & Sign app. The app allows you to sign an unlimited number of documents for free. It can even capture pictures of paper documents with your camera, so you can create digital copies of paper forms.

Furthermore, the Adobe app allows you to sign a document by writing on your touch screen with a finger or stylus.

How to Digitally Sign a PDF on Android Using Mail or Adobe Fill & Sign

For Android users, it is interesting to know that you can also use your Android to sign your documents on the spot without having to print them.

Basically, you’ll need an app like Adobe Fill & Sign, which allows you to sign an unlimited number of documents a month for free. Download it from the Google play store here if you don’t have the app.

Interestingly, Adobe Fill and Sign can also capture pictures of paper documents with your camera, so you can sign them electronically.

Once you are done installing the app, open PDF documents in the downloaded app and tap the signature button to sign them.


How do I digitally sign a PDF without Adobe?

Launch PDF Editor
Click open to open desired file
Upload specific file
Select Comment the Add signature
On the POP-UP Box, add name or signature
Draw a signature or write it down
Click below, as shown by the arrow
Select PDF Signature

How do I send a PDF as a digital signature?

In the right pane, click on the Fill & Sign tool. Add the recipient: Enter an email address and a personalized message, if desired. Then, click “Next.” Create your form’s signature fields: Either click to accept the automatically recognized form and signature, or drag and drop your own from the right pane.

How do I digitally sign a PDF on my phone?

Upload the PDF you’d like to sign.
Use the toolbar to complete the fillable form and add your electronic signature.
Rename and save the document.
Download the completed form to your mobile device or receive a shareable link.

How do I create a digital signature?

Adobe’s e-signature solution allows you to create a digital signature. Simply click the review link and choose to digitally sign. From there, choose a signature source and name, then sign in to use your digital signature. Next, you can preview your signature and authenticate it if you’re happy with how it looks.


I hope you have found value in this article. You will definitely be able to sign your documents on the spot once you receive them. You won’t have to bother about printing your document. These tips here will help you make the entire process quite seamless.