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. To help you learn how to digitally sign a PDF seamlessly is the sole aim of this article.

There are so many reasons 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 the content has not changed.

Digital signatures in a PDF document can appear in so many ways. It can appear as text or 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 next you have a PDF to sign.

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 but 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 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 any other 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 chose 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 your with one of your fingers to enter it into Preview. This is even 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 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 synchronize 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 mail 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 sign a document by writing on your touch screen with a finger or stylus.

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

For android users, it is interesting to know 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.


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


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