How to electronically sign a PDF

This page provides instruction on how to sign a PDF document with Adobe Acrobat DC.

There are two methods to sign a PDF document.  The way you sign is largely dependent on how the signature is requested:

  1. On a signature line
  2. In a form field requesting a Digital ID

How to sign a Signature Line

  1. Open the PDF document that you would like to sign with the program Adobe Acrobat DC.

  2. Click on the Sign Tool (shown as a pen with scribbling) in the Toolbar.
    Step 1

  3. Click on Add Signature. 
    Step 2

  4. The following window will allow you to Type, Draw, or Insert an Image.  
    1. Type: The easiest method; you can type in your first and last name.  There is a Change Style menu to customize the look.
    2. Draw: Not recommended; this provides a pen tool to draw out the signature; with mouse or stylus.
    3. Image: You may upload a photo of your signature.  This is the most "realistic" signature effect but requires a good quality, clear photo of your signature done with paper and pen.
      Step 3
      Do ensure the Save signature box is checked so that Adobe Acrobat remembers it for future use.
  5. Click Apply and the signature will be moved where your mouse hovers.  Click once to place the Signature, ideally where the signature line is provided.  The Signature may be manipulated (decreasing and increasing size, removed, or converted into different symbols entirely) and moved around the document by clicking and dragging.

    Step 4

  6. To Date your document, click on the Add Text Tool in the Toolbar.

    Step 5

  7. A cursor displaying "Ab" will be moved where your mouse hovers.  Click once to place a textbox, ideally where the date line is provided.  The textbox may be manipulated and moved around the document by clicking and dragging.

    Step 6
  8. Enter the date with your number keys and click away from the textbox when you are finished.

    Step 7

  9. Save your signed and dated PDF.

How to sign a form field with a Digital ID

A form field requesting a Digital ID will be tinted and have the words "Digital ID" or "Click to digitally sign" involved.  Clicking this form field will allow you to insert your personal ID.  To create a Digital ID:
  1. Open Adobe Acrobat

  2. Click on Edit > Preferences...
    Edit Preferences

  3. Scroll down the Categories until you find Signatures.  Click the More... button.

    signature more
  4. A window will appear with default settings.  Click on the New... button.

    new signature
  5. Enter your name as a Title for the Signature.  The default settings for the signature are sufficient.  Note that it includes the Date of Signing as well.  Click OK.

    signature appearance

  6. The Digital ID you created will act to fill the form fields that request a Digital ID.  After filling out the form, save your signed PDF. 

Keywordselectronic signature, sign, pdf, date, document   Doc ID99118
OwnerJane K.GroupUniversity of Illinois Extension KB
Created2020-03-19 13:35:18Updated2024-05-15 10:14:32
SitesUniversity of Illinois Extension KB
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