Marshall, a Mississippi native, is a dedicated expert in IT and cybersecurity with over a decade of experience. Along Techopedia, his bylines can be found…
Signing a PDF document electronically is a convenient alternative to the traditional method of printing, signing, and scanning. This streamlines the process and also reduces the consumption of paper and ink, making it a more sustainable choice.
Various tools and platforms are available to help you electronically sign a PDF, whether you’re using a Windows PC, a Mac, or even a mobile device.
Here’s how to sign a PDF without ever printing out the document.
Many people use the terms “electronic signatures” and “digital signatures” interchangeably, but they’re not exactly the same. While both are used for signing digital documents, their functionalities, legal validity, and the technology behind them are different.
An electronic signature in a PDF is simply a digital representation of your handwritten signature or typed name. A digital signature in a PDF uses cryptographic techniques to secure the document and verify the signer’s identity, providing an additional layer of security and integrity. That said, it’s a little more difficult to digitally sign a pdf.
Here is a comparison of 2 types of signatures:
Electronically signing a PDF document is a convenient and secure way to finalize agreements, contracts, or other forms that require your signature. This method eliminates the need for printing, manual signing, and scanning the document, saving time and resources.
Various options are available for electronically signing a PDF. You can use desktop applications like Adobe Reader for Windows or Preview for Mac, mobile apps, or even online services.
Adobe Reader is one of the most popular tools on Windows for viewing, printing, and annotating PDF files. This, of course, includes signing the PDF.
Follow these 5 easy steps to sign a PDF with Adobe Reader:
1. Open the PDF you want to sign in Adobe Reader and then click Fill & Sign in the left-hand column.
2. Click “Add signature.”
You can now type, draw, or place an image of your signature. It will appear on the line. You can also change the style if you like.
3. Click “Apply” once you’re done.
4. Next, click the “Sign icon” in the quick toolbar.
Your signature will appear next to your cursor. Bring your signature to the signature line and click to place it.
5. Save your changes. You’ve now electronically signed the PDF using Adobe Reader.
Preview is the default application on a Mac for viewing images and PDF files. Among its various features is the ability to add electronic signatures to PDF documents.
Follow these 7 easy steps to make a PDF signature on MAC using Preview:
1. Open the PDF you want to sign in Preview, and then click the “Show Form Filling Toolbar icon.”
2. Next, click the “Signature icon” in the sub-menu. If you have a physical copy of your signature, you can use the Camera option to scan it. If not, use the Trackpad option.
3. Click where it says “Click Here to Begin.”
4. Use your trackpad to write your signature and then select Done.
5. Click the Signature icon again and then select your signature. You can make multiple signatures, so they’ll all appear here. Select the signature you’d like to use.
6. Now, just click and drag the signature to the signature line.
7. Save your document. You’ve now signed the PDF using Preview.
Adobe Fill & Sign is a mobile app designed for filling out and signing PDFs on both iOS and Android devices. This app offers an easy way to electronically sign PDFs without needing a computer.
Launch the app on your iOS or Android device and open the PDF you want to sign. Next, tap the Sign icon at the bottom of the screen.
Tap Create Signature from the menu that appears.
Use your finger or a stylus to sign your signature. Alternatively, you can upload an image of your signature or scan one using your camera.
Once you have your signature, tap and drag it to the signature line.
You can now save and share the signed PDF.
HelloSign is an online service that allows you to sign PDFs online for free (with paid plans also available). It’s accessible via web browsers, making it a good choice for Chromebook users.
Open a web browser of your choice and go to the HelloSign website. If you don’t already have an account, you’ll need to create one.
Follow these 5 easy steps to sign a PDF on Chromebook using HelloSign:
4. You can now draw, type, or upload an image of your signature. If you’ve used this service before, you can also use a saved signature.
5. Once you have your signature, click Insert.
The signature is now added to the PDF. If you need to adjust the location, you can click and drag the signature.
Signing a PDF on a Linux system can be a bit less straightforward compared to other operating systems, but it’s still possible. One commonly used tool for this is Xournal, an application for note-taking, sketching, and PDF annotation.
Here are 3 steps to sign a PDF Linux:
2. Once you have an image of your signature, open the PDF that you need to sign in Xournal, and then select Tools > Image.
3. From there, you’ll just drag and drop the image of your signature to the signature line.
There are other apps you can use for Linux, like LibreOffice Write, a part of the LibreOffice suite, which is free and open-source software. Play around with these to get a feel for which app you like the best.
Online services offer a quick, accessible, and platform-agnostic way to sign PDF documents. Unlike desktop applications, these services are accessible from any device with an internet connection, making it easier to sign documents on the go or from different computers.
They often come with robust security features to ensure the integrity and confidentiality of your documents, making them suitable for both personal and business use.
Among the popular online document signing options, DocuSign stands out for its high-security standards, making it a go-to choice for sensitive business transactions.
Adobe Sign, another trusted service, integrates well with other Adobe products and is known for complying with various legal regulations.
HelloSign, which we used in the Chromebook example, offers a user-friendly design that streamlines the signing process, making it ideal for those looking for a simple and effective solution.
SignTime also offers a straightforward and secure way to get signatures on your PDFs with an easy-to-navigate interface.
Signing PDFs without printing offers a lot of advantages, including efficiency and convenience. This digital method not only conserves valuable time and resources but also simplifies complex workflows.
Each of the mentioned services offers its own unique set of features, so you can choose the one that best suits your specific needs for signing PDF documents.
Techopedia’s editorial policy is centered on delivering thoroughly researched, accurate, and unbiased content. We uphold strict sourcing standards, and each page undergoes diligent review by our team of top technology experts and seasoned editors. This process ensures the integrity, relevance, and value of our content for our readers.
Marshall, a Mississippi native, is a dedicated expert in IT and cybersecurity with over a decade of experience. Along Techopedia, his bylines can be found on Business Insider, PCWorld, VGKAMI, How-To Geek, and Zapier. His articles have reached a massive readership of over 100 million people. Marshall previously served as the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) and technical staff writer at StorageReview, providing comprehensive news coverage and detailed product reviews on storage arrays, hard drives, SSDs, and more. He also developed sales strategies based on regional and global market research to identify and create new project initiatives. Currently, Marshall resides in…
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