How to Sign a PDF Electronically

Sign a PDF online or on your PC

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Electronically signing a PDF isn't always the easiest thing to do, especially if you don't have a scanner. So, instead of printing out the document, signing it by hand, and scanning it, learn how to electronically sign a PDF on your PC.

What Is an Electronic Signature?

An electronic signature is a digitized version of your signature. For example, you can create an electronic signature by signing a piece of paper, scanning it, and sending it to your computer using your printer's scanning software or a smartphone app.

How to Electronically Sign a PDF on Your PC

There are a few ways to sign PDFs on your PC. As mentioned above, you can sign a piece of paper, scan it, and use the resulting image to insert into your PDF document using PDF editing software. However, that's a lot of work.

A much easier way is to use Adobe Acrobat Reader DC (it's free) or a service like DocuSign, which have built-in tools for creating electronic signatures within PDF documents.

How to Electronically Sign a PDF with Adobe Acrobat Reader DC

Adobe Acrobat Reader DC is one of the easiest tools for electronically signing PDFs. The application is available for free online, and will let you sign PDFs without having to download the full-fledged, paid version of Adobe Acrobat.

  1. Go to the Adobe Acrobat Reader DC website and download and install the Windows version of Acrobat Adobe Reader DC to your computer. Follow the step-by-step instructions to complete the installation to your computer.

    Adobe Acrobat Reader DC download page
  2. Launch the Adobe Acrobat Reader DC application. Inside the application, select File > Open, then open your PDF file.

    Adobe Acrobat Reader DC open file
  3. When your PDF is open, select Sign > Add signature.

    Adobe Acrobat Reader DC add signature
  4. You should now see a window where you can add your own custom signature. Enter your name in the signature area, then select Apply. To change the style, select Change style on the right.

    Adobe Acrobat Reader DC typing signature
  5. You should now see a small box with your signature inside of your PDF file. Drag the box to the section of the PDF where you want the signature to appear.

    Adobe Acrobat Reader DC signature box
  6. Save your PDF.

How to Electronically Sign a PDF with DocuSign

Like Adobe Reader DC, DocuSign lets you sign documents for free. However, to request signatures from others using the software, you have to pay for a subscription. Here's how to use DocuSign to sign a PDF electronically.

  1. Go to the DocuSign website and sign up for an account. You'll need to provide a valid email address to activate the account.

    DocuSign webpage
  2. Once the account is activated, log in to DocuSign and select Upload to open your PDF file.

    DocuSign add PDF file
  3. Next, check the box next to I'm the only signer checkbox, then select Sign.

    DocuSign only signer
  4. On the left-hand side, select Signature, then select the yellow box and drag it to the field where you want the signature to go.

    DocuSign add signature
  5. Next, create your signature by typing in your name. Select Adopt and sign.

    DocuSign create signature
  6. Your document is now signed. If needed, add additional signatures by repeating step 4, then select Finish.

    PDF signed