How to Add an Electronic Signature to PDF Documents

PDF has long been and is likely to remain the go-to format for a majority of documents related to business and employment when digitized. Such papers often require a signature to become valid. This article explains how to sign a PDF in an efficient manner and what instruments you’ll need.

The Benefits of an Electronic Signature

An electronic signature, also commonly referred to as an e-signature, is a set of data that is presented electronically to function as a replacement for a legal handwritten signature. This is a convenient way of signing documents that you cannot or do not want to access in paper form.

Given the fact that organizations around the globe are investing considerable effort in the reduction of unnecessary and confusing paperwork by going digital, you are very likely to need an e-signature if you work or make deals remotely. Instead of using mail to send or receive hard copies, learn how to put a signature on PDF files electronically. This is especially time-saving when it comes to documents with more than two parties to them.

There are many situations where an e-signature is legally binding just like a regular one. You can obtain one via e-mail or other channels using your devices.

How to Digitally Sign a PDF Using Adobe

A popular answer to the question of how to add an electronic signature to PDF files is via Adobe, a company that most people likely associate with the portable document file — the full name behind PDF. It was Adobe that first introduced the format back in 1993. It’s thus only natural that software developed by this company offers some ways of adding a signature to a PDF.

Here is a step-by-step instruction on how to sign electronically using Adobe Reader DC as the most popular solution for e-signing by Adobe:

Step 1. Open the form or document you are interested in using Adobe Reader DC.

Step 2. In the toolbar in the top part of the window, find the “Sign” icon and click on it. Select “Fill & Sign” when the menu appears

Alternatively, you can use the toolbar on the right. Select and left-click “Fill & Sign”.

Step 3. Move the cursor so that it hovers over the sign box that you need to sign. Adobe Reader DC recognizes such boxes automatically and will show a box outlined in blue.

Step 4. Click anyplace inside the blue box.

Step 5. Choose to type, draw, or attach an image of the text that you want the field to contain.

The first option means that you enter the letters by typing them on your keyboard and the program stylizes these to look like an actual signature. The font color can be changed, too.

You can also use the cursor to draw it or upload an image showing your e-signature. This can be a quality photo of your handwritten signature on blank paper saved as JPG, JPEG, TIFF, BMP, or in other common formats.

Adobe enables you to save an e-signature in your account.

Step 6. Repeat for each field by clicking on it.

How to Add My Signature to a PDF with PDFLiner

You might choose to sign a PDF online using an all-round solution to most PDF-related problems such as PDFLiner. All you need to do to get started is open it in your browser. Here are the steps to take to attach your signature to PDF forms and documents with this platform.

Step 1. Upload the PDF file that you want to add a signature to using the built-in tool. You can choose to upload it from your device, type the URL associated with it, or find and use one of the selection of ready-to-fill forms offered by PDFLiner.

Step 2. On the dashboard in the top part of the window, find the ink pen-like “Sign” icon and click on it. Your cursor will now look like an ink pen.

Step 3. Place the cursor where you need the signature.

Step 4. Click the Sign Field button in the place that you are going to put your signature.

Step 5. The Signature Wizard will open. New users will be offered to create a new e-signature. As a returning user, though, you can save your settings for signing PDF documents with PDFLiner to save time.

Step 6. Simply type in your signature in the respective field as prompted by the Wizard, or choose to draw, upload, or capture one. The Capture option will engage your device’s camera directly for greater efficiency.

Alternatively, you can use the Add Fields toolkit to create and sign new signable fields in a similar way.

Step 1. Upload the file you are interested in as described in Step 1 above.
Step 2. In the upper right corner of the dashboard, find and click the green “Add Fields” icon.

Step 3. Select the “Sign” option from the toolkit and proceed as described in Steps 3 to 6 above.

Adobe Reader DC vs PDFLiner

When it comes to attaching your electronic signature to a digital document that has the PDF format, Adobe Reader DC and PDFLiner have a lot in common. Both platforms enable users to sign their papers electronically in a quick and efficient way.

The basic range of options offered by Abode and PDFLiner is also similar. Both enable returning signers to use previously saved signatures, which reduces the procedure considerably. Whichever platform you choose, you can type the text of your signature, draw it using your mouse, drawing pad tablet, or a similar device to imitate your natural handwritten signature, or upload a picture of what it looks like. With PDFLiner, there’s the added possibility of capturing your handwriting by controlling the device’s camera directly — a welcome bonus that will help you save type at the initial stage.

The key difference between Adobe Reader DC and PDFLiner is the pricing policy. The latter is generally more affordable if you are an individual looking for a monthly subscription. It also offers a wider range of subscription plans for individuals as well as teams, in which the latter doesn’t require an annual commitment unless you want the discount that it’s associated with.

Inserting Signatures in PDF Made Easy

There are numerous ways in which you can add a digital signature to PDF documents in order to make them legally binding. Pro-grade software products such as Adobe Reader DC Pro offer you an easy-to-implement solution.

Yet, these are likely to appear too pricey if you are mainly interested in e-signing.

PDFLiner is an online platform that has the functionality offered by Adobe’s product but is more affordable and flexible when it comes to available subscriptions. Choose the individual or corporate plan for a month or a year depending on your purpose and enjoy PDFLiner’s simple yet powerful toolkit.
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