Sign PDFs

Reader lets you sign PDFs and incorporate that signature into the file. If you are viewing a PDF on the web, download the PDF first before you sign it.

Some documents have security applied that prohibits electronic signatures. Print such documents and then sign the printed copy.

Sign a document

In Reader, you can type your name, draw your signature, or place an image of your signature on a document. You can also add text, such as your name, company, title, or the date. When your document is complete, the signature becomes part of the PDF.

  1. Open the PDF you want to sign.

  2. Click the Sign icon in the toolbar to open the Sign pane, or click the Sign pane.


    If the Sign icon is not in the toolbar, right-click the toolbar, and choose File > Add Text or Signature.

  3. To add text, such as your name, company, or title, click Add Text in the I Need To Sign panel. Click in the document where you want to add the text, and type.

    The Add Text option lets you add your name, company, or date to the PDF.

  4. (Optional) If the document requires you to indicate a selection, click Add Checkmark. Click on the document to place the checkmark on the document.

  5. In the Sign pane, click Place Signature.

    The first time you sign, the Place Signature option opens a dialog box to allow you to create or import your signature.

  6. (First time signing) In the Place Signature dialog box, choose how you want to place your signature:

    Type my signature

    Type your name in the Enter Your Name field. Reader creates a signature for you. You can choose from a small selection of signature styles. Click Change Signature Style to view a different style. When you are satisfied with your signature, click Accept.

    Draw my signature

    Draw your signature in the Draw Your Signature field. When you are satisfied with your signature, click Accept.

    Use an image

    Click Browse, and locate your signature file. When your signature appears in the dialog box, click Accept.


    If you do not have an image of your signature, use black ink to sign your name on a clean blank sheet of paper. Photograph or scan your signature and transfer the image file (JPG, PNG, GIF, BMP, TIFF or PDF) to your computer. Don't crop the image, Reader only imports the signature.

    You can choose to type, draw, or import a signature. Reader uses that signature on future PDFs you sign.

  7. Click in the PDF where you want to place your signature.

  8. To move, resize, or rotate the signature, do one of the following.

    A. Move pointer B. Resize pointer C. Rotate pointer 


    Position the cursor over the signature and drag into position.


    Drag a corner handle to resize.


    Position the cursor over the rotation handle (top-middle handle), when the cursor changes to a circular arrow, drag to rotate the signature.

  9. Click  or choose File > Save to save the signed document.

  10. When prompted, “You added a signature or initials. Do you want to finalize the changes?”, click Confirm.

  11. Specify the location for the file, and click Save.

Email a signed document

You can send signed documents via email using the Adobe Acrobat Sign service. Acrobat Sign stores a copy in your online account so you can easily access it later. You can log in to Acrobat Sign with your Adobe ID or create an account.

  1. When the document is complete and you have added your signature or initials, click Send Signed Document in the Sign pane.

  2. When prompted, “You added a signature or initials. Do you want to finalize the changes?”, click Confirm and Send.

  3. Specify the location for the file, and click Save.

  4. When prompted "Your signed document will be uploaded to Acrobat Sign…", click Upload.

  5. When Acrobat Sign opens in your browser, fill in the requested fields, and click Deliver.

  6. Follow the onscreen instruction to register and complete sending the document.

Get PDFs signed by others using Adobe Acrobat Sign

You can get documents signed by others using Acrobat Sign. Acrobat Sign is an online service that lets users quickly sign documents in a web browser, without requiring a digital ID. The service keeps track of the entire process.

The Acrobat Sign service emails your signers that you'd like them to sign a document. They review and sign the document on the secure Acrobat Sign website. Once signed, both you and your signers receive the signed PDF in email. Acrobat Sign stores the signed document in your account for future reference. For more information, visit the Adobe Acrobat Sign product page.

  1. Open the PDF you want to have signed.

  2. Open the Sign pane (click Sign on the right side of the toolbar).

  3. Click Get Others To Sign to open the panel.

  4. Click Send for Signature.

  5. When the message “The document has been uploaded to Acrobat Sign” appears, click Proceed to Acrobat Sign to continue.

  6. When the Acrobat Sign website opens in your web browser, follow the onscreen instructions to send the PDF.

Sign with a digital ID

In Reader, only PDFs with Reader Usage Rights enabled can be signed using a digital ID. If you don’t have a digital ID, the onscreen instructions help you create one. For more information, see Digital IDs.

  1. Open the PDF you want to sign.

  2. Do one of the following:

    For adding a digital signature

    Click Work with Certificates in the Sign pane, and then click Sign with Certificate. Draw a rectangle to place the signature. (If this option is disabled, the PDF creator did not enable the PDF for digital signatures.)


    If you're viewing the PDF in a browser, in the toolbar at the top of the window, click the Sign icon .

    For a digital signature field

    If a form contains a digital signature field, double click the field to open the Sign Document dialog box.

  3. If no digital signatures are configured, the Add digital ID dialog box displays. Follow the onscreen instructions to create a signature.

  4. In the Sign Document dialog box, do the following:

    • Choose a Signature from the Sign As menu.
    • Enter the Password for the selected digital signature
    • Select an Appearance, or choose Create New Appearance.
    • Enable Lock Document After Signing if this option is available. Select it only if you are the last recipient to sign the document. Selecting this option locks all fields, including the signature field.
  5. Click Sign to place the digital signature on the PDF.

To view and sign the document in a static and secure state, use Preview Document Mode. Dynamic content such as multimedia and JavaScript are blocked.

Manage certificates (secured PDFs)

The creator of a PDF can encrypt the document with a certificate for verifying digital signatures. Certificates that you receive from others are stored in a list of trusted identities. This list resembles an address book and enables you to validate the signatures of these users on any documents you receive from them.

For more information, see Certificate-based signatures.

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