Official documents are increasingly being converted to PDF formats. (PDF stands for Portable Document Format, and it’s a digital-to-paper conversion standard introduced by Adobe in the early 1990s.) Paper documents, in fact, are quickly becoming the exception rather than the rule. Even digital documents, however, must be signed. You may either go the traditional route and print the documents, sign them, and then scan them into your computer, or you can make a digital signature and insert it immediately on the PDF.
A Mac has built-in PDF signature functionality that Windows does not. You may, however, sign a PDF document using Windows’ built-in browser, Microsoft Edge. You can also download third-party apps that provide the same functionality.
In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to add a signature using Edge, and then with Adobe Acrobat Reader DC, which is Adobe’s free PDF reader.
Create A Signature Using Microsoft Edge
- In the file manager, look for your PDF file. Open the file using Microsoft Edge by right-clicking it.
- Edge’s PDF reader will open the file. Select the Draw option (it looks like a pencil pointing down).
- If you have a touch screen, the Draw with touch option will be enabled automatically (the icon looks like a hand)
- Sign the PDF with your cursor (or, if you have a touchscreen, your finger), then save it.
While this is a convenient and quick way to sign a PDF document, it does need you to repeat the process each time. It would be far more convenient if you could simply sign the document.
Writing a signature, photographing it, then downloading it as a PDF or graphic file is one method.
Create A Signature With Adobe Acrobat Reader DC
- Adobe Acrobat Reader DC can be downloaded. Adobe has a habit of encouraging people to download too many Programmes, so make sure to uncheck any additional installs that appear on the page: in my case, it was two McAfee apps and the extension Acrobat Chromium. (If you think the latter will be useful, you can install it later.)
- After clicking “Download Adobe Reader,” double-click the downloaded.EXE file to begin the installation.
Acrobat Reader will launch once it has been installed. A list of all PDF files you’ve lately opened will appear. If one of them is the file you want to utilize, select it. There should now be a column on the right with a thumbnail of the document and multiple functions, one of which will be Fill and sign. When you choose this, your document will open in the Fill & Sign feature.
- If the file isn’t there, go to the left menu and select My computer, then double-click the PDF file to drop it into the Acrobat editing window.
- Check to see if your cursor has a “Ab” next to it. Otherwise, make sure the Fill and sign symbol (which looks like a pencil) is highlighted in the bottom right.
- Once the signature is enabled, click where you want it to appear; you’ll see a small box where you can sign by typing your name into your form. (If you click next to a line for a signature anywhere in the document, the box will automatically align with the line.)
- Tap Sign yourself directly above the main screen to sign by drawing your signature or to preserve a written or drawn signature.
- You’ll have the option of adding a signature or initials. For the time being, click Add a signature.
- You can sign your work in one of three ways: type your name (Adobe includes many handwriting fonts), draw your signature (either using your touchpad or directly on a touchscreen), or upload an image of your signature. If you don’t want to have to write your signature again, make sure Save signature is checked.
- Your PDF document will be restored once you click Apply. Left-click where you want your new signature to appear on the document. If you want, you can adjust the size or location of the signature.
Digging Into More Details
You’re finished! If you wish to sign a PDF, simply open it in Adobe Acrobat Reader and select the Sign yourself icon. You can then choose your saved signature and insert it into your PDF document as needed. (Initials are added.) The option operates in the same way as the first, but with less space, allowing you to only put initials.) Simply click the minus sign next to the signature and try again if you wish to change it.
Adobe has also developed an online tool for filling out and signing PDFs available. Drag and drop a PDF into the window or use the Select file button to open it in your browser. You’ll be asked to sign in or register with an Adobe, Facebook, Apple, or Google account at this time. Then, just like with the desktop software, you may type or sign your document.
Although there are fewer options than before, Adobe Acrobat Reader DC is not the sole free tool for reading and/or editing PDF documents. SignWell, for example, offers free signing of up to three papers per month. You can sign documents with Adobe Reader without any restrictions, but you’ll need the Pro version to produce PDFs or export them to other formats.