Sign PDFs

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

Some documents have security applied that prohibits an electronic signature. You must print these documents and sign the printed copy.

Sign a document (Reader 10.1.3)

In Reader 10.1.3, 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.
    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.

    Add Text option lets you add your name, company, or date to the PDF.
  4. 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.
  5. (First time signing) In the Place Signature dialog box, choose how you want to place your signature:
    You can choose to type, draw, or import a signature. Reader uses that signature on future PDFs you sign.
    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, see Create a signature for signing PDFs (Reader 10.1.2 or later) below.)

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

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

    Position the pointer over the signature or handles, and wait for pointer to change before dragging.
    Move
    Position the cursor over the signature and drag into position.

    Resize
    Drag a corner handle to resize.

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

  8. When the document is complete, click Done Signing in the Sign pane.

  9. When prompted, “Any signatures or added text will now be permanently merged into the PDF...”, click Confirm.

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

Sign a document (Reader 10.1.2)

In Reader 10.1.2, you can place an image of your signature on a document and 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.
    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 Sign pane. Click in the document where you want to add the text, and type.

  4. In the Sign pane, click Place Signature.

  5. (First time signing) Click Browse in the Select Signature dialog box 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, see Create a signature for signing PDFs below).

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

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

    Move
    Position the cursor over the signature and drag into position.

    Resize
    Drag a corner handle to resize.

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

  8. When the document is complete, click Finalize Changes in the Sign pane.

  9. Specify the location for the file and click Save.

Create a signature for signing PDFs (Reader 10.1.2 or later)

  1. Sign your name in black ink on a clean, blank sheet of paper. Sign in the middle of the paper so you don't photograph or scan the edges.

  2. Photograph or scan your signature. If you are taking a picture of your signature, make sure the page is well lit and that no shadows fall across the signature.

  3. Transfer the photo or scan to your computer. Reader accepts JPG, PNG, GIF, and BMP files. Keep track of its location so you can find it when signing PDFs.

    You do not need to crop the image. Reader imports just the signature.

Sign a document (Reader 10.1.1 or earlier)

  1. Open the PDF you want to sign.

  2. In the upper left of the window, click the Sign icon in the toolbar.
    If the Sign icon is not in the toolbar, right-click the toolbar, and choose File > Get Documents Signed Online.
  3. When the EchoSign website appears in your web browser, sign into the service (use your Adobe ID if you have one).

  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to sign the document.

Email or fax signed document (Reader 10.1.3)

In Reader 10.1.3, you can send signed documents via fax or email using the EchoSign service. EchoSign stores a copy in your online account so you can easily access it later. You can log into EchoSign with your Adobe ID or create an account.

  1. When the document is complete, click Done Signing in the Sign pane.

  2. When prompted, “Any signatures or added text will now be permanently merged into the PDF...”, click Confirm.

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

  4. In the I Need To Sign panel, click Send Signed Document.

  5. When prompted "Your signed document will be uploaded to Adobe EchoSign…", click Upload.

  6. When EchoSign opens in your browser, fill in the requested fields, and click Deliver.

  7. Follow the on-screen instruction to register and complete sending the document.

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 on-screen 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:

    In a web browser
    In the toolbar at the top of the window, click the Sign icon .

    In the Reader application
    Click Extended on the right to open the Extended pane, and then click Sign Document. (If you do not see Extended next to Comment, the PDF creator did not enable the PDF for digital signatures.)

  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to create and place the signature, and then complete the Sign Document dialog box.

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. For more information, see Sign in Preview Document mode in Acrobat Help.

Get PDFs signed with EchoSign

You can get documents signed by others using EchoSign. EchoSign 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 EchoSign service e-mails your signers that you'd like them to sign a document. They review and sign the document on the secure EchoSign website. Once signed, both you and your signers receive the signed PDF in e-mail. EchoSign stores the signed document in your account for future reference. For more information, visit www.echosign.com.

Reader 10.1.2 and later

  1. Open the PDF you want to have signed.

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

  3. (Reader 10.1.3) Click Get Others To Sign to open this panel.

  4. Click Send for Signature.

  5. When the message “The document has been uploaded to Adobe EchoSign” appears, click Proceed to Adobe EchoSign to Continue.

  6. When the EchoSign website opens in your web browser, follow the on-screen instructions to send the PDF.

Reader 10.1.1 or earlier

  1. Open the PDF you want to have signed.

  2. Choose File > Get Documents Signed Online.

  3. When the EchoSign website opens in your web browser, sign into the service (use your Adobe ID if you have one).

  4. Follow the on-screen instructions.

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 these articles in Acrobat Help: