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How to Electronically Sign PDF Documents – On Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android, Linux & Chromebook

When a document has been sent to you and you have to sign it and send it back. You may decide to print out the document, sign it, scan it again, and email it back. That would work but you could have it much faster and better.Sign PDF Documents

Here, we’ll show you how to add your signature to any document which is in PDF format, then save as a standard PDF file that can read or assessed from anywhere.  This can be done on Windows, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Android, Chrome Os, Linux, and whatever platform you may prefer.

How to Insert Electronic Signatures pdf Documents With Different Devices (Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android, Linux & Chromebook)

  1. Windows: Open the PDF in Adobe Reader and click the “Fill &Sign” button in the right pane.
  2. Mac: Open the PDF in Preview, click the Toolbox button, then click Sign
  3. iPhone and iPad: Open the PDF attachment in Mail, then click “Markup and Reply” to sign.
  4. iPhone and Android: Download Adobe Fill & Sign, open the PDF, and tap the Signature button.
  5. Chrome: Install the HelloSign extension, upload your PDF, and click the Signature button.

How to eSign PDF Documents – How to create Electronic Signature on PDF File

First, let’s clear some terminologies that might be confusing. This article focuses on electronic signatures and not digital signatures, they both mean different things. A digital signature is cryptographically secure, it confirms that someone with your private signing key (which is, you in this case) has seen the document and authorized it. It’s very secure, but also complex.

How to Electronically Sign PDF Documents without Printing or Scanning Them

When it comes to electronic signature, it is an image of your signature placed on top of a PDF document. This can be done with various kinds of apps, this is what most people may require when they send you a document that you need to sign. If you send them a PDF file with a digital signature, they may not know what to make of it. Most businesses see accepting signed documents by email, as a great leap as it concerns technology, which is better than the use of fax.

In as much as this method isn’t entirely secure, it is faster. If you’ll also look at printing, scanning and resending, you’ll see it is not entirely safe as well.

How to Digital Signature PDF Document on Windows Using Adobe Reader

Adobe Reader may not be the most lightweight PDF viewer, but it has a lot of great features that could be of great help to you and supports signing PDF documents. Though there are other third-party PDF readers that offer this feature, they require you to purchase a paid version to enable you to use the signature features.

If you want to sign a document using Adobe Reader, first open the PDF document in the Adobe Acrobat Reader DC application. Then click the “Fill & Sign” button in the right pane.

Click the “Sign” button on the toolbar and select “Add Signature” to add your signature to Adobe Acrobat Reader DC.

If there is any other information you need to add to the document, you can make use of the other buttons on the toolbar to do so. For instance, you can type text or add checkmarks to fill in forms using buttons on the Fill & Sign toolbar.

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There are three ways you can create a signature. You can use the default, here Adobe Reader selects “Type”. You can input your name and it would be converted to a signature. This may not really be suitable because it won’t look like your signature.

You may want to select “Draw” and draw your signature using your mouse or a touch screen. Apart from that, you can also select “Image” if you prefer signing on a piece of paper, then scan with a scanner and add your written signature to Adobe Reader. (This option requires scanning, but the scanning process is done just once, with that being the only time, you can use that signature on a document you want to sign another time.)

After creating a signature, click “Apply” to apply it to the document. Make sure you leave “Save Signature” checked and you can quickly add this signature in the future.

Place your signature where it needs to be with the control of a mouse and click to apply it. By saving your signature, it would be easier to access in the “Sign” menu in the future.

To save your signed PDF document, click File > Save and select a location for the file.

Digital Sign PDF Documents on Mac Using Preview App

Mac users have a greater advantage than Windows users. The Preview application added with macOS has integrated document-signing features. You can draw your signature with any of your fingers on the trackpad which is built into MacBooks, to enter it into preview. For a MacBook with a “Force Touch” trackpad, this is pressure sensitive which allows even more accurate signatures.

You could decide to sign on a piece of paper and “scan” with your webcam, that’s if you would love to create your signature the old-fashioned way (or if you use an iMac with no trackpad).

To sign a document, open a PDF document in Preview (this should be the default app that opens when you double-click on a PDF file unless you’ve changed it). Click the toolbox-shaped “Show Markup Toolbar” button, and then click the “Sign” button on the toolbar that appears.

You’ll get a prompt to either create a signature by the drag of your finger over the trackpad, or by signing a piece of paper and scanning it with your webcam. Capture your signature once and Preview will remember it for the future.

After capturing a signature, you can select it in the menu which appears after you click the “Sign” button. Your signature would be applied as an image that can be dragged around and resized to fit the document.

The other options on the toolbar allow you to type text, draw shapes on the document, and also fill in forms, if necessary.

When you’re done, click File > Save to save the PDF, applying your signature to the file. You can also click File > Duplicate instead to create a copy of the PDF and save your changes into a new copy of the file without modifying the original.

If for any reason you don’t like the Preview, you can also use Adobe Reader DC on a Mac. This works just like signing a document on Windows, see the instructions in the Windows section for information on that.

Digital Signature for PDF Documents on iPhone and iPad Using Mail or Adobe Fill & Sign

You can sign documents using the markup feature in the iOS Mail app available on iPhone and iPad. If you have a Mac and use Preview to sign documents, your signature will actually synchronize from your Mac to your iPhone or iPad and you don’t have to create it again.

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This feature only works if you want to sign documents in the Mail app. For instance, you may be emailed a PDF document and you may need to sign it and email it right back.

For this to be done, you’ll need to receive an email with a PDF file attached, tap the PDF attachment, and click the toolbox-shaped “Markup and Reply” icon at the bottom right corner of the screen while viewing the PDF.

You’ll then be able to add a signature by tapping the signature button at the bottom right corner of your screen. You can also type text and draw on the document if you like.

When you tap “Done”, the Mail app will automatically create a reply to the email with your signed document attached. You can type an email message and then send the signed document.

This may be convenient, but only works in the Mail app, so it is very limited. To do this from any other app, you’ll need a third-party signing app.

Digital Sign PDF Documents UsingAdobe Fill & Sign app

There are quite a few options, but Adobe Fill & Sign app is preferable, it allows you to sign an unlimited number of documents at no cost. It also captures pictures of paper documents with your camera, helping you create digital copies of paper forms. By writing on your touch screen you can sign a document with a finger or stylus, they also allow you type text into PDF documents to fill them in.

To get a PDF document from another app into Adobe Fill & Sign, find the PDF file in another app, tap the “Share” button, and choose the Adobe Fill & Sign app. You can then tap the signature button to easily sign the document. When you’re done, tap the “Share” button within Adobe Fill & Sign to send the signed document to another app.

Peradventure you’re a business looking for another tool with great features, or maybe you just don’t like Adobe Sign & Fill, we also like SignNow. It works very well and allows you to sign documents with your finger. It allows you to sign up to five documents a month for free, after that it requires a monthly subscription fee. It’s actually a good alternative.

How to Do Electronic Signature on PDF on Android Using Adobe Fill & Sign App

There is no built-in android app that can do this. You’ll need to use a third-party app. Just like on the iPhone and iPad, we like Adobe Fill & Sign, it allows you to sign an unlimited number of documents a month for free. With it, you can capture pictures of paper documents with your camera so you can sign them electronically.

When the app is installed, you can open PDF documents in the app and tap the signature button to sign them. You can then share the signed document with another app by tapping the “Share” button.

Just like on iOS, we recommend SignNow, it is filled with great features. You can use it if you are willing to pay (since it only offers up to five signatures a month for free).

e Signature on a PDF on Chromebook UsingHelloSign App

On a Chromebook, you’ll find a variety of web signing services that work for you. HelloSign offers a good web interface as well as a Chrome app that is fused with Google Drive. With it, you can sign up to three documents a month for free.

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The basic web interface allows you to easily upload PDF documents and sign them by drawing your signature or uploading an image. You can then email the signed document directly to someone or download the document and do whatever you want with it.

You may not likeHelloSign, you can try DocuSign, it works great on a Chromebook also, offering an app that integrates with Google Drive for signing and a browser extension that allows you to sign documents from Gmail. DocuSign doesn’t offer any free signatures. SignNow also offers a Chrome app for Google Drive and extension for Gmail, but the app and extension aren’t as well-reviewed.

How to Sign PDF Documents on Linux Using HelloSign or Xournal App

It is tougher on Linux because the official version of Adobe Reader for Linux was discontinued. The old versions available for Linux don’t have this capability, nor do popular integrated PDF viewers like Evince and Okular.

You can try a web-based tool like HelloSign, as discussed in the Chromebook section above, for the easiest experience.

If you desire a desktop app, Xournal is probably the most convenient tool for signing PDFs on Linux. It can annotate PDFs, adding images to them. First, you’ll need to create an image of your signature—sign a piece of paper, scan it into your Linux system, and clean it up. You could potentially just capture a photo of it with your webcam or smartphone’s camera, too. You may want to tweak it in GIMP so it has a transparent background, or just make sure you sign a white piece of paper and that the background is entirely white.

Install Xournal from your Linux distribution’s software installation tool, open the PDF, and click the Tools > Image menu option. This will let you insert the image of your signature, and you can reposition and resize it as necessary so it fits in the signature field.

Having to actually scan and create an image file is a little bit annoying, but you can use this method to quickly sign documents in the future after you’ve got a good image of your signature.



  • Christian Ehiedu

    I write for Educational, Financial, technology, and social media content producers. I am deep into doing credible research that will benefit you the reader. You can contact me on Tumblr, Chris Adam Facebook, Shopfortool Pinterest Account. I am a Technician and a woodworker. I have lots of years of experience in Technical work. I did some per time work at an electrical store. Having gathered lots of experience in the use of various tools link Mechanic Tools, Woodworking Tools, Power Tools, and Plumbing tools, I decided to put up this blog to help advise intending buyers or new biz on the right tools to buy on the market. My social Handle:

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