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How to create a digital signature in Adobe

minute read
Updated on:
December 12, 2022
December 12, 2022
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In the age of a new digital world, it's increasingly straightforward to share PDF documents and electronic files with anyone via email, with just the click of a button.

We're (thankfully) past the days of fax machines and can even say goodbye to the nuisance of printing PDF documents that need to be signed, scanning them, and then email them through. It's all a bit of a hassle, right?

Thanks to the tools that Adobe Acrobat has to offer, you've got the option to sign a PDF document with your digital signature via a digital ID, from the comfort of your home, and the convenience of your computer.

So, if you'd like to get more information on how to digitally sign a PDF in a hassle-free way, keep reading below!

What are digital signatures?

Digital signatures are as simple as they sound! They're a specific type of electronic signature you can use to add a signature to a document or PDFs online, with a digital ID through Acrobat Reader.

Documents and files that use digital signatures with Adobe Acrobat Reader are recognized globally, so you can be sure that the highest verification checks are performed, for ultimate security.

And unlike other e-signatures, using Adobe Acrobat to sign a document gives you an added layer of security as your digital ID and signature are certificate-based.

This means that your digital certificate is generated by a trusted service provider (TSP), like a certificate authority (CA) which allows you to comply with even the highest of regulations in your specific region or area.

So, whether you're signing a legal document like a contract, or a medical form, you can be sure that your signature on documents is protected to the highest level and comply with even the strictest of regulations.

Your digital ID is trusted

In order to add a signature to a document, you will first need a digital ID which you can obtain by proving your identity with a trust service provider to ensure that your digital ID is unique to only you.

With Adobe, you have the options to choose from a whole variety of trusted service providers for your digital ID, including a Certificate Authority if needed, meaning that no matter which documents or files you sign, you can be assured that they will fulfill the requirements and regulations of any given law, in any country, and for any organization.


Security is one of the most important factors in making sure your documents and signatures remain safe, which is why after you have signed your PDF document of choice with your digital ID, they are both encrypted and then secured with a tamper-proof seal.

With this, you can be sure that the information in the documents signed, as well as your own digital ID and electronic signature, is safe, and you have the option to send it in the form of an email or store and save it on your computer for future use.


Using a digital signature is a secure process as your digital ID is unique to you. For every time that you sign an electronic PDF document, you must use your own unique digital certificate that has been verified by a certificate authority, as well as a PIN to prove your identity.

This way, even if there are multiple digital signatures on a PDF file, you can be sure that everyone has signed using their personal digital ID, saving you one less thing to worry about.


One of the most convenient features of digital signatures and using a digital ID via Adobe is that even though your digital ID and the digital signature is validated a the time of the signing if in the future you ever need to validate either the signed document, anyone's digital IDs, or signature, you can do so through a Certificate Authority for up to 10 years after the document was signed.

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How to sign documents with a digital signature?

Signing electronic PDF documents with a digital signature is made to be as smooth and hassle-free of a process as possible:

  • When you receive a PDF file that you wish to sign with your digital signature, select 'click here to review and sign summary' in the email and then click on the 'click to digitally sign' box within the PDF document itself to add your signatures.
  • Then you have the option to choose a signature source and how you want to apply the digital signature. Choose 'cloud signature' to sign your document online and enter the name of your certificate provider that generated your digital ID. If you do not have a digital ID, you will first need to create a new digital ID before proceeding further.
  • Next, sign in to your digital ID supplier and select your unique digital ID. Then click 'Next' in order to sign electronically into the signature field of the document.
  • After clicking 'next' you will be able to preview your signature on the document. You have the option of being able to manually edit your signature using your mouse to sign, or you can upload an image of your signature.
  • One of the last steps is to authenticate your signature, which you can do so by selecting 'click to sign'. This will prompt you to enter your digital ID provider's information, including the PIN and the one-time password provided to you which will verify your identity.

And that's all there is to it! Once the authentication process has been completed, it is confirmation that your PDF file has been signed successfully, and a copy of the finalized document from Adobe Sign will automatically be sent to you alongside the sender and all other parties involved.

Are you considering a digital signature?

You might be considering a digital signature, but you may also be wondering how it's different from an e-signature.

Electronic signatures are used quite commonly and can be used to sign PDFs quickly. It's just a matter of clicking and signing. Simple! You're instantly able to access and view your signed document on all of your devices. Bonsai offers an online signature maker which allows you to draw or type your signature for free.

On the other hand, digital signatures whilst still just as efficient as electronic signatures, provide an added layer of security by encrypting your signature through your digital ID. They're able to cover the broadest range of legal requirements, so it's one of the best options if you work in a demanding industry that requires you to meet high compliance standards.

Whichever you prefer, rest assured that both are legally binding. Read about what is a legal signature if you want to learn more.

Adobe digital signature FAQS

How do I create a digital signature in PDF?

To create a digital signature in a PDF, first, open up the document you wish to send. Adobe Sign should recognize the fields that require a signature, so you can either double click or right-click the relevant fields to customize sections like date format, assigned to, and field type.

Once you've edited the document to your liking, you can click 'send a new document' and add yourself along with any other parties who need to sign the file.

You can sign electronically in the signature field and once you've hit 'click to sign', it will automatically send an email to all other participants and prompt them to sign the document too.

How do I create a signature in Adobe?

To create a signature in Adobe, open your PDF file and click on 'Fill and Sign' on the right-hand side of the toolbar. Click 'Sign' and then select 'Add signature' which will prompt you to add your signature either by typing your name, via your mouse, or by touch screen with a stylus or your finger.

You can then edit the positioning of the signature as you want on the PDF file.

How do I create a digital signature in Adobe Acrobat DC?

To create a digital signature in Adobe Acrobat DC, first, select and open up the PDF document you want to sign.

In Adobe Acrobat DC, you have the option to use the Acrobat form filler tool which speeds up the process of signing documents even more each time you want to sign a new document. It saves data you put in securely and Adobe Sensei is able to detect the relevant field and fill out the form for you.

Once you have clicked the 'Fill and Sign' section on the right-hand sign, Adobe Sensei will either auto-fill your form for you, or you can manually input the form, editing the document as you see fit.

Next, click 'Sign' at the very top of the page, and then upload an image of your signature, type your name, or sign via a stylus or your finger on the touch screen.

And you're done! If you wish to send and share your PDF with others so they can sign it as well. simply follow the instructions on the page to do so.

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