How to Digitally Sign a PDF

9

Min Read

Ardith Stephanson

Wondering how you can digitally sign a PDF? You're in the right place.

Signing a PDF document digitally is made simple with tools like Adobe Acrobat Reader Fill & Sign and dedicated digital signature software solutions. With these tools, it's as easy as opening the PDF file and clicking a few buttons to add your digital signature.

In this article, we'll cover how to digitally sign PDF files using two of the best e-signature tools around. Let's dive right in!

What's the Difference Between Electronic Signatures and Digital Signatures?

Before we dive into how to sign a PDF file digitally, it's important to understand what this type of signature entails.

Often, these two terms are used interchangeably. However, there are some slight differences between a digital and electronic signature (e-signature). "E-signatures" is a broad category that includes different types of signatures, including digital ones. Digital signatures are usually authorized and certified, and employ specific technology implementation of e-signatures. If you prefer signing your documents in a traditional way, we also have an article about what is a wet signature.

Why sign PDF documents digitally?

We live in a fast-paced world. Most business professionals are seeking ways to make the most of their valuable time and using technology to streamline and integrate administrative tasks. It was only a matter of time before the time came to digitize the humble signature.

Benefits of digital signing

Adding your signature to PDF files digitally saves a whole lot of time as parties don't have to send them back and forth with mail app tools. Instead, both parties can access important documents stored in the cloud and sign with them in a matter of seconds.

It also means both parties don't have to be physically present in an office location to sign the document in question. Instead, they can open, sign, and send documents on the go from their iPhone or iPad device. What's more, when you sign digitally, you reduce business costs associated with printing and sending contracts and other essential docs back and forth.

Are e-signatures legal?

Yes, e-signatures are just as legally binding as handwritten ones assuming certain conditions have been met during the signing process. Read about what is a legal signature if you want to learn more.

How to Use Adobe Acrobat Reader to Digitally Sign a PDF Document

One of the most commonly-used tools for signing documents digitally, Adobe Fill & Sign allows you to sign a document in seconds using its fill and sign feature for desktop and mobile.

Adobe Acrobat Fill & Sign streamlines the process of completing forms, finalizing contracts, and signing other important business docs. With Fill & Sign, You can add text boxes, checkmarks to acknowledge consent, and your personal details and design your signature quickly and easily. Once you're done, download the completed form and share it with any other parties involved.

To get started, just open the PDF in Adobe Acrobat. Next, follow these simple steps to sign a PDF with Adobe Fill & Sign to make it official!

10 steps to add a signature digitally with Adobe Fill & Sign

Want to know how to create a digital signature in Adobe? Adobe Fill & Sign is the most popular way to go about it. Below are the steps involved in using Adobe Reader to create signatures and send signed PDF documents electronically. With Adobe Reader, you can also sign and send documents on the go from your iPhone or iPad device.

  1. Click "Select File", or drag and drop the PDF file of your choice into the drop zone.
  2. Select and open the PDF document you intend to sign in Adobe Acrobat Reader DC.
  3. Once you open the PDF, click on Tools in the tabs section.
  4. Open the Forms and Certifications section from the dropdown menu.
  5. Click "Digitally Sign" in the bottom right corner of the screen. Click the signature icon.
  6. If you haven't already created your e-signature, click "Configure New Digital ID".
  7. Follow the prompts on the screen to create your signature in Adobe Reader.
  8. In the toolbar, fill in your personal information and draw your signature.
  9. When that's done, click "Sign" in the bottom right corner of the screen.
  10. Download your signed document or share it via a link.

Can you sign a PDF file with a photo of your signature?

You might be wondering whether you can upload a photo image of your signature to sign documents. With Adobe, you can.

To electronically sign PDF documents using an image of your handwritten signature, simply follow these steps:

  1. Click "Sign".
  2. Next, click on "Add Signature".
  3. Click "Image" to open the signature box in the app.
  4. Then select your signature image, type your name, use your initials, or use the signature field to draw your signature.
  5. Finally, click to save signature, then hit "Apply" to sign the PDF file. You can use the app to place it where you want it to appear on the PDF document.

If you want to sign a document with the Adobe Reader DC tool, you'll find it an intuitive and easy to use solution for signing a PDF in Adobe.

Using Adobe Acrobat Reader DC Fill & Sign to electronically sign a document is simple—that's for sure. However, it's not the only way to sign a contract or other type of document online.

Using Bonsai to Digitally Sign a PDF Document

In today's digitally connected world, there are plenty of tools available for freelancers and small business owners to effectively and professionally sign documents online. Bonsai is one of those tools.

As a freelancer, one of the most important types of document you'll need to sign is contracts. These reflect the very start of your professional relationship with a client - you'll want to get it right the first time!

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Why create a freelance contract with Bonsai?

With Bonsai, you can easily write up a contract or proposal document, sign it, and send it—all without leaving the app. As a freelancer, professional and legally binding contracts are crucial to ensuring your work doesn't go unpaid. A contract does much more than that though. It also outlines the scope of your work, your payment terms, and any late fees that'll apply if the client can't pay on time.

Why are contracts important for freelancers?

A contract is your way of securing your hard work and effort, as it creates a legally binding agreement when both parties sign. This means if anything goes awry during the project or payment dates are missed, you have a formal document that sets out the terms and expectations of both parties.

Freelancers experience the professional and legal world a bit differently from regular office workers or other types of employees. As a freelancer, different rules will apply. For this reason, you must ensure that the contracts you create guarantee the security and protection of your business.

Bonsai does many things (which we'll get to soon), but in the next section, we're going to focus on how you can use Bonsai to sign contracts electronically.

How to sign a contract electronically with Bonsai

Once you've created a professional freelance contract using Bonsai's free contract maker tool, you're ready to take the next step: signing the contract. Bonsai makes it easy to make a unique online signature, sign a contract, and get down to business immediately.

Regardless of the services being offered, freelance contracts—like most other contracts—need to be signed by both parties involved to render them legally binding. Bonsai makes it easy to sign and send PDF documents online in seconds.

Once you're sure about the details of your contract, all you need to do is finalize it. That's easy with Bonsai.

Create your signature

Create your e-signature with Bonsai's online signature maker. You can choose to draw a signature using your mouse, type in your name, or upload a photo of your hand-written signature. Next, we'll create a legally binding signature that can be used on PDF documents as well as other types of files. Remember to save your signature for future use, so you can add it to documents in seconds.

All that's left to do is finalize and add your signature to the document.

That's all the hard work done! Although, it's not that hard with Bonsai. Next, you'll need to send your signed document to the client to be signed and sent back to you.

What happens once the contract is sent?

Bonsai's signature software features don't end there. Send the PDF with a mail app, and when they open the PDF and add their signature, you'll know about it. Bonsai allows users to track contract progress from the dashboard. This way, you'll know exactly when the contract has been opened and signed. What's more, you can also download a PDF document copy of the contract for safekeeping.

What else can Bonsai do?

We're glad you asked.

Bonsai is much more than a tool that allows you to sign documents.

Administrative tasks can really take the fun out of freelancing. Once you've created and signed a contract with your first client, you're far from finished. What lies ahead of you is laborious invoicing processes, complex accounting, and client task management.

That's why the team here at Bonsai thought it'd be a great idea to design a platform that integrates all freelance tasks into a unified, robust platform. So, that's exactly what we did!

Bonsai is an all-in-one app for freelancers. That's right—Bonsai offers everything you need to freelance successfully.

The platform features smart automation tools to streamline your administrative workflows, which means you can spend less time pouring over files or chasing up clients, and more time doing what you do best.

Start Free with Bonsai Today

Ready to create and sign a freelance contract with Bonsai? Getting started is a breeze. Just enter your email address, create a password, and start making the most of Bonsai's unified platform for freelancers. Start free with Bonsai today—you've got absolutely nothing to lose and a whole lot of time to gain!

Ardith Stephanson
Ardith S. is a freelance writer and communications professional who has some fun with her personal blog theardizan.com

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