A few years ago, a printed copy of a document had to be printed to sign it. Thanks to the popular PDF file format, it’s easy to digitally sign a document, reuse the signature when you need it again, scan and share the PDF with others.
Whether you’re signing a lease or applying for a loan, we’ll show you how to sign a PDF file in Windows.
You can sign a PDF file in Windows using:
- Adobe Reader for Windows
- Adobe Reader DC / Adobe Reader DC online
- Third-party online solutions
How to sign a PDF in Adobe Reader
If you need to quickly sign a PDF file, you can do so using the Adobe Reader program.
Adobe Reader is the most popular PDF reader for Windows that allows you edit a PDF file and sign it with a certified digital signature or handwritten signature.
- To get started, open the PDF document you want to log in to Adobe Reader and look for the Sign icon on the toolbar. You can also open the signature board by selecting View> Sign.
- Select Site signature under the Fill in and sign section.
In the new window, select the drop-down arrow to choose how you want to place your signature. There are four options:
- Write my signature
- Use my webcam
- Draw my signature
- Use an image
How to sign a PDF file in Adobe Reader by typing your signature
- To do this, type your name or the characters you want for your signature in the file Enter your name rural area.
- You can preview your signature at Review your signature Box.
- If you want, you can choose from four different signature styles by selecting Change the signature style option below the file Review your signature Box.
- If you are satisfied with your signature, select Accept to add the digital signature to your PDF document.
- You will see a small floating box with your signature inside. Drag the box to the area of the PDF file where you want to place the signature and resize the image accordingly.
- Select File> Save to save the signed PDF file. If you want, you can share the signed document directly with others by selecting the file Signed. Proceed to send in the toolbar.
- Select if you want share by email, send by fax, getting others to sign or save a copy.
How to sign a PDF file in Adobe Reader using a webcam
You can also sign PDF files in Windows using the computer’s webcam.
- To do this, open the PDF file you want to sign electronically and select Sign> Site signature from I need to sign section.
- Select Use a webcam from Site signature dialog drop-down menu.
- An instruction will appear that says: Sign your name in black ink on white paper. Click the “Start Webcam” button to start capturing the signature image.
- Select Start the webcam.
- Align your signature so that it stays in the file blue line on the screen.
- A preview of the signature will appear in the file Preview the captured signature Box.
- Select Accept.
- Move your signature where you want it to be placed in the document and change it to fit.
- Save the document or select Signed. Proceed to send for more sharing options.
How to sign a PDF file in Adobe Reader by drawing your signature
Drawing your signature may not be as simple as typing your name or using your webcam to scan it. However, if you have a Windows PC with a touch screen and stylus or surface stylus, you can sketch your signature and sign the PDF document.
- To do this, open the PDF document, select Sign> Site signature from I need to sign section.
- Select Draw my signature from Site signature dialog drop-down menu.
- Then draw your signature on the blank box provided.
- If you make a mistake while drawing, use the file Delete the signature link to delete what you drew and start over.
- Select Accept. Place the signature in the section you want to sign in the document and save it.
How to sign a PDF file in Adobe Reader using an image
If you have your signature in image format (JPEG or PNG), you can use it to sign a PDF file in Windows.
- To do this, open the PDF in Adobe Reader and select Sign> Site signature. In the new window, select Use an image from the drop-down menu.
- Then select Browse to open the image file that contains your signature.
- Resize the image and select Accept to place it in the PDF document and save the file.
How to sign a PDF in Adobe Acrobat DC Reader
If you have the full version of Adobe Acrobat Reader DC, you can use it to sign a PDF file in Windows. However, the program is also available for free online and you can still sign your PDF file.
- Download and install the Windows version of Adobe Acrobat Reader DC to your PC.
- Open Adobe Acrobat Reader DC, select File> Open to open the PDF file you want to sign, then select Register> Add Signature.
- In the new window, add your custom signature, change the style if you want, and select To apply.
- Drag the small box with your signature to the section of the PDF file where you want to place it and save the document.
How to sign a PDF file using Adobe Acrobat Reader online
If you do not want to download the free version of Adobe Acrobat Reader DC, you can use the free online tool to sign a PDF file in Windows.
- To do this, go to Adobe Acrobat online and click Select a file to upload the PDF document you want to sign. You can also drag and drop the file to upload.
- Sign in with your Adobe, Google, or Apple account to continue and complete the completed form.
- Select Signs to add your signature.
- Then select Add a signature.
- You can choose Type, To draw, or hang your signature as Imageand then select To apply.
- Drag the signature to where you want it and select Close.
- If you want to share the file, select To share next to the file name in Adobe Acrobat Reader Online.
- Then select how you want to share the file and select Create a link to get a shareable link.
- Copy the shareable link and select Share with other people to send and notify your recipients by email.
- Select Nextand then download the signed document or get a link to share it online.
How to sign a PDF file using DocuSign
DocuSign is an electronic signature provider that allows you to easily add a digital or electronic signature to PDF, Word, or image files.
- To sign a PDF file using DocuSign, you must register to use the service. Create an account by going to DocuSign. Once logged in, drag and drop the PDF file you want to sign and select Start now.
- If you are the only one signing the PDF file, check the file I am the only signer and select Signs.
- If you are not the only one signing the PDF, leave the box unchecked and select Next.
- Enter the name and email address of the recipient to whom you want to sign the document. If they are already in your contact list, their emails will appear when you start typing in the email field.
- If you need to sign more than one recipient, select Add recipient.
- If they appear in your contact list, select the drop-down arrow next to Add Recipient, then select Add from Contacts.
- You can also choose whether the recipients must sign, it is a signing in person, you will receive a copy of the signed PDF, or you need to see.
- If you only want your recipients to access the PDF file to sign, select Customize> Add Passcode.
- Select Next.
Note: Once all recipients have obtained the PDF document and all have signed it, each recipient will receive a completed copy by email.
- Add required fields to the PDF document, such as Signature, date, name, title, company etc. When recipients obtain the document, they only need to click on each of the required fields and enter the required data before sending the signed copy.
- Select Next, preview the document and select Send.
Note: You can configure a file Expiry date for the PDF document below Options at the Review and submit section. In addition, you can select Privileges of the recipients such as whether they can sign on paper or change the signature responsibility.
- If you received an email with a PDF file via DocuSign and it requires your signature, open the email and select Review the document.
- Select To startand you will be directed directly to where you will need to sign or place your signature.
- Tap the button Sign here icon.
- Select a style for your signature or draw it.
- If you want to change the font style or how your signature should look, select Change style.
- Choose your favorite style from the available options and select Adopt the sign.
- The signature will appear on the document. Select Finish to complete the signing process.
The document owner will receive an email notification stating that you have completed signing the document. Once all other recipients have signed, each will receive a copy of the signed document.
Sign a PDF file using online solutions
If signing a PDF file on Windows using Adobe Reader or DocuSign seems tricky, there are several online solutions you can use to sign PDFs electronically or digitally.
Quickly record a PDF to your PC
Signing a PDF in Windows can be a hassle, but with the instructions in this guide you should be able to do so easily and save or share the document with others. If you’re using a Mac, see our detailed guides how to edit PDF on Mac and how to sign a PDF on a Mac.
Have you tried any of the methods listed here to sign a PDF file in Windows? Share your experience with us in the comments.