How to Create an e-Signature for PDFs

An e-Signature is any signature applied to a digital document. Rather than having to print out a document, sign it, and send it to the other party, you can do it all on your PC now. There are lots of situations when an e-Signature is important. We spoke to TechQuarters, a company that provides IT support financial services organisations use – they told us that more and more financial firms are opting for e-Signature authentication to streamline processes while maintaining compliancy and security.

If you’re looking for a solution for signing digital documents, below are some common solutions that you can use:

Microsoft Edge e-Signatures

If you use a Windows PC, you will have Microsoft Edge installed by default. The web browser has its own built-in solution for document signatures. Here is how to use it:

  • Locate your PDF in File Explorer. Right-click and open the PDF with Microsoft Edge.
  • The PDF will open in a new tab or window in Microsoft Edge.
  • You will see a ribbon along the top of the page, just above your document. Click on the Draw icon (a downward-facing pencil).
  • Using your cursor, finger, or stylus, draw out your signature wherever the PDF document indicates to do so.
  • Once you have signed it, save the document.

This is a very quick and easy way to sign a document. There are other options available that allow you to create a signature that you can essentially drag and drop into a document. With the Microsoft Edge method, you will need to write out your signature every time. This may be fine for most people, but if you want an even more streamlined method, continue reading.

Adobe Acrobat Reader DC e-Signature

Adobe Acrobat is pretty much an industry standard when it comes to opening and viewing PDFs. It is also packed with features, and one of those is the ability to create and add digital signatures. Adobe Acrobat Reader DC can be downloaded from the Adobe website.

Once you have installed and set up the app (which is very easy to do), you will be ready to use the signature function.

  • In Adobe Acrobat Reader DC, there will be a list of recently opened PDFs. The document you need may be listed there, in which case, click to open it.
  • If you can’t see your document, go to the menu on the left, click My Computer, and locate the document.
  • In the right-hand side of the window, you will see a menu of options, represented by icons. Click the Fill & Sign icon (a purple pencil scribbling a line) near the bottom of this menu.
  • With this function activated, click the area in the document where you need to place your signature.
  • Next, click Sign yourself from the menu along the top. Click Add Signature
  • A pop-up window should appear, giving the option to either Type, Draw, or Upload a signature. Whichever option you choose, just make sure to check the Save signature box.
  • Selecting the Draw option will allow you to draw your signature along a blue signature line with your cursor (or finger / stylus if you have a touch screen). 
  • Once you have added your signature, and checked Save signature, click the blue Apply button at the bottom of the pop-up window.

Now, you signature will have been added to the document. The next time you want to add a signature, simply select Fill & Sign > Sign yourself and the signature you created and saved will appear in a drop-down menu.

Other Options

These are not the only two options available if you need to sign a digital document. Apple Mac computers have a built-in e-Signature function for PDFs. You can also write out a signature on paper, scan it, and convert it into a transparent PNG image, allowing you can insert it into any digital document.

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