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Work Smarter with PDFelement User Guide

How to sign PDF

You can sign PDF with digital signature or handwritten signature using PDFelement.

1. Digital signature

A digital signature acts as a traditional handwritten signature that can be used to authenticate the identity of a user as well as the document content. It stores information about the signer along with the date, time, and state of the document when it was signed.

About digital ID

Digital ID is the identity of a person/organization, which contains your name, email address, serial number, expiration date, and the name of the company. A digital ID contains two keys, one is a public key (certificate) that is used to encrypt or lock data, and the other is a private key that is used to decrypt or unlock data that is encrypted.

You can distribute the certificate that contains the public key and other identifying information to those who need it to verify your identity, validate your signature, or encrypt a document for you. Only your private key can unlock information that was encrypted using your certificate. For security purposes, make sure to store your digital ID in a safe place.

You can not only obtain a digital ID from a trusted third-party provider called a Certificate Authority (CA). However, you can also create a self-signed digital ID with PDFelement. Digital IDs are usually protected by a password, which you can store on a computer in PKCS#12 file format, or in the Windows Certificate Store.

Sign a PDF

Open a PDF that already has the Signature field and click the "Protect" > "Sign Document" button, then choose your ID to sign.

select an ID
select an ID
Create a signature

If you do not have an ID yet, click on the "New ID" button, select the "I want to create a new digital ID" option, and then click the "Next" button.

create new digital ID
create new digital ID
  • New PKCS#12 digital ID file—Stores the digital ID information to a file with the extension .pfx on Windows and .p12 on Mac OS. You can use the files interchangeably across different operating systems.
  • Windows Certificate Store—Stores the digital ID to a common location. Other windows applications can also retrieve it.
Validate and clear signature

To validate the signatures, please click the "Protect" > "Manage Signatures" > "Validate All Signatures" button, it will pop up a Signature Validation Status message box which describes the validity of the signature.

To remove the signatures, please click the "Protect" > "Manage Signatures" > "Clear All Signatures" button, which will assist you in removing all of the digital signatures within a PDF file.

validate and clear signature
validate and clear signature

2. Handwritten signature

The signature feature allows you to sign PDF with a handwritten signature, including uploading an image signature, drawing a signature, and typing a handwritten signature.

Sign PDF

Click the "Comment" > "Signature" button, and tap on the "+ Create" button to create your handwritten signature.

sign with handwritten signature
sign pdf with handwritten signature
Create handwritten signature

There are three options for adding a handwritten signature, including "Upload", "Draw", and "Type".

  • Tap on the "Upload" tab, and click "Choose Image" to upload an image signature saved on your computer. After uploading the image, click the "OK" button.

create signature with images
create signature with images
  • You can draw your name directly under the "Draw" tab. Also, you can select the color of the signature as you like.
handwritten signature
handwritten signature
  • Click the "Type" button, and enter your signature to create your handwritten signature. You can select one of the fonts from the fonts list and choose a color, and then click the "OK" button.

sign pdf files
sign pdf file