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How to Create and Add Digital Signatures to PDF Documents on Windows

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PDF files are rapidly replacing the important papers office workers handle every day. Yes, that includes the papers that you need to sign. So how does one sign PDFs on Windows? Do you print, sign, then scan? That's a time- and resource-consuming process. Instead, you should use digital tools to create and add signatures to PDF documents.

This article will give you a list of the top programs and the quick ways and steps that let you sign PDF files on Windows.

man signing a printed document

Part 1. Using Adobe Acrobat Reader to Sign PDF Files on Windows PC

Adobe is known as the creator of PDF files. So, it's unsurprising that the company has a solution for signing PDF documents on Windows. Adobe Acrobat Reader allows you to add signatures to documents through different methods. Learn about them below.

Using Acrobat Reader To Sign a PDF File Using an Image

Suppose you already have an image of your signature saved on your Windows PC. Follow these steps:

Step 1 Select the Fill & Sign tool from the right-hand panel.

creating a signature on adobe acrobat

Step 2 Select Sign > Add Signature on the top toolbar.

Step 3 Select Image.

Step 4 Upload the image of your signature. Preferably, it is a PNG and has a transparent background.

Step 5 Click Apply.

Step 6 Click where you need to place the digital signature.

Using Acrobat Reader To Sign a PDF File by Drawing Your Signature

You can draw your signature like how you would on printed documents. This method is only recommended if you have a drawing tablet or a stylus with a touch-screen interface. While you can use your mouse, it is difficult to perfect your signature with this peripheral.

Step 1 Click Fill & Sign from the left-hand panel.

Step 2 Select Sign > Add Signature on the top toolbar.

creating a signature on adobe acrobat

Step 3 Click Draw on the pop-up window.

Step 4 Freehand draw your signature on the given field. You can use your mouse, stylus, or drawing tablet.

Step 5 Click Apply.

Step 6 Move your cursor to where you want the signature, then click once.

Using Acrobat Reader To Sign a PDF File Using a Webcam

What if you don't have a drawing tablet? Also, you don't have an image of your signature? You can create one using your webcam.

Step 1 Click View > Fill & Sign > Place Signature.

Step 2 Select Use a webcam. Grant Adobe Acrobat Reader access to the webcam.

Step 3 Sign a white paper with a writing tool with black ink.

Step 4 Click Start Webcam.

creating signature through webcam on adobe

Step 5 Capture an image of your signature. Align your signature with the blue line that would appear on the window.

scanning signature with webcam on adobe

Step 6 Click Accept.

Step 7 Place the digital signature where you want it to be in the document.

How To Sign a PDF File by Typing Your Signature

Typing your name is the fastest way to create and add a digital signature to PDF documents. However, many people do not accept this because people can easily fake it. This method should be your last resort option.

Step 1 Click Fill & Sign.

Step 2 Click Sign > Add Signature on the top toolbar.

Step 3 Select Text.

Step 4 Type your name or initials.

Step 5 Click Change style to change the font style.

typing signature on adobe acrobat reader

Step 6 Once satisfied with how the digital signature looks, click Apply.

Step 7 Place the signature where it needs to be.

Part 2. Alternatives to Adobe Acrobat Reader for Signing PDF Documents on Windows - PDFelement

What if Adobe Acrobat Reader is not your cup of tea? Perhaps you don't like its interface or want other features unavailable on this program. Try Wondershare PDFelement. It's among people's go-to PDF solutions, providing you with a robust set of handy features. You can use this program to sign PDF documents on Windows.

Follow these steps to create and add your signatures to PDF files using PDFelement:

Step 1 Click Comment.

Step 2 Select the Pen icon between the stamp and clip icons on the top toolbar.

signature tool button on pdfelement

Step 3 Click Create.

creating a new signature on pdfelement

Step 4 You have three options for creating your signature on PDFelement: Upload, Draw, and Type.

Upload - Click Choose Image. Upload the image of your signature, then click OK. Using an image with a white or transparent background is highly recommended.

uploading signature image on pdfelement

Draw - Freehand draw your signature using your mouse, stylus, or drawing tablet. Click OK.

 drawing a signature on pdfelement

Type - Type your name or initials on the textbox provided. You can change the font color, font style, and line thickness. Click OK once satisfied.

typing a signature on pdfelement

Step 5 Move your cursor where you want the signature to be and click once. You can resize the digital signature by dragging the blue dots at the corner of the signature box. Likewise, you can use the green dot above the signature to rotate it.

placing the signature on the document

Creating a signature on Wondershare PDFelement is that quick and easy. You can even save multiple signatures. With that, you can select from your premade signatures once you need to sign a PDF document again. In turn, it further expedites document handling and increases your productivity.

Part 3. Use Microsoft Edge To Create and Add a Signature on a PDF Document on Windows

You can also use Microsoft Edge, a web browser Microsoft made for Windows 10 and Xbox, to sign PDF documents. You can go with this method if you don't like installing a new program to your Windows PC. Here's how to do it.

Method 1: Using the Draw Tool on Microsoft Edge

Step 1 Import the PDF document on Microsoft Edge.

Step 2 Click the Draw tool on the top toolbar.

 using the draw tool on edge

Step 3 Select your preferred pen color and line thickness.

Step 4 Draw your signature using your mouse, stylus, or drawing tablet.

 signing pdf on microsoft edge

Step 5 Save the signed document.

Method 2: Use an Add-On on Microsoft Edge To Sign PDF Documents

Step 1 Launch Microsoft Edge. Click the three dots at the upper right corner and select Extensions > Get extensions for Microsoft Edge.

 adding extensions on microsoft edge

Step 2 Search the Digital Signature for PDF Files add-on. Install it.

installing signature extension on microsoft edge

Step 3 Click the icon of this add-on that is now displayed at the top of Microsoft Edge, next to the address bar.

Step 4 Select PDF and Advanced Options.

using the signature extension on edge

Step 5 Click Pick a PDF File on the tab that would open. Select the PDF document you need to sign.

Step 6 Customize the line width, dot distance, pen color, and velocity filter. (Optional)

Step 7 Draw your signature on the part of the document where it needs to be using your mouse, stylus, or drawing tablet.

creating signature using the edge extension

Step 8 Select PDF Document > Download to Disk to download the signed file.

downloading pdf signed on edge extension

Part 4. Sign a PDF Online Using DocuSign

The problem with signing PDF documents using Microsoft Edge is that you can only sign by drawing your signature. Without a drawing tablet, it is not recommended, as it often produces a funky-looking signature.

You can use online services like DocuSign instead. Here's a guide on how to add signatures to PDF documents using this web service.

Step 1 Open a web browser of your choice and go to DocuSign's website. Register an account.

Step 2 Click Start Now.

starting a project on DocuSign

Step 3 Click Upload, and select the PDF document you need to sign.

uploading document on DocuSign

Step 4 Under the recipient section, check the box for I'm the only signer.

add recipients section on DocuSign

Step 5 Click Sign.

Step 6 On the document preview, click Signature.

Step 7 Click once on the spot where you want the signature to be.

signing pdf document on DocuSign

Step 8 Type your name and initials on their respective text boxes.

uploading document on DocuSign

Step 9 Select from the three types of digital signatures.

Select Style - Your name or initials with a signature-like font style. DocuSign also adds a border with text saying "Signed by" and a code.

Draw - Freehand draw your signature using your drawing tablet, stylus, or mouse.

Upload - Click Upload Your Signature to upload an image of your signature.

Step 10 Click ADOPT AND SIGN.

Step 11 Click Finish. You have the option to send the signed document to others through email. Alternatively, you can download the signed PDF to your Windows PC.

sending signed document on DocuSign

Part 5. What Is The Best Digital Signing Method For You?

The best way for you to create and add digital signatures to PDF documents depends on numerous factors. If you don't really need a PDF tool, using either Microsoft Edge or DocuSign is a great choice. On the other hand, if you work with many PDF documents every day, Adobe Acrobat Reader or Wondershare PDFelement are better choices.

Part 6. People Also Ask

Here are some of the people's concerns regarding e-signatures.

Q1. Is e-signature as legally binding as ink and paper?

You must not use the type of digital signature where it is just text with a font style. Anybody can make that, so the credibility of the document is questionable. But using images of your signature or, better yet, a freehand-drawn one is fine. It is as legally binding as ink and paper.

Q2. QWhat are the types of signatures?

There are three digital signature types: Text, Image, and Drawn. Text signatures are typed names applied with a font style. Image type refers to a pre-saved picture of your handwritten signature that you can put on digital documents. The last type is Drawn signatures or signatures you drew using your mouse, stylus, finger, or drawing tablet.

Q3. QWhat is the best PDF viewer for Windows 10?

The best PDF viewer for Windows is Wondershare PDFelement. It equips you with so many handy features that will solve all your PDF-related problems. From PDF viewing, converting, and combining to editing, PDFelement has you covered. It also has e-signature, OCR, data extraction, commenting tools, and more. With this set of capabilities, PDFelement is, without a doubt, the best PDF viewer on Windows 10.


You can create and sign PDF documents on Windows through numerous methods. Using software like Wondershare PDFelement is the most reliable method. You don't need an internet connection to sign your files. Also, you can choose from three different signature types. That gives this tool flexibility. Consequently, it makes PDFelement useful no matter what type of digital signature the document sender asks you.

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