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How To Use Adobe Certificate Signature: Step-by-Step Tutorial and Alternative

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2024-04-18 14:00:40 • Filed to: Signature Tips • Proven solutions

In today's digital age, signatures aren't just on paper anymore. They're also digital and are crucial in keeping our online world safe and sound. Imagine you're sending an important document over the Internet. How do you prove you signed it and not someone pretending to be you? That's where digital signatures come to the rescue.

One powerful tool for this job is the Adobe Certificate Signature. It's like a super-secure stamp that says, "This document is genuine, and it hasn't been tampered with." This tiny digital superhero helps protect your documents; we're here to show you how. Let's dive into the world of Adobe Certificate Signatures and keep your digital treasures safe.

Part 1. How To Sign PDF With Certificate Using Adobe

Adobe Certificate Signature is a digital way of saying, "This document is real, and I approve it." It's like having your secure stamp for online documents. People use it to make sure no one messes with their digital papers.

Now, let's dive into how to sign a PDF with your certificate using Adobe Acrobat Reader DC. Here's the step-by-step guide:

Creating Digital ID

Step 1. First, get Adobe Acrobat Reader DC. You can find it online and install it.

download adobe acrobat reader

Step 2. Create your Digital ID. It's like your online ID card, with your name, email, and more. To do this, go to "Edit" > "Preferences" and find "Signatures." Click "Identities & Trusted Certificates" then select "More."

identities and trusted certificates

Step 3. Now, click "Digital IDs" and hit the "+" sign to add a new one.

add digital id

Step 4. Create your new digital ID by filling in the needed info and clicking "Next."

fill out info

Step 5. Make a password for extra safety, and click "Finish."

add password

Step 6. Voila! You've got your digital ID, which you'll use to sign PDFs later.

adobe digital id

Creating Image File of Digital ID

Step 1. Open the PDF you want to sign. Click "Sign" and then "Add Signature."

adobe add signature

Step 2. You can type, draw, or even upload a picture of your signature.

add signature

Step 3. Put your signature where it's needed and take a screenshot. Save it as an image.

save signature as image

Step 4. Convert the image into a PDF file.

convert image to pdf

Customizing Digital Signature

Step 1. Open Adobe Acrobat Reader. Go to "Edit" > "Preferences" and find "Creation & Appearances." Click "More."

adobe creation and appearances

Step 2. Make a new signature style.

new signature style

Step 3. Write a title, import the image, and click "OK."

import signature image

Adding the Digital Signature

Step 1. Open your PDF form.

Step 2. Click "Tools," then "Certificates."

adobe certificate

Step 3. Hit "Digitally Sign" and use your mouse to sign in the designated spot.

adobe digitally sign

Step 4. Choose your digital ID and click "Continue."

select digital id

Step 5. Lock the document after signing by entering your digital ID password and clicking "Sign."

enter the digital id

Now, you're all set! You've signed your PDF using Adobe Certificate Signature. Your document is secure and authentic.

Security of Adobe Digital Signature Certificate

Using an Adobe Certificate Signature is like giving your digital document a super-strong lock and a legal stamp of approval. Here's why it's secure and legal:

  • Tamper-Proof: Adobe Certificate Signatures make it hard for anyone to mess with your document without you knowing. If someone tries, the signature breaks, and you can see it's been tampered with.
  • Encryption: Only you and Adobe know your digital signature is like a secret code. It keeps your document safe from prying eyes.
  • Authentication: When you use your Adobe Certificate Signature, it's like showing your ID card. It proves that you're the one who signed the document, and no one else can pretend to be you.
  • Legal Recognition: Many countries and organizations legally accept Adobe Certificate Signatures as the real deal. It's like having a notary public say, "Yes, this is legit!"
  • Paperless: With Adobe Certificate Signatures, you can sign documents digitally. This saves time and paper and is eco-friendly. It's as legally valid as signing on paper.
  • Audit Trail: Adobe keeps a record of all signatures. This means you have proof of the document's signing and who signed it. This can be crucial in legal matters.

In simple terms, Adobe Certificate Signatures are like a digital fortress for your documents. They protect your stuff from tampering and are legally recognized in many places. So, when you need a secure and legal way to sign a document, Adobe Certificate Signature has your back.

Part 2. PDFelement: Best Alternative for Adobe Sign Certificate

PDFelement is a fantastic alternative to Adobe for signing documents with a certificate. It's versatile and easy to use, and here's why it's worth considering:

  • User-Friendly Interface
    • PDFelement has a super-simple interface. You don't need to be a tech whiz to use it. It's designed to make signing documents a breeze.
  • Growing Popularity
    • People are increasingly turning to PDFelement because it's easy and reliable. It's becoming a go-to choice for many.
  • Cost-Effective
    • It won't break the bank! PDFelement is budget-friendly, saving you money while still getting the job done.
  • Ease of Use
    • You can sign documents in a snap. Just a few clicks, and you're done. No need for complicated steps.
  • Compatibility
    • It plays nice with others. PDFelement works with various devices and operating systems, so you're not locked into a single ecosystem.
  • Unique Features
    • PDFelement isn't just an alternative; it has its cool tricks. You can do things like edit PDFs, convert files, and more.

So, when you're looking for an alternative to Adobe for signing documents with a certificate, PDFelement is a top choice. It's user-friendly, cost-effective, and packed with features. Give it a try, and you might just find it's your new favorite PDF tool.

How To Sign Certificates Using PDFelement

When it comes to signing PDFs, PDFelement is a versatile tool. You can sign documents with a digital signature, like a fancy electronic version of your handwritten signature. It proves that you're you and that the document is legit. Here's how it's done:

Digital Signature

Signing PDFs with a digital signature is like putting your electronic stamp of approval on a document. It's a modern way to show that you're the one who signed it and that the document is genuine. Here's how you can do it with PDFelement.

Step 1. Start by opening the PDF document you want to sign.

Step 2. In PDFelement, you'll find this option in the "Protect" > "Sign Document."

select an id

Step 3. If you already have a digital ID, choose it to sign. If not, you can create a new one by clicking the "New ID" button.

create new digital id

Step 4. Depending on your preference, you can save your digital ID information to a file or store it in the Windows Certificate Store.

Step 5. To make sure everything's good, you can validate the signature by clicking "Protect" > "Manage Signatures" > "Validate All Signatures." And if you ever need to remove the signature, just click "Protect" > "Manage Signatures" > "Clear All Signatures."

validate and clear signature

Handwritten Signature

Sometimes, you might want to add a personal touch to your PDFs with a handwritten signature. PDFelement makes it easy, whether you prefer to upload an image of your signature, draw it right on the screen, or type your name in a signature-style font.

Step 1. If you prefer a handwritten signature, go to the "Comment" menu and click "Signature."

sign pdf with handwritten signature

Step 2. You have three options:

  • Upload: Upload an image of your signature.
  • Draw: Draw your signature on the screen.
  • Type: Type your name, choose a font, and pick a color for your signature.

Signing PDF Agreements

If someone sends you an agreement through PDFelement, here's how you can sign it:

Using PDFelement Desktop Application

Step 1. Launch the PDFelement application on your computer.

Step 2. Go to the Agreement panel and double-click on the agreement labeled "Waiting for me."

signing wait for me

Step 3. Click the "Sign" tag, choose your preferred signature method (upload, draw, or type), and click "OK."

signature field

Step 4. Confirm your agreement to the terms, click "Click to Sign," and then "Next" to complete the process.

click to sign

Using the Email Link

Step 1. Click the agreement link from your email notification.

email notification sign document

Step 2. Check the box agreeing to the terms, and click "Continue."

agree with policy

Step 3. Click the "Signature/Initial" field, create your signature (type, upload, or draw), and click "Save."

signature initial field

Step 4. Finally, download just the PDF or the PDF with an audit report.

download pdf audit report

Once everyone has signed, you'll receive an email with the fully signed document. Signing PDFs with PDFelement is straightforward and offers multiple options to suit your needs.

Part 3. Exploring PDFelement's eSign Feature

PDFelement offers an extra perk - the eSign feature. With eSign, you can ask others to add their legally valid certificate-based signatures to your documents. It's like having your virtual notary public but without all the paperwork.

When it comes to eSignatures, security is paramount. PDFelement follows ISO 27001 standards, a fancy way of saying it takes security very seriously. Your electronic signatures are in safe hands.

Here's why PDFelement's eSign feature is a game-changer:

  • Efficiency: No more waiting for physical signatures in the mail. eSignatures speed up the process.
  • Legality: These signatures are legally valid in many places, just like old-fashioned ink ones.
  • Convenience: You can request signatures from anywhere on any device.
  • Paperless: Good for the environment and your cluttered desk. No more paper piles.
  • Audit Trail: You'll have a digital record of who signed and when. Handy for tracking.


Digital signatures are essential for hassle-free document handling. Whether it's Adobe Certificate Signature or PDFelement's versatile solutions, they've got your back. PDFelement offers an alternative and adds extra features to simplify the signing process. Explore and choose what suits your needs best for seamless and secure document signing. Your digital signature journey just got easier.

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Audrey Goodwin

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