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Tools That Would Allow You To Add Wet Signatures to PDF Files

Here's how you can add wet signatures to PDF documents

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Some companies or individuals are more comfortable with handwritten signatures than electronic ones. For them, it's a more effective way to prove the authenticity and integrity of the document. Digital signature certificates can prove a document's credibility just as well. So, what to do if your boss, colleague, or business partner asks you for a wet signature on a pdf? You'll learn the best way here.

Additionally, you'll learn about the pros and cons of using wet signatures. And if they permit you to insert your handwritten signature into PDFs digitally, there's also something in this article for you.

We've got a lot to cover. So, let's not waste more time and proceed with the article.

lady adding wet signature to document

What Is a Wet Signature?

A wet signature is a signature signed on paper with wet ink, thus the name. In other, simpler words, it is a handwritten signature. That type of signature was the only way to sign documents when digital tools were not so commonplace.

When Will You Need a Wet Signature?

Suppose someone sent you a printed document that you need to sign. You will not scan that document to sign it with a digital signature. Instead, you will grab a pen and sign the document on paper. Some companies also require documents to be signed physically, even if the documents are in PDF form. These are the scenarios when you'd need a wet signature.

How To Add a Wet Signature on a Document With Adobe

Adobe Acrobat Sign has a "written signature workflow." It allows people to specifically tell the document recipients that they need to sign it with wet signatures. What to do if you are among the people that received that document?

Step 1 Open the email containing the Open and print link to the PDF document that needs a wet signature.

Step 2 Click the link. You will see an overview of the three-step signature process.

adobe three step signature workflow

Step 3 Fill in the form fields that the document requires you to fill using your computer. Leave the Signature field untouched.

Step 4 Click Next at the bottom of the page.

Step 5 Click Download.

 downloading file for adding wet signature

Step 6 Open the PDF and print it.

Step 7 Grab your pen and physically sign the printed document.

a person physically signing a document

Step 8 Scan the signed document to convert it into a digital form. Adobe Sign accepts PDF, JPG, GIF, TIF, and BMP. However, it only accepts one file. So, using the PDF format is best, as it allows you to concatenate multiple pages into one file.

scanning the physically signed document

Step 9 Check your emails for a message requesting you to upload the signed document. It has the email subject: "Please Upload [Name of the document]."

Step 10 Click the link in the mail to open the Upload to submit interface. Alternatively, open the link in the original "Open and print" email to open the upload interface.

adobe sign upload to submit interface

Step 11 Find and select the document you signed with a wet signature and upload it to Acrobat Sign.

How To Add a Handwritten Signature on PDF Files?

Some companies and individuals are more lenient. They allow you to sign documents using digital tools, so long as the signature is handwritten. That removes the hassle of printing the document, signing it with a pen, and scanning it to convert it to digital form. Professionals who want to maximize their time to increase productivity appreciate that a lot.

To do that, you need an image of your handwritten signature or a drawing tablet. Also, you need a good PDF tool with support for handwritten signatures, such as Wondershare PDFelement.

Here is a step-by-step tutorial on how to add handwritten signatures to PDF files with Wondershare PDFelement.

Step 1 Launch PDFelement and open the file you need to sign.

Step 2 Click Comment.

Step 3 Click the Signature button - located below Protect, between the Stamp button and the Attachment (Clip) button.

handwriting signature tool on pdfelement

Step 4 Click + Create.

creating new signature on pdfelement

Step 5 Choose between Upload and Draw to add your handwritten signature to the PDF document.

handwritten signature options on pdfelement

If You Choose Draw:

Step 1 Select from the three available lien colors: black, red, and blue.

color options on pdfelement draw signature

Step 2Adjust the slider to increase or decrease line thickness.

line thickness adjuster on pdfelement

Step 3Freehand draw your signature using your mouse or drawing tablet. We recommend using the latter as it allows you to draw better.

drawing handwritten signature on pdfelement

Step 4 Click OK.

Step 5 Click on the document where you want the handwritten signature to appear.

Step 6 Use the blue dots at the corners of the signature to resize it. Use the green dot above it to rotate the signature.

resizing a handwritten signature on pdfelement

If You Choose Upload:

Step 1 Click Choose Image.

choose image button on pdfelement

Step 2 Locate the image of your signature on your computer and import it to PDFelement.

choose image button on pdfelement

● PDFelement recommends using images where the signature is written in black ink, and the background is white.

● However, we tried using images where the background is of a different color. We tried yellow, then green. PDFelement's character recognition was able to extract the text and remove the background successfully.

Step 3 Click OK.

Step 4 Place the signature where you want it to be in the document.

signing the pdf using pdfelement signature

Step 5 Use the blue dots at the corners of the signature to resize it. Use the green dot above it to rotate the signature.

And there you go. That's how you add handwritten signatures to PDF documents using Wondershare PDFelement. It's super easy to do.

Pros and Cons of Wet Signatures

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using wet signatures? Find out below.


Wet signatures are better for branding. It feels more personal since the impression is made with the signer's handwriting. Think of autographs. A book with the wet signature of the author would feel more special than the same book but with a digital signature.


Using wet signatures can be costly. You need to buy a pen and ink to sign the documents and paper to print them. Furthermore, you need to print and scan the document to send it online. Therefore, it is a time- and resource-consuming process.

Forgery is also a problem with wet signatures. With enough practice, one can replicate even a complex signature.

Signing with wet signatures means you are using paper. And trees are cut down to produce paper. So, using wet signatures is bad for the environment.

Comparison Between Wet Signatures, Electronic Signatures, and Digital Signatures

Wet signatures, as stated above, are impressions you make on paper with wet ink. On the other hand, electronic signatures are signatures you add to digital documents using tools like Wondershare PDFelement.

Digital signatures are the more advanced version of electronic signatures. They come with a certificate containing encrypted information unique to you. Other people can use this certificate to verify the authenticity of the signature.

Other people who can access your computer can add your electronic signatures without your consent. They only need to have an image of your signature or know where they can find it.

They can't do that with digital signatures. To add your digital signature to PDF files, they need to use your digital ID. Digital IDs are password protected. So, unless you tell them your password, they can't use it. Using digital signatures is the most secure way to sign documents.


Though there are better alternatives to wet signatures, some organizations and individuals still prefer them. Adding them to PDF documents is how you expect it. You print the document, sign it, scan it, then send it back to the other party. It's quite a tedious task.

Suppose they allowed you to use a scanned copy of your signature or digitally draw it. You can use Wondershare PDFelement. This program lets you insert your handwritten signature into PDF documents very quickly. Also, it comes with a digital signature feature, which you can use for signing other important documents.

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