A few years ago, you had to print out a hard copy of a document to be able to sign it. Thanks to the popular PDF file format, it’s easy to digitally sign documents, reuse the signature when you need it, and scan and share PDFs with others.
Whether you’re signing a lease, contract, or applying for a loan, we’ll show you how to sign a PDF file in Windows.
You can sign a PDF in Windows using:
- Adobe Reader for Windows
- Adobe Reader DC / Adobe Reader DC Online
- Third-party online solutions
How to Sign a PDF in Adobe Reader
If you need to quickly sign a PDF file, you can do this using the Adobe Reader program.
Adobe Reader is the most popular PDF reader for Windows that allows you to edit PDF files and sign it with a certified electronic signature or a handwritten signature.
- To get started, open the PDF document you want to sign in program on the computer to read PDF files and find the Mark icon in the toolbar. Alternatively, open the signature panel by selecting View> Subscribe.
- Option Set signature Under Fill & Sign section.
In the new window, select the drop-down arrow to choose how you want to place your signature. You will find four options:
- Enter my signature
- Use my webcam
- Draw my signature
- Use an image
How to Sign a PDF in Adobe Reader by Entering Your Signature
- To do this, type your name or the characters you want for your signature in Fill in your name field.
- You can preview your signature in Review your signature box.
- If desired, you can choose from four different signature styles by selecting Change the signature style options below Review your signature box.
- If you are satisfied with your signature, choose Accept to add a digital signature to your PDF documents.
- You will see a small floating box with your signature inside. Drag the box to the area on the PDF where you want to place the signature and resize the image accordingly.
- Option File > Save to save your signed PDF file. If desired, you can share the signed document directly with others by selecting Signed. Proceed to send in the toolbar.
- Choose whether or not Share via email, send to fax, get others to sign or save a copy.
How to Sign PDF Files in Adobe Reader with Webcam
You can also sign PDFs in Windows use the webcam on your computer.
- To do this, open the PDF you want to digitally sign and select Sign > Set signature are from I need to sign section.
- Option Using webcams are from Signature Location drop-down dialog box.
- A guide will appear stating: Sign your name in black ink on white paper. Click the “Start Webcam” button to start taking a signature photo.
- Option Start Webcam.
- Align your signature so it’s on the blue line on your screen.
- A preview of the signature will appear in Preview captured signature box.
- Option Accept.
- Move your signature where you want it placed on the document and resize it to fit.
- Save your document or select Signed. Proceed to send for more sharing options.
How to Sign a PDF in Adobe Reader by Drawing Your Signature
Drawing your signature might not be as easy as typing your name or using a webcam to scan the signature. However, if you have a Windows PC with a touch screen and a stylus or Surface pen, you can sketch your signature and sign PDF documents.
- To do this, open the PDF document, select Sign > Set signature are from I need to sign section.
- Option Draw my signature are from Signature Location drop-down dialog box.
- Next, draw your signature in the provided blank.
- If you make a mistake while drawing, use Clear signature link to erase what you drew and start over.
- Option Accept. Put the signature on the part you want to sign on your document and save the document.
How to sign PDF files in Adobe Reader with images
If you have your signature in an image format (JPEG or PNG), you can use it to sign PDF files in Windows.
- To do this, open the PDF in Adobe Reader, select Sign > Set signature. In the new window, select Use an image from the drop-down menu.
- Next, choose Browse to open an image file containing your signature.
- Resize the image, select Accept to place it on your PDF document and save the file.
How to Sign a PDF in Adobe Acrobat DC Reader
If you have the full version of Adobe Acrobat Reader DC, you can use it to sign PDF files in Windows. However, the program is also available online for free, and you can still sign your PDFs with it.
- Download and install the Windows version of Adobe Acrobat Reader DC into your PC.
- Open Adobe Acrobat Reader DC, select File > Open to open the PDF you want to sign, then select Sign > Add signature.
- In the new window, add your custom signature, change the style if you want, then select Application.
- Drag the little box with your signature to the section of the PDF where you want to place your signature, then save your document.
How to sign PDF files with Adobe Acrobat Reader online
If you don’t want to download the free version of Adobe Acrobat Reader DC, you can use a free online tool to sign PDF files in Windows.
- To do this, visit Adobe Acrobat Online and click Select a file to upload the PDF document you want to sign. You can also drag and drop files to upload.
- Sign in with your Adobe, Google, or Apple account to continue and complete the fillable form.
- Option Signal to add your signature.
- Next, choose More languages.
- You can choose Type, Paintingor upload your signature as Pictureand then select Application.
- Drag the signature where you want it and then select Close.
- If you want to share your files, select Repost next to the file name in Adobe Acrobat Reader Online.
- Next, choose how you want to share your files and choose Create a link to get a shareable link.
- Copy the shareable link and select Share with others to send and notify your recipient via email.
- Option Nextthen download your signed document or get the link to share online.
How to sign PDF files with DocuSign
DocuSign is a Digital Signature provider that allows you to easily add electronic or digital signatures to PDF, Word or image files.
- To sign a PDF file with DocuSign, you need to register to use the service. Create an account by visiting DocuSign. Once you’re signed in, drag and drop the PDF you want to sign in and select Start now.
- If you’re the only one signing the PDF, check I am the only signer box and select Signal.
- If you’re not the only one signing the PDF, uncheck the box and check Next.
- Enter the name and email address of the recipient you want to sign the document with. If they’re already in your contact list, their email will appear as you start typing in the email field.
- If more than one person receives a request to sign the document, select Add recipients.
- If they are in your contact list, select the drop-down arrow next to Add recipient, then select Add from Contacts.
- You can also choose whether the recipient(s) need to sign, Is one direct signer, will receive a copy of the signed PDF, or must see.
- If you only want your recipient(s) to access the PDF to sign, select Customize > Add Access Code.
- Option Next.
Note: After all recipients receive the PDF document and they all sign it, each recipient will receive a complete copy via email.
- Add required fields to PDF documents such as Signature, Date, Name, Title, Company and such. Once the recipient receives the document, he or she will simply click on each required field and enter the necessary details before returning the signed copy.
- Option Nextpreview your document and select To send.
Note: You can order a expiration date for PDF document below Option inside Review and submit section. Alternatively, you can choose Recipient’s Privilege such as whether they can sign on paper or change their signing responsibility.
- If you receive an email with a PDF file via DocuSign and it asks for your signature, open the email and select Review the document.
- Option Beginand you’ll be directed straight to where you need to sign or place your signature.
- Touch Sign here Icon.
- Choose a style for your signature or paint it.
- If you want to change the font style or how your signature will appear, select Change style.
- Choose your preferred style from the available options and then choose Approved and signed.
- The signature will appear on the document. Option End to complete the signing process.
The document’s owner will receive an email notification that you’ve finished signing the document. When every other recipient has signed, each person will receive a copy of the signed document.
Sign PDF files with an online solution
If signing PDF files in Windows with Adobe Reader or DocuSign sounds complicated, there are a number of online solutions you can use to digitally or digitally sign PDFs.
Some popular tools include SmallPDF, Nitro Proor Foxit Reader. Each of these tools has features that allow you to create, edit, convert, sign and even export your PDF files with no effort.
Quickly sign a PDF on your PC
Signing a PDF file in Windows can be a bit complicated, but with the instructions in this guide you should be able to do it easily and save or share the document with others. If you’re using a Mac, check out our in-depth guide to how to edit PDF files on Mac and how to sign a PDF on a Mac.
Have you tried any of the methods listed here to sign PDF files in Windows? Share your experience with us in the comments.