More official papers are being converted to PDF documents these days. PDF stands for Portable Document Format. It is a standard that Adobe created in the early 1990s to allow paper documents to be converted into digital copies. Hard copy paperwork is fast becoming an exception to the rule. Even digital documents must be signed. You have two options: print the documents, sign them and then scan them into your computer. Or, you can use a digital signature to place it on the PDF. Windows doesn’t have a built-in PDF signing option like a Mac. To sign a PDF document, you can use Microsoft Edge, Windows’ built-in browser. You can also download third-party apps that provide the same functionality.
This article will show you how to use Edge to add signatures. Next, I’ll show you how to use Adobe Acrobat Reader DC to do the same thing.
Microsoft Edge allows you to create a signature
Locate your PDF file in the File Manager. Right-click the file to open it with Microsoft Edge
The file will be opened in Edge’s PDF reader. Click on the Draw icon (it looks similar to a pencil facing down).
If your touch screen has the Draw with Touch option enabled, (the icon looks almost like a hand).
Sign the PDF using your cursor or, if you have a touch screen device, your finger. Save the document.
Although you can sign a PDF using Edge, you cannot save your signature. This means that you will have to repeat the process each time. It would be much easier if you could just add your signature to the document.
This can be done by writing a signature, taking a photo, and downloading it as a PDF file or graphic file.
To create a signature, you can use Adobe Acrobat Reader DC
Adobe Acrobat Reader DC is available for download. Adobe has the unfortunate habit of encouraging people to download too many apps. Make sure to uncheck any additional installations that may appear on the page. In my case, it was two McAfee apps as well as Acrobat’s Chrome extension. If you feel it might be of use, you can download the last one later.
Click on “Download Adobe Reader” to begin the installation. Then, click on the.EXE file you downloaded.
Acrobat reader will open once it is installed. A list of PDFs that you have opened recently will appear. Highlight the file if it is one of these. To the right should be a column that contains a thumbnail of your document and several functions, including Fill & Sign. Click that and your Fill & Sign will open.
To choose a PDF file to open, click on “Fill & Sign” then “Select a Folder”. To find the file, click on the left-hand menu, then click on My Computer. Double-click the file to move it into Acrobat.
Check to see if you can see an “Ab” beside your cursor. If there isn’t, look at the Fill & Sign icon in the lower right. It looks like a pencil and make sure it’s highlighted.
Once the signature is activated, click on the area where you want it to appear. A small box will appear that will allow you to sign by entering your name into the form. If there is a line that needs a signature in the document, click near it to align the box with it.
Tap on Sign yourself to save a typed or drawn signature or draw your signature directly.
Select “Add Signature.” After saving your signature, it will appear in this drop-down menu. You can add signature or initials. Click on Add Signature to continue.
You have three options to sign your document in a pop-up window: Type your name (Adobe provides you with many handwritten fonts), draw your signature using your touchpad, touchscreen or pen, or upload an image. If you don’t wish to have to rewrite it, make sure Save Signature is checked.
There are many ways to create a signature. Once you hit Apply, your PDF document is back. You can place your new signature wherever you like it to be on the document. If you wish, you can adjust the size or position of your signature. If you wish to add your signature as a PDF, open your document with Adobe Acrobat Reader, and click the Sign yourself icon. Then, you can select your saved signature to place it wherever you want it on your PDF document. You can only add initials to the PDF document by using the Add Initials option. To change your signature, click the minus sign beside it and then try again.
Your signature is now accessible whenever you need it. Adobe has also made an online app that allows for you to fill out and sign a PDF. Drag and drop the PDF into your browser or click on the Choose a file button. You will then be asked to sign in or register for an Adobe, Facebook or Apple account. You can then sign or type your document in the same way you would with the desktop app.
Adobe Acrobat Reader DC doesn’t have to be the only app you can use to view and/or edit PDF documents for free. However, there are now fewer options. SignWell, for example, allows you to sign up for up to three documents per month. Adobe Reader is free to sign documents. However, if you need to export or create PDFs, the Pro version will be required.
Updated May 9th, 11.40 AM ET: This article was originally published March 11th 2021. Instructions on how to sign a pdf using Microsoft Edge were added on November 3rd 2021. Recent changes have been made to the Adobe app’s directions, several free alternatives have been removed, and a description has been added about the online Adobe app.