How to digitally sign a document on a PC, Mac, Android or iPhone
Jul 4, 2022, 5:00 AM
Technology has undoubtedly made many things simpler, but it’s also introduced new worries.
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One thing that has gotten easier is signing documents. Now you can skip the drive or wait for something to arrive in the mail and sign digitally instead. Here’s how.
First, consider your signature
Even in the digital age, a handwritten signature provides a personal touch. Don’t use your mouse or trackpad. It never looks right.
Instead, sign a piece of paper and save it on your device using your smartphone’s camera or your webcam. You can then import that image into any PDF or other document. Tap or click here for in-depth steps, including the size and ratio to aim for.
Here’s a pro tip: Having two different signatures is a good idea. One is reserved for signing in person and the other for signing electronically.
The two signatures can be pretty much the same. Just modify one with an extra dot or some other subtle variation. This way, if someone ever uses your signature without your permission or knowledge, it’ll be easy to figure out just by looking at it.
One more thing to keep in mind: If you’re signing legal documents, they typically require a secured digital signature using a service such as DocuSign or Adobe Sign.
If you’re using Adobe
Adobe Reader is one of the most common PDF applications out there. There are also Adobe Acrobat DC and Adobe Acrobat Sign that work similarly.
To sign a document, open the PDF and look for the Sign icon in the top toolbar. It looks like the nib of a pen. It should be in the toolbar at the top of the application. You can also go to Tools > Fill & Sign.
Fields you can fill out should turn blue in the document. Find the space you want to write your signature, click it, then click on the Sign icon again. You’ll have the choice to sketch your signature with your mouse or trackpad, type your initials or upload a photo of the signature you want.
To save your signature, check the “Save signature” box and click Apply to sign the document.
Signing is easy on a Mac
It’s easy to create a virtual signature you can use on a Mac using the Preview app — no extra downloads required.
● In Preview, hit Tools.
● Choose Annotate.
● Select Signature > Select Manage signatures.
From there, you have two options. You can sign using your trackpad (more power to you if you can make it look good) or sign your name on a white piece of paper and hold it up to your webcam.
Try this on an iPhone or iPad
Markup is a powerful tool you might not even realize is there. It lets you edit screenshots and photos, add signatures to documents, insert text, and more without downloading a third-party app.
To sign a document:
● Open the document and tap Edit, then the Markup button.
● Tap the Add button to add Text or a Signature.
● Tap Done twice.
On an Android, try Adobe Fill & Sign
Just like with the desktop version of Adobe Acrobat, the free Android equivalent can also be used to sign documents. You’ll be given the option to doodle your signature on your screen, which is easier to get right than on a computer.
This app is also a great way to fill out forms and you can use it to type on PDFs for a clean, professional-looking document. Adobe Acrobat is available as a free download from the Google Play Store. Tap or click here to download it.
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