How to electronically sign a PDF document

PDFs are replacing paper documents in most offices as they are more flexible, portable and harder to lose. Besides, after the pandemic there is a trend towards online contracts.

Whether if it’s a lease or agreement here’s how to electronically sign a PDF without the need to print or scan it and how Viafirma’s eSignature software can automate complex signing processes and helps strengthen the level of security of your operations.

Steps to electronically sign a PDF with Adobe Acrobat DC

In some cases you might need to deal with digital documents and return them signed. With the right tools anyone is able to add their signature and re-use it whenever.

Adobe Acrobat Reader DC is a tool for opening, editing and signing PDF documents though they offer low levels of security. Download the tool for free

Follow the steps below:

  • Install Adobe and open the PDF document you wish to sign
  • Click ”tools
  • Select ”Fill & Sign” to enable this feature
Fill and Sign PDF tool
  • Click on the ”sign” tab
  • Select ”add signature” and draw your signature with the mouse, stylus pen or with your finger if you are using a touch screen or add it as an image. You can re-use your autograph whenever
Handwritten signature via Adobe
  • Finally, place the signature on the document

Sign on your iPhone or iPad

Screenshot to eSign a document on iphone

You also have the option of signing documents using the built-in software on your iPhone or any Apple device:

  • Open the PDF you wish to sign
  • Select the mark-up icon similar to the tip of a pen
  • Once the mark-up menu opens, select the + icon and select Signature
Screenshot of a signature previously saved

Electronically sign a PDF with the Macbook touchpad

There are other ways to sign documents online. Please follow the steps below:

  • Locate the document and right-click to preview
  • Click on the briefcase for the toolbar and select the signature icon
  • Draw your signature using your touchpad and press the Enter key
Handwritten digitized signature with Macbook trackpad
  • Click ”Done” and add the signature to the document
Digitized signature on a PDF document

This signature complies with the requirements to be considered digitized signature. It can be drawn with the mouse, touchpad or on a piece of paper and then scanned and placed on the digital document. It is also considered simple electronic signature by eIDAS Regulation (the strictest regulation in terms of electronic identification and trust services) as it does not gather enough legal evidence to uniquely identify the signatory. It is not recommended for important documents as it can be easily forged without prior consent.

Digital certificate signature

The safest way to sign with Adobe is using our personal or corporate digital certificate. To do so, follow the steps below:

  • Search for the tools tab and click on Certificates
  • Click on ”Digitally Sign” and plot a box to position the digital certificate signature on the document
Steps to electronically sign a PDF with certificate
  • The final step is to select our certificate and press sign.
Digital certificate screenshot

Unfortunately, very few citizens hold a certificate as it can be complex to obtain one and there is not enough information about the benefits they offer.

SPOILER: Viafirma offers secure solutions to sign and send PDF documents for signature. Therefore users who do not have a certificate are able to sign electronically on any device with full legal guarantees

Safer and more efficient ways to sign PDF documents

Viafirma provides easy-to-use, safe eSignature solutions compared to the digitized signature. Each one is designed to cover complex processes suitable for different business scenarios, while complying with the strictest regulations that will hold up in any court of law.

Below are a some ways to eSign documents with our solutions:

  • Biometric signature. The best replacement for the digitized signature. It is the traditional handwritten signature drawn on tablets or pads with a precision stylus capable of collecting a wealth of biometric data
  • SMS OTP. Short code sent to the signer’s mobile device to be able to eSign wherever.
  • Digital certificate signature. The user must hold a certificate issued by a Trust Service Provider which certifies the user’s identity.
  • Cloud signature. Users may access their certificate stored on a cloud server (HSM) whenever.

Viafirma solutions for greater security

A signature that has been scanned and added as image or drawn with the mouse cannot be compared to one that has been created using special electronic signature platforms such as the ones offered by Viafirma.

Furthermore, our tool has a set of features to adapt to the requirements of our customers. Below are just a few of them:

  • The option of signing JSON, Word or PDF documents.
  • The incorporation of legal electronic evidence (video, audio, image, etc.) attached the document to strengthen the security of the document.
  • Setting complex signature workflows between signatories.
  • The server-based signature without required user interaction by simply uploading any valid certificate to the platform.
  • Signers do not need to install any application when sending documents for signature, instead, they will sign directly online.

As mentioned above, our top priority is to ensure the legal validity and security of the whole process. That is why all signatory data will always be encrypted and can only be revealed upon request of a judge.

All set?

It’s time to handle documents more efficiently