June 16, 2024
This article explores the step-by-step guide to sign a PDF electronically using Adobe Acrobat, top online tools for electronic signatures, how it saves time and paper, signing PDFs on mobile devices, and comparison of electronic signature vs handwritten signature

Introduction

PDFs or Portable Document Format are popular file types that are widely used for documents, especially for businesses. However, one common problem is how to add a signature to a PDF when it has to be sent across the Internet. It is where signing PDFs electronically comes in. An electronic signature is an efficient and paperless way to sign a PDF. It is a legally binding form of signature that uses encryption technology to secure the signer’s identity.

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Sign a PDF Electronically using Adobe Acrobat

Adobe Acrobat is a powerful software that provides you with tools for editing and securing PDFs. It allows you to add a signature to a PDF document electronically. Below are the steps you need to follow to sign a PDF with Adobe Acrobat:

Step 1: Open the PDF File in Adobe Acrobat

Open Adobe Acrobat on your computer and open the PDF file you want to sign. You can open the PDF file by selecting “File” and choosing “Open”.

Step 2: Select the Signature Tool

Once the PDF file is open, click on the “Tools” tab. Then, select “Fill & Sign” located in the “Tools” panel.

Step 3: Add Signature Fields

Next, hover over “Sign” in the toolbar and click “Add Signature”. Click and drag to create a rectangle where you want the signature field to appear.

Step 4: Create Your Signature or Use an Existing Signature

You can create a new signature or use an existing one. To create a new signature, click “Create Signature”. Then, follow the on-screen instructions. To use an existing signature, click “Use an Image” and select the image of your signature.

Step 5: Place the Signature on the PDF

Once you have created or selected your signature, drag and drop it onto the signature field you created earlier. You can resize and position the signature as needed.

Step 6: Save the Document

After adding the digital signature, save the document. Click “File” and “Save” to save the signed document on your computer.

Tips for Ensuring the Integrity and Security of the Digital Signature

It is crucial to ensure the digital signature’s authenticity and integrity to maintain its legality. To ensure the security of the digital signature, follow these tips:

– Protect your digital identity by securing your digital ID and password.
– Use a secure computer to sign the PDF.
– Always verify the authenticity of the signer.
– Save and store the signed PDF in a secure folder.

The Top 3 Online Tools for Signing PDFs Electronically

There are several online tools you can use to sign PDFs electronically. Here are the top three tools that offer excellent features and reliability:

1. DocuSign

DocuSign is one of the popular electronic signature tools that is available online. It integrates with various applications such as Microsoft Word, Google Drive, and Dropbox. DocuSign offers various plans, including a free plan and paid plans starting at $10 per month. Its features include signer authentication, document routing, and version tracking.

2. HelloSign

HelloSign is another secure and easy-to-use electronic signature tool you can use in signing PDFs. It offers seamless integration with various applications such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and Box. HelloSign provides a free plan that allows users to sign up to three documents per month. Its paid plans start at $13 per month. The features of HelloSign include bank-level security, reusable templates, and team management.

3. Adobe Sign

Adobe Sign is an electronic signature tool created by Adobe that is designed for businesses. It offers integration with Adobe Document Cloud and Microsoft Office 365. Adobe Sign provides a free trial and paid plans starting at $10 per month. Its features include custom branding, automated workflow, and audit trail.

Why Signing PDFs Electronically Saves Time and Paper

One of the significant benefits of electronic signatures is the time and paper-saving they offer. A paperless workflow reduces expenses such as printing, courier, mailing, and storage costs. With electronic signatures, you can sign a document from anywhere, anytime, using any device. It removes the need for physical meetings and eliminates the slow turnaround times from traditional mail.

In addition, electronic signatures can lead to faster decision-making and improved workflow. Here are some examples of how electronic signatures have improved processes and workflow:

– A real estate company that went paperless with electronic signatures saw a 70% reduction in paper consumption and saved about 10,000 hours of productivity annually.
– A construction company reduced its design review time by 80% by using electronic signatures.
– A bank improved its customer experience by offering electronic signatures, which reduced the account opening process from 15 days to just 2 days.

How to Sign a PDF with Your Smartphone or Tablet

Mobile devices have become increasingly useful in daily life, including business. Electronic signature apps offer the convenience of signing documents anywhere, anytime, and with any device. You can use the following step-by-step guide to sign a PDF using a mobile electronic signature app:

Step 1: Download and Install a Mobile Electronic Signature App

There are several electronic signature apps available on both the App Store and Google Play Store. Choose the app that suits your purpose and download it.

Step 2: Open the PDF File on Your Mobile Device

Open the PDF file on the electronic signature app installed on your mobile device.

Step 3: Add Your Signature

Once the PDF file is open on your mobile device, look for the signature field. Click on the field, and the app will prompt you to add your signature.

Step 4: Save the Document

After adding the signature, save the document. The signed document will be saved to your device automatically.

Electronic Signature vs Handwritten Signature: Which is Better for PDFs?

Electronic and handwritten signatures both have their pros and cons. Electronic signatures are easier to use, faster, and more convenient, while handwritten signatures have a personal touch. However, electronic signatures provide greater security and tamper-evident features. A handwritten signature can be easily forged or altered, but an electronic signature creates a digital fingerprint that is difficult to tamper with.

In terms of legal standing, electronic signatures are considered legally binding in most countries, while handwritten signatures vary from one jurisdiction to another. Accessibility is another factor to consider; electronic signatures allow signers to sign PDFs from anywhere, using any device, while handwritten signatures require a physical presence.

Considering the pros and cons discussed above, it is safe to say that electronic signatures are the better choice for PDFs. They offer better security, are legally binding in most countries, and provide greater accessibility.

Conclusion

Signing PDFs electronically is beneficial for businesses and individuals who want speed and efficiency with the added advantage of security and auditability. Adobe Acrobat, electronic signature tools, and mobile signature apps are excellent tools that can help you sign PDFs electronically. Electronic signatures are legally binding and can save time, paper, and expenses. They also improve efficiency and workflow. In conclusion, embracing electronic signatures in modern workflow helps businesses and individuals achieve better productivity.

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