May 21, 2024
Learn different ways to sign PDFs for free using online tools like DocHub and Smallpdf or free mobile apps like Adobe Fill & Sign. Use printer scanning and signing, PDF editor software like LibreOffice, and other helpful tricks to electronically sign documents without spending a dime.


Signing PDFs has become an increasingly common practice, but many people don’t want to pay for the privilege. The good news is that there are several ways to sign a PDF for free. In this article, we’ll explore the different methods available and provide step-by-step instructions for each option.

Online Tools

There are several free online tools available for signing PDFs. One of the popular options is DocHub, which offers a free account with access to basic signature functionality. Smallpdf is another great option, which offers a free trial of its Pro features for higher levels of functionality. These online tools offer a hassle-free way of signing your PDFs on the go without any need for downloading or installing software.

To sign using DocHub, upload your PDF to the website, open it, click the signature button, add your signature and date, and click “Save.” Smallpdf works similarly, with the added functionality of a signature request feature that allows you to request signatures from others. Note that uploading confidential files to the internet has privacy implications, so be wary when using these services for sensitive documents.

Adobe Acrobat Reader

Adobe Acrobat Reader can be used for more than just reading PDFs. The software has a “Fill and Sign” feature to digitally sign documents. To use this feature, open the PDF, click the “Fill & Sign” button, click “Sign,” then add your signature and click “Apply.” Save the document and you’re done. The Fill and Sign feature is free, but some advanced time-saving features will require a Pro subscription. If you already have Adobe Acrobat DC standard or pro, the software comes with even more features to sign and digitally distribute signed PDFs securely.

Mobile Apps

Mobile apps like Adobe Fill & Sign and SignNow are available on both IOS and Android platforms and offer a streamlined approach to signing PDFs on your mobile device. Adobe Fill & Sign lets you simply take a photo of your document, crop the area you want to sign, add your signature, and then save the file. With SignNow, you can sign any document stored in the cloud, your camera roll, or email, then send it off. Signing PDFs with these mobile apps is free, but additional features, such as in-person signing, will require a paid subscription.

Free Trials

Some online services offer free trials that include PDF signing functionality. SignRequest offers a free trial that lets you sign up to ten documents within a two week period. HelloSign’s free trial also lets you sign up to three documents, but only within one week. Once the free trial is over, the subscription is charged.

To use SignRequest, simply upload your document, add in any additional text, images or signature fields, then sign the document electronically within the interface. HelloSign works similarly, uploading the document, adding a signature, and then signing. After signing, the file is automatically saved to your HelloSign account. Take note that signing up for too many free trials may end up with hidden charges and subscriptions.

Google Drive

Google Drive is more than just cloud storage. It also offers a way to sign PDFs for free. Here’s how: upload the PDF you need to sign to Google Drive, open the file in the Google Docs viewer, click File > Open with DocHub basic features > Sign. Now sign and save your file. With DocHub upgraded features, you can also add additional fields for other signers and add more layers of security such as metadata removal for privacy.

Printer Scanning and Signing

Some modern printers now come with scanning and signing features, allowing you to sign PDFs directly from your printer without the need for a computer or any additional software. Simply print your PDF, sign the printed sheet, then scan the signed sheet back into the printer. Make sure to check your printer’s manual to ensure it has this feature and is set up correctly.

Free PDF Editor Software

Free PDF editor software like LibreOffice or PDF-XChange Editor offer more than just basic editing functionalities. They also enable PDF signing for free. LibreOffice requires the user to create a Predefined signature field first, and then simply upload your document to the program, sign, and save. PDF-XChange Editor can be used similarly, but it also offers digital security features, including password protect and certificate signing for increased sensitivity.


Signing PDFs for free is possible using a variety of methods. From online tools such as DocHub and Smallpdf, to Adobe Acrobat Reader, mobile apps, free trials, and printer scanning and signing, the possibilities are endless. Select the best option based on your needs and the level of security required, and sign your PDFs in no time. If you have any further tips, feel free to share them in the comments.

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