How to Sign a PDF

For PDF files that already include a Signature field ONLY


Step 1

Open the file in Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Just like any other field in a PDF, simply click on it to fill it in. In this case a new window will open to guide you through setting up and/or selecting the signature to use.


Step 2

If you have signed a document before, this is very similar to how the window will look (only with your name instead of mine) and you can skip to Step 8.

If this is your first time signing you can create a Digital ID in Step 3.


Step 3

  1. Click the button next to "A new digital ID I want to create now"
  2. Click Next

If you have previously created a signature file, but never used it on this computer before (or since your computer has been reimaged) then you can select the button next to "My existing digital ID from:" to reimport that signature instead of creating a new one.


Step 4

  1. Select the button next to "New PKCS#12 digital ID file
  2. Select Next

Step 5

Fill out all your information similar to as I have done here. Make sure your email address is correct and "Key Algorithm" and "Use digital ID for:" are the same as above.


Step 6

Chose where to save your signature key file. This needs to be kept somewhere securely where you have access to it from your computer, but no one else does. A removable drive is a very bad idea as anyone who finds it now can sign documents as you. I recommend you use your Z: drive. That way it's secure and you wont lose it if you change or reimage your computer.

  1. Select where to save your signature key file
  2. Create a name that is specific
  3. Click Save

Step 7

You will have to create a password for your key. Make sure it is something hard to guess but possible for you to remember indefinitely.

When you've selected a password that is strong enough click Finish


Step 8

  1. Enter the password for your Signature
  2. Click Sign

Step 9

You will have to save the PDF file (now that it includes your signature).

  1. Chose where to save it to
  2. Chose what you want the name to be - I like to add a tag to the end saying I've signed it to help clarify and organize
  3. Click Save

Step 10 - All Done

Now when the document is opened you can easily see a signature in place (and all the code and computer-speak that links it to you remains securely within the document's properties.