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Smart Tips on Signing PDF Files Online

Signing PDF Files

PDF is one of the most popular file formats for contracts, receipts, and accounts in business. It is often necessary to sign and send contracts and other important files to partners and customers in PDF. Imagine you receive a document by email, and you have to sign it and send it back. You can print this document, sign, scan, and email it further. However, there is a better way. Sign PDF online since the electronic or digital signing of documents saves your time. In this article, you’ll find everything you need to know about online signatures.

What Is an Electronic Signature?

The electronic signature is largely similar to the digital version of your own signature. When the PDF format requires a signature, you will see the signature field highlighted as an area you can edit to add text and sign it. You probably have noticed that the terms “digital signature” and “electronic signature” are used as synonyms, but in fact, they are not. So how to sign on pdf online? There are two ways discussed further.

Electronic signatures

According to the US law on electronic signatures, the electronic signature is equivalent to your hand signature that has legal force. It means your consent to the conditions set forth in the document you sign. The electronic signature is also known as the e-signature. This is, in fact, the image of your signature on the electronic document, and it cannot be declared invalid solely on the grounds that this is not a physical signature.

Digital signature

The digital signature is encrypted and designed to counteract any kind of hacking. When the document is signed with a digital signature, the algorithm generates a hash (a combination of symbols). This hash is unique for the document you’re signing. If the document is changed somehow, the hash will change too. If you open a document signed with a hash, the program will inform you whether its content has been changed from the date of signing. And if so, the authenticity of the document can be questioned. 

How to Sign PDF with Electronic Signature

In this article, we’ll talk about electronic signatures in PDF since that’s what is required by most people when they send you a document for signing. Therefore, if you send them a PDF file with a digital signature, most likely, they will not know what to do with it. Though there is no 100-percent safe method, the following ones are still better than printing, signing, and scanning the required document.

The way of signing a PDF document depends on the device and operating system you use. 


Adobe Reader is a perfect app for this. However, it is not easy to use. You need to open the PDF file in Adobe Reader and click the “Fill and Sign” button on the right panel. Afterward, add your signature, and that’s it.


The Preview application included in macOS has a built-in document signatures feature. Thanks to the superb trackpads embedded in the MacBook, you can draw your signature with one finger. To do so, you’ll have to open a PDF file in the preview window, click the toolbar button, and click “Sign”.

iPhone and iPad

On iPhone or iPad, you can sign documents using the markup function in the iOS mail application. Of course, if you have a Mac and use Preview to sign documents, your signature will actually synchronize with your iPhone or iPad so that you do not have to create it a second time. But if you have to, open the attachment in PDF format in Mail and click “Marking and Answer” to sign the file.


Android is not supplied with a built-in application that can sign documents. Instead, you need to use some other apps as Adobe Fill & Sign. Therefore, you have to upload Adobe Fill & Sign, open a PDF file, and click the “Signature” button.


On Chromebook, you can find lots of web signature services. For example, HelloSign. All you need to do is to install this extension, download a PDF file, and click the “Signature” button.

Online Solutions

If you don’t want to figure out which application to use, you can find some kind of a PDF signer online. These smart online services, like the versatile PDFLiner, are straightforward and beneficial to use. There are plenty of those, and they are usually much easier to use than special apps. Such platforms allow you to edit PDF files online, manage your legal documents, and provide ready-to-fill forms. They also feature a straightforward design since all of the unnecessary features are removed. All you have to do to sign a document in PDF format is to find an “Add Sign” button.

FAQ About Signing PDF Files

Signing documents online came into use not so long ago, so not everyone is aware of how to do it. People have a lot of questions considering signing PDF files, and the most popular ones are listed below.

Does the electronic and digital signature have legal force?

Yes, both electronic and digital signatures have legal force. However, their effectiveness may vary depending on the state and country. Both types of signatures are legally effective parts of any document you sign.

Do I need an electronic or digital signature?

It depends on the document. Overall, digital signatures are safer. You cannot witness the signing of the document by the other party, so they are intended to ensure safety on the notarial level. Nevertheless, most situations, which you and your team are most likely to come across, do not require a notary, so an electronic signature will be more than enough in these cases.

Why do I need an electronic signature?

You can use an electronic signature for signing documents such as contracts, agreements, and accounts.

Sign Your PDFs Easily!

As you can see, signing PDF files is neither difficult nor takes much time. There are different applications and websites, both paid and free. You can choose whichever service suits you the most, find a “Sign” button there, and that’s it.

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