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How to digitally sign a document on any device

Follow these easy steps to add your signature online without ever picking up a pen

by CyberGuy Staff

Almost everything has moved online these days, even important documents.

Instead or turning toward a fax machine or snail mail to put your John or Jane Hancock on the dotted line, do this instead.

Want to digitally sign your from an iPhone? Mac? PC? Android?  Find each one below with a simple step by step guide to making your signature official the new way.

Many websites offer you the ability to add your signature electronically, but you don’t want to upload your personal files to just any website. The good news is it’s now very simple to use your computer or phone to send someone your signature without having to use a pen, printer, or that pesky USPS.

Follow these steps to sign any document using your digital device of choice.

 

How to add your signature to a PDF or document

 

Mac

Every Mac computer comes with the program Preview which is a great and free tool to view your photos. You can also crop and rotate pictures using Preview. Additionally, you can annotate your document and easily add a signature right on your Apple laptop or desktop computer.

  • Open the PDF document in Preview (this is the default option – if your PDF doesn’t open in Preview, right-click it, hover over Open with and select Preview)
  • Once your document is open, tap Tools on the top of your toolbar
  • Scroll to Annotate, hover and then scroll to Signature, and tap Manage Signatures…
  • Click Create Signature and you can add your signature in 3 different ways: using your trackpad, camera, or iPhone
  • Once you’ve created a signature, it will be saved in the Preview app for you to add to any future documents
mac preview create signature
Using your Trackpad:

If you select using your trackpad, you’ll use your trackpad or mouse to digitally create your signature. When you’re ready to make your signature, press where it says Click here to begin and start signing. While a mouse might be more accurate, this option is a little sensitive and makes it a little trickier to recreate your signature as cleanly as you might.

Using your Camera

This is my favorite option. While you do have to pull out a piece of paper and a pen and sign your name the old-fashioned way, you’ll have an accurate digital version of your signature to use whenever you need it.

First, sign your name onto a white piece of paper, and then hold it up visibly to your Mac’s webcam. Hold it so the signature sits above the line, and then it’ll create your digital signature.

Using your iPhone

This is the easiest option if you have both a Mac and an iPhone. If your devices are connected, when you select the iPhone option in Preview’s signature manager, your phone will display a box for you to sign with your finger. Once you’ve signed, your signature will appear back on your Mac in Preview. While this is more accurate than a trackpad, I find using your finger still makes this a little less accurate than a pen and paper.

 

iPhone

Similar to Mac computers, your iPhone comes with built-in applications. Many of these apps come with a Markup Tool that allows you to create a digital signature once that you can reuse.

The Markup Tool itself will work the same way, but you’ll access it slightly differently depending on how you receive the document you need to sign.

iphone markup tool

If you receive a PDF or document via Email:

  • Hold the document down in the email and tap Markup and Reply
  • Tap the + button next to the color wheel, and tap Signature
  • Sign your name using your finger on the line and tap Done
  • Adjust the size and placement of your signature on the document as needed
  • Click Done
  • Select Reply All to reply all to the original email with your signed document attached. Select New Message to compose a new email with this signed document already attached. Select Save to Files to save the document only to your iPhone or iCloud. 

If the document is saved in your Photos:

  • Open the document or photo you need to sign
  • Tap Edit
  • Then hit the icon with a circle around a marker (this is the Markup tool icon)
  • Tap the + button next to the color wheel, and tap Signature
  • Sign your name using your finger on the line and tap Done
  • Adjust the size and placement of your signature on the document as needed
  • Click Done

If you save the document to your Files on your iPhone:

  • Be sure to save the file with a name you can search for
  • Open Files and select the document you need to sign
  • Then hit the icon with a circle around a marker (this is the Markup tool icon)
  • Tap the + button next to the color wheel, and tap Signature
  • Sign your name using your finger on the line and tap Done
  • Adjust the size and placement of your signature on the document as needed
  • Click Done

 

Android and PC Computers

The best way to e-sign documents on your Android phone or PC is to use the Adobe Acrobat Reader which is available to download for any computer (both PC or Mac) or using the Adobe Fill & Sign app from the Google Play store.

adobe john doe signature

Using your computer
  1. Open the document you want to sign in Adobe Acrobat Reader 
  2. Click Tools and then select Fill & Sign or tap the pen icon on the toolbar 
  3. Select Add signature and use your mouse to sign your name
  4. Click Apply and adjust the size and placement of your signature on the document as needed
adobe fill and sign
Using the Adobe Acrobat Fill & Sign app
  1. After downloading the Adobe Fill & Sign application, tap the + button to open a document. You can open a PDF or form from your phone or tablet via PDF File, Photo Library, or by Taking a picture
  2. Tap the pen icon to add a signature and create a new signature
  3. The screen will rotate and you’ll use your finger to sign your name
  4. Tap Done and adjust the size and placement of your signature on the document as needed

The Adobe Fill & Sign app is available for iPhones and iPads along with Android devices. The Adobe Acrobat Reader app for computers does have a free version, but it limits the number of documents you can sign before having to buy the paid-for version. 

The Adobe Acrobat desktop app also allows you to type a signature and choose a style, or use your webcam to take a photo of your handwritten signature.

 

Do you feel comfortable e-signing a document? Comment below.



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