How to Add a Signature Field to a File in Acrobat

By Eric Brown

Adobe Acrobat has two types of signatures available for documents. They are a certifying signature and an approval signature. A certifying signature verifies the content of the document, while an approval signature works just like a hand-written signature on contracts and other legal documents. The difference between a hand-written signature and a digital signature is that a digital signature is extremely difficult to forge. It encrypts the information in the signature which is unique to the signer and contains an encrypted key. Adding a signature field to a file in Acrobat can help reduce paper usage and provide added security.

Things You'll Need

  • Adobe Acrobat 9

Step 1

Open your document in Acrobat. If this is a new document you can start a new one by selecting "File," then "Create "PDF" and "From Blank Page."

Step 2

Select "Forms" and "Add or Edit Fields" from the top menu bar to open the form editor.

Step 3

Select "No" when asked about detecting form fields and save your document to your computer.

Step 4

Click "Add New Field" in the top, right of the interface and select "Digital Signature" from the drop-down menu.

Step 5

Left-click within your document, hold the button and drag down and right to create your signature field. You will see a translucent, blue box that indicates the size of the field.

Step 6

Type a name for your signature field into the pop-up dialog box and close the dialog box. A signature field has now been added to your document.

Step 7

Save your document and close it or continue working on it.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can create a digital signature to use on PDFs without the need for a full version of Acrobat (see Resources).
  • This process will work with older and newer versions of Acrobat, but the steps and the location of items in the menu bars might differ.