How to Create E-Signatures in Adobe

By Qiana Eaglin

An electronic signature (e-signature) is a way for you to securely add your signature to a computer document. It allows you to sign and approve documents by creating a digital ID file. Optionally, you can also include an image of your handwritten signature. In order to keep others from using your e-signature, the digital ID contains encrypted information that is unique and verifiable. When you add your e-signature to a document, send the digital ID file with the document for verification.

Things You'll Need

  • Adobe Acrobat 9 or higher

Creating a Digital ID

Step 1

Open Adobe Acrobat 9 and click "Advanced" and "Security Settings."

Step 2

Select "Digital IDs" in the left pane, and then click "Add ID".

Step 3

Select the "A new digital ID I want to create now" option, and then click "Next."

Step 4

Specify where to store the digital ID, and click "Next."

Step 5

Select the "New PKCS#12 digital ID file" option to store your encryption information in a file that you can send to others. The file will have a .pfx extension for Windows operating systems and a .p12 extension for Mac systems.

Step 6

Type the information you want stored in your digital ID, including your name and email address. When you sign a document, your name displays in the signature field.

Step 7

Select the "Enable Unicode Support" option to specify Unicode values for the information you provided in Step 6.

Step 8

Choose a value from the Key Algorithm menu. The 2048-bit RSA option is more secure, while the 1,024-bit RSA is more widely used.

Step 9

Choose the "Digital Signatures" option from the "Use digital ID for" menu, and then click "Finish."

Tips & Warnings

  • On Windows systems, the Windows Certificate Store keeps the digital ID, allowing it to be used by other programs on your computer.
  • Export your certificate to a file and send it to anyone who will need to validate your signature.
  • Make a backup copy of your digital ID file, in case you lose the file, forget your password or it becomes corrupt. Otherwise, you will not be able to use that profile to create or validate signatures.