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How to sign a PDF on Windows 10 [Free solution]

Paper usage in the workplace has been reduced thanks to email and soft-copies of documents. There are lots of different ways to share documents, amazing apps that can be used to review them, and plenty of ways for people to collaborate without ever having to print anything out.

Sign PDF on Windows 10

Much like most documents now exist as soft copies, contracts of various types also only exist digitally. Contracts still require signing, though, and that usually means a contract is going to be printed, the physical document will be signed, scanned, and emailed back. A simple alternative is to digitally sign a document.

In order to sign a document in PDF format, you need to download the Adobe Acrobat Reader app (free version).

  1. Download and install Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  2. Open the app.
  3. Tap the Ctrl+O keyboard shortcut to open the ‘Open file’ dialog box.
  4. Select the file you want to sign.
  5. Once the file is open, scroll to the signature field in the document.
  6. In the column on the right, select ‘Fill & sign.’

  1. Select the Fill, Sign, and Send option.
  2. Click on the Signature field in the document, i.e., the place you want to insert your signature.
  3. Click the ‘Signature’ button in the bar at the top.

  1. Select the type of signature you want to add (see next section for details on signature type).
  2. Enter the signature, and click Apply.
  3. The cursor will change to that of the signature you created. Click the signature field in the document to insert it there.
  4. Save the document, and it will save with the signature added to it.

Digital signature types

When it comes to digital signing a document, there are three types of signatures that are used;

  1. Initials: These are the initials of your name typed with the keyboard on your device.
  2. Drawn signature: This is a signature that’s made digitally either by using a touchpad or using a device that works with a stylus, e.g., a touch screen laptop, a touch screen monitor, or a tablet like the Surface tablet.
  3. Photo: A photo of your signature on physical paper is imported, and the signature on it is recognized as such and then inserted into the document.

Of the three types of signatures, the last two are best used for legal and bank documents. They’re accepted more widely.


Documents can always be signed digitally, but the practice hasn’t quite become as common as it should have by now. Before you decide to use a digital signing method, make sure that the other party will accept it. You should also make sure you have some method to verify a digital signature.

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