Author: Fay Kokri
Monday, January 24, 2022

How to Electronically Sign PDFs Without Printing and Scanning Them

Category: Windows Software

You've been emailed a PDF document, which you must sign and return. You could print the document, sign it, then scan and email it back. However, there is a better, faster way. I'll demonstrate how to quickly add your signature to any PDF document and save it as a standard PDF file that can be read anywhere.

There are different ways to electronically sign a PDF document that are highlighted all over the internet. However, the best and the simplest is using Adobe acrobat. By uploading your document on Adobe Acrobat software, you will be able to select and navigate through its tools to sign PDFs. The process is simple which takes less than a minute to sign and send your documents. 

Traditionally, signing a PDF requires several steps, including printing, signing, and scanning. Nonetheless, modern technologies have enabled businesses to go paperless, and electronic signatures have made document signing easier and faster. This article will show you how to electronically sign PDF documents without printing them.

How to Electronically Sign PDFs Without Printing and Scanning Them

There are times that you need to sign a document in the shortest time possible and send it back. It could be a business proposal, business agreement, or a school-related document. In such cases, the fastest we could think of is printing out the document, signing it, then scanning the document and sen signing it, scanning it, and sending.

How to Electronically Sign PDFs Without Printing and Scanning Them

An e-signature is an image of how your signature looks. In most cases, when your business partner or a job asks you to sign up for a PDF document, they refer to the electronic signature. The goodness of the e-signature is that it performs on all the platforms like Windows, Android,iPhone, and Mac. 

The digital signature proves that you have approved a document once you have signed it digitally.

How possible is it to sign PDF documents electronically? Remember that you should first unlock your PDF document before you start this process, 

Below are the steps to electronically sign PDF documents.

In Windows 10, Adobe Acrobat Reader appears to be the best application to sign PDF documents.

Here is how to use the Adobe Acrobat Reader:

  • Search for Adobe Acrobat Reader in the search bar. If you do not have the application, download it and install it.

How to Electronically Sign PDFs Without Printing and Scanning Them

  • Click on the search result, and the Adobe reader will launch.
  • Click on the File option and look for the document you need to sign in electronically in the Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  • On the Menu, click the Open button.

How to Electronically Sign PDFs Without Printing and Scanning Them

  • Go to the folder with the document you want to sign and open it by clicking on it.

How to Electronically Sign PDFs Without Printing and Scanning Them

  • Then click on Fill&Sign on the right panel.

How to Electronically Sign PDFs Without Printing and Scanning Them

  • Once you have clicked on the Fill and Sign, there is an option for you to sign or the concerned person.
  • Click on the sign feature at the top.
  • And select Add Signature from the Menu.

How to Electronically Sign PDFs Without Printing and Scanning Them

  • A box like the one below will launch.

How to Electronically Sign PDFs Without Printing and Scanning Them

Click accept and place the signature in the right place on your document. 

How to Electronically Sign PDFs Without Printing and Scanning Them

  • You will encounter three ways to choose from to sign your PDF document electronically.
    • Image
    • Type
    • Draw

Here is a brief explanation of how each of them works:


If you cannot use the mouse pointer or touchscreen, you will use an image to place a signature. Please write down your signature, scan it, and use the image through Adobe Acrobat on a piece of paper. After you are done, keep the image you scanned for any other signature in the future. You do not have to repeat the same process. For it to apply, go to where the image is, click on it and move it to the black space of the document where the signature is supposed to be.


Just typing your name using the keyboard will convert it to your signature. Although the signature will not be your original, it is not usually advisable to use it. Your signature will be like the image below.

You can also change the style of your signature if you so desire. To do so, follow the procedure below;

  1. Click on the Change Style button.
  2. A menu will launch.
  3. Choose a style you desire, and your signature will change.


Like the normal signature where you use a pen to draw your signature on paper, you use the mouse pointer to draw. Alternatively, if your screen is a touchscreen, you can draw it using your finger by touching on the screen.

Once you are done with creating the sign using the above methods,

  • Click on the Apply button to sign the document.
  • Then position the signature by moving it to where it should be.
  • After making sure it is in place, click and save it.
  • Save the document by clicking on the File option, choose Save, and select where you want to save your document.

N/B: You can save the signature to find it in the Sign menu the next time you can sign a document electronically.

How to Electronically Sign a PDF Document in Mac

How to Electronically Sign PDFs Without Printing and Scanning Them

If you are a Mac user, count yourself lucky because it has the inbuilt application by the name Preview with a signing feature. It is easier for you to sign using the trackpad, and Preview can notice it.

Below are the steps to follow to sign the PDF document using Mac electronically;

  1. Launch the PDF document in Preview
  2. Click on the Toolbox in the Toolbar button
  3. Click on the sign button on the toolbar
  4. The following options will appear:

Trackpad: Drag your figure on the trackpad to create your signature.

Camera: Draw your signature on a piece of paper, then scan it using the WebCam and use it as your signature.

  1. After creating the signature, capture your signature, and the image will be formed. Preview will then save it. Saving the signature will be vital because you might need the signature in the nearest future.
  2. Finally, move the image of your signature to where the sign should be.
  3. Then save the document.

How to Sign a PDF Document Electronically on Android

How to Electronically Sign PDFs Without Printing and Scanning Them

In most cases, android devices do not have the features that enable you to sign the document electronically. Therefore, you will have to download the Adobe Sign Fill application.

However, the application is only free to use for a month after that; you will have to pay if you want to use it.

Below is how to sign a PDF document on an android device using the Adobe Signs and Fill

  1. If you do not have the application, download it.
  2. Go to the file folders and open the PDF document you want to sign.
  3. Click on the signature option.
  4. After the documents have been signed, click on the Done button.

What Is the Importance of Electrical Signatures

Electrical signatures have a variety of importance compared to traditional ones. Here are some of the essence;

  • Friendly to the Environment

Printing out documents to get them signed is not only tiresome and time-consuming, but it is also a threat to the environment. The trees will be cut to get the papers you need for printing the hardcopy documents.

With the electrical signatures, you do not need a paper or a pen to get your documents signed which is an added advantage to the environment.

  • Secured

Anything can happen to your documents. You might accidentally shred your documents with the rest of the thrush or even pour tea on it or drop it on your way to work, unlike when they are safe in the cloud platforms where nobody but only you can get access. 

  • They are efficient and straightforward.

Signing the documents is now much easier because the electrical signatures are portable; therefore, you can sign a document or ask whoever is to sign for their signatures from wherever they are virtually using your device.

You do not need a printer or a scanning device to have your documents signed and submitted.

Where Can Electronic Signatures Be Useful?

How to Electronically Sign PDFs Without Printing and Scanning Them

Businesses can greatly benefit from electronic signatures, especially to the business departments.

Here are a few departments and how the Electronic Signature has impacted it positively:

  • Legal departments

It has made it possible for clients and employees to sign documents, especially non-disclosure or confidential documents, electronically. It has also made it easier for the employee because they do not need to move around with tones of papers in the name of they need to be signed by a specific person, and in most cases, they could not be in the office.

  • Marketing

At times the people you work with are people from outside the country. All you will need is to sign the document for a particular campaign to succeed. The E-signature has made it easier for you to put together internal and external signatures, and within a short time, you can execute your campaign.

  • Finance

You can quickly approve all the purchases invoices and even sign documents using an electronic signature, making work easier for you and the employees, making the workflow smooth and operations happening in a shorter time.

Human resource

It makes the workload manageable and faster. It helps the people you hire fill out the documents and sign them at once. Not so much paperwork is needed since all the information and places to sign are in the right place. Messing up with the contract is very minimal. It does not only imply to the people you are hiring only, even to the rest of the employees when they need to sign something or during the annual verifications.

What is the Easiest Way to digitally Sign a PDF?

Digitally signing using Adobe Acrobat Reader.

  • Right-click on the PDF document you need to sign, choose open with, and select Adobe Acrobat Reader DC.

How to Electronically Sign PDFs Without Printing and Scanning Them

Click the Tools tab.

How to Electronically Sign PDFs Without Printing and Scanning Them

  • Then click on Fill & Sign. The second icon is on top.
  • Then click on the sign, and a drop-down menu will open.
  • Click Add Signature to open the signature form.

How to Electronically Sign PDFs Without Printing and Scanning Them

  • Type your first name or your full name; at the furthest end, there is a place you can change the style to your desire.
  • Then click Apply to save your signature and open the PDF document.
  •  Choose a position to insert your signature in the document. Once done, it will appear on your PDF.
  • Then save the document with your signature on it. Select the folder to save it, change its name, and click Save.

How Do Digitally Sign a PDF Without Adobe?

How to Electronically Sign PDFs Without Printing and Scanning Them

If you do not have the Adobe application to help you sign, here is how you can do it online.

  • First, digitize your signature.
  • Then go to PDF Escape to do it free online.
  • Upload your PDF, click on the image and upload your digitized signature.
  • Scroll down to the document to locate where you want to add the signature.
  • And click on the space.
  • Resize your image to fit into the space by clicking on it to reduce the size.
  • Then click to download.

How to Digitally Sign a PDF Document Using a Mouse, Touchscreen, or Stylist

  • Open the PDF document.
  • Change it to Edit Mode by choosing the editing app in the toolbar.
  • Click on the signature.
  • Include the signature line on the Sign PDF document.
  • Sign inside the box using the mouse or touchscreen.
  • Then click ok to place the signature on the PDF document.
  • Resize the signature to fit in the box by clicking and moving the adjusting box knobs.
  • Drag the signature to where the signatures are supposed to be.

What is the Difference between Electronic Signatures and Digitized Signatures



It is used to verify a document.

It is used to secure a document.

You can easily temper with it.

It is safe and secure.

You can not verify the electronic signature.

You can verify the digital signature.

The scanned signatures, verbal are the ordinary types of electronic signatures.

Digital ones include Adobe and Microsoft.

It has fewer security features.

It consists of many security features.

It does not contain any codes or standards.

Digital signatures have encrypted standards.

The electronic signature is not authorized.

Digital is always authorized.

Any certified persons do not approve electronic signatures.

Trusted and certified individuals approve digital signatures.

The electronic signature is a legally binding way to approve an electronic document.

It is a secured signature that works hand in hand with the electronic signature and depends on Public key configurations.

It could be an image, symbol, or document to identify and approve it.

It can be seen as an electronic fingerprint that encodes and finds an individual's identity.

What are some of the importance of Digital Signatures

  • Security 

Unlike Electronic Signatures, Digital signatures are more secure. It gives you and the customers an improved experience due to its enhanced security and speed. Workflow It makes work easier for you in your workplace, you can easily track down documents with fewer efforts, and it will save much of your time.

  • Time-saving

Before discovering these signatures, it would take you a lot of time to sign business documents when the person concerned is not available. But with the Digital signature, you are only required to click to sign, and the deal is closed, which is good since it saves your time.

  • Customer experience

It gives your customers a better experience. They will not wait longer to get their documents signed.

  • Cuts cost

If you use the feature well and everyone in the organization is more friendly to it, you will stop using paper, ink, printers, scanners, and even the cost of transportation will be reduced.

  • Environment friendly 

By eliminating the use of paper, you will be doing justice to the environment.No more trees will be cut to produce paper.

What are the common uses of Digital Signatures?

  • Sales agreements

When you digitally sign your sales agreements, both you and the seller identities are approved and, you will both be at peace knowing that your agreements, terms, and conditions will not be tampered with.

  • Healthcare data

Digital signatures provide enough privacy for both the patient and the institution. It ensures that confidential reports and information are not tempered when both parties share.

  • Legal documents

Digital signatures are usually legally bound. Therefore, they are so handy when a legal document needs approval by one individual or more authorities.

  • Financial documents

Digital signatures are necessary, especially to the finance department, when signing invoices. Digital signatures build enough trust in the customers giving them assurance that the payments are legit and not from fraudsters.

  • Shipping documents

When you digitally sign the shipping documents, those shipping and receiving the goods get quick access to the files and update the signatures—ensuring that no modification has been done.

How to Electronically Sign PDFs Without Printing and Scanning Them


 You can sign your PDF document without printing it out and scanning it back. Use the electronic signatures to have your documents signed in no time. 

Electronic signatures are environmentally safe and efficient, less time-consuming, enhance a nice workflow, and improve business.

Adobe Acrobat Reader is an e-sign tool that ensures you sign your document with almost zero effort.

You may also be interested in knowing why you cant open PDFs in your email. It is an important step before you know how to sign them. 

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