How to Add a Signature to a PDF

Friday, September 25, 2020

Woman signing a pdf

PDFs are a more portable and convenient alternative to physical documents, and learning how to add a signature to a PDF electronically makes it easy to quickly sign and return important documents.

While printing, signing, and scanning documents can work in a pinch, it’s not the most efficient solution, and if you don’t have access to a printer, you might have trouble returning documents in a timely manner.

Fortunately, modern online fax services and PDF readers offer ideal alternatives to those in search of a convenient way to electronically sign PDFs.

Read on to learn how to use online services like eFax to sign and return PDF documents with ease.

Table of Contents

How to Sign a PDF Online with eFax

With eFax, you don’t need to print, sign, and scan your fax documents. You can create and save several electronic signatures in your eFax account, which you can use anytime to sign and return a PDF.

How to Create an Electronic Signature

Follow these steps to create an electronic signature with eFax that you can store and add to documents:

  1. Fax a document that contains your signature to your eFax number.
  2. Sign in to your eFax account.
  3. Click View Faxes.
  4. Check the box next to the fax that contains your signature in your Inbox.
  5. Click Sign in the toolbar, which will open a window with the fax.
  6. Select Crop and drag a box around your signature.
  7. Choose Save Crop.
  8. Enter a Crop Name for your signature.
  9. Click Save.

Your custom signature is now stored in your eFax account, and you can use it at any time to electronically sign PDFs before faxing them to the intended recipient.

How to Add Your Electronic Signature to a PDF

eFax Message Center allows you to add your stored electronic signature to your stored faxes, both sent and received.

To use your digitized signature with eFax Message Center, follow these steps:

  1. Follow the steps from above to create an electronic signature.
  2. Go to the eFax Message Center.
  3. Click the fax you'd like to sign, then click Sign.
  4. In the Digitized Signatures popup, drag and drop your electronic signature to the spot where you'd like the signature to appear.
  5. If necessary, resize or reposition the signature.
  6. Click Save.

After clicking save, eFax will automatically save the signed PDF in your Signed Docs folder.

Signing a pdf on phone

Electronically Sign PDFs with the eFax Mobile App

If you’re out of the office and need to sign an important document, the eFax mobile app lets you sign faxes with your finger, or you can take a quick photo of your signature and add it to a PDF.

Sign Faxes with your Finger

eFax lets you electronically sign PDFs by writing your signature with your finger on your screen, which makes it easy to conduct business on the go.

  1. Sign in to your eFax account.
  2. Select the fax you would like to sign.
  3. Tap the (+) sign.
  4. Tap Add Signature.
  5. Tap the (+) sign.
  6. Choose Use Finger.
  7. Sign your name on the screen with your finger, then tap the Save icon in the upper right corner.
  8. Name your signature.
  9. Click Save.
  10. Your new signature will now be saved to your account. Choose the signature you would like to use.
  11. Move and resize the signature as needed, then tap the Checkmark to save the fax.

Once finished, the signed fax will be saved to your account, and you can use the eFax mobile app to return the fax.

Use a Photo of Your Signature

You can also take a photo of your signature with your phone’s camera and add it to any PDFs that you need to sign.

Now, your documents are signed and ready to be returned.

  1. Sign in to your eFax account.
  2. Select the fax you would like to sign.
  3. Tap the (+) sign.
  4. Tap Add Signature.
  5. Tap the (+) sign.
  6. Choose Use Camera.
  7. Tap the Capture button to take a picture of your signature.
  8. Use the Adjust Contrast Slider to make adjustments to your signature.
  9. Tap the Save icon in the upper right corner.
  10. Name your signature.
  11. Select Save.
  12. Your new signature will now be saved to your account. Choose the signature you would like to use.
  13. Move and resize the signature as needed, then tap the Checkmark to save the fax.

How to Add a Signature to a PDF on Windows & Mac

Depending on the type of device you’re using, there are a few other effective methods for adding a signature to a PDF.

Windows: Adobe Reader

Adobe Reader is one of the most popular and feature-rich PDF viewers for Windows users and offers the ability to easily add your signature to a PDF.

To sign a PDF with Adobe Reader, follow these steps:

  1. Open the PDF in Adobe Reader.
  2. Click Fill & Sign from the Tools panel.
  3. Click Sign
  4. Click Add Signature.
  5. Choose Type, Draw, or Image. 
  6. Check the Save signature box to save your signature for later use.
  7. Resize and reposition your signature as necessary.
  8. Click the Apply to sign the document.
  9. To save the signed document, click File > Save.

It isn’t the most lightweight PDF reader, but Adobe Reader offers an effective solution for Windows users who need to sign electronic PDFs.

Mac: Preview

Fortunately for Apple users, macOS comes equipped with Preview — an app that, among other things, allows users to quickly add their signature to PDFs.

Follow these steps to get started:

  1. Open the PDF document in Preview.
  2. Click the toolbox icon located at the top of the Preview window. This will open the Markup toolbar.
  3. Click the Sign button from the Markup toolbar. This button features an icon that looks like a signature.
  4. Choose Trackpad to draw your signature, or choose Camera to take a picture with your webcam.
  5. Your signature will be stored in a dropdown menu that will now appear when you click the Sign button.
  6. Select your signature from the dropdown menu and add it to the document. You can reposition and resize the signature as needed.
  7. Click File > Save to save the signed PDF.

Preview is a great built-in option for Mac users who need to electronically sign a PDF.

Businessmen signging pdfs on tablets

eFax Features & Benefits

While there are other platforms that let you add a signature to PDF documents, they don’t offer the wide range of flexible and convenient features found with eFax.

In addition to its eSign capabilities, eFax offers customers the following features and benefits:

  • Mobile Fax App: The eFax mobile app allows you to receive, eSign, and send faxes from your smartphone or tablet.
  • Toll-free fax number: Toll-free fax numbers make it easy for customers and associates to contact you for free from anywhere, at any time.
  • Local fax numbers: eFax customers get local fax numbers to make it easier to communicate with your local clients.
  • Lifetime Storage: Securely store all of your most important files with eFax for as long as your account is active.
  • Large File Sharing: Share files that are too large to email, such as presentations, high-res images, and videos, with up to 20 people at once.
  • Third-Party Cloud Storage: eFax is compatible with cloud-based storage platforms like Dropbox, iCloud, and Google Drive.
  • Fax Search: Use keywords, recipient names, dates, or other parameters to quickly find any fax you’ve ever sent or received through eFax.

These features make eFax the ideal platform for those looking for a platform that goes beyond simply signing and editing documents.

Knowing how to add a signature to a PDF can save you a lot of time. When you’re out of the office and don’t have access to a printer and scanner, platforms with eSigning capabilities can be a lifesaver.

While services like Adobe Reader and Preview offer effective solutions for those who only need to occasionally sign documents electronically, eFax is a more powerful platform that includes a wide range of additional useful features.

To see for yourself why eFax is the best eSigning and online faxing solution available, sign up today!

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