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How to add a digital signature to your documents

No need to print a document, sign it and scan again. Use these tools and websites to add your digital signatures in a few simple steps.

June 19, 2021 / 10:32 AM IST
DocuSign allows you to import a document, add your signature and then email it directly to the person you want to share it with.

DocuSign allows you to import a document, add your signature and then email it directly to the person you want to share it with.

Have you ever been in a situation where you have to print out a document just to add your signature to it? If you don't want to go through the time-wasting process of printing, signing and then scanning a document again, here are quick and easy tools to add a digital signature to your PDF documents with your computer or your smartphone.

On a computer

Windows: Windows users have various third-party software available using which they can sign documents. The two that we recommend are Adobe Acrobat Reader and DocuSign.

Adobe Acrobat Reader lets you view document files, and also gives the option to add a digital signature to the document via typing or drawing. You can save up to two signatures in the free version so that you don't have to go through the setup process again.

With DocuSign, you get the option to import a document, add your signature and then email it directly to the person you want to share it with. Once you have sent it as an email, you can also view or save the signed document to your computer.

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Mac: Adobe Acrobat Reader DC is also available for the Mac, but you don't need to worry about third-party applications on the Mac. Apple has built-in the signature feature in its preview app. Open document in Preview and then click on the sign button on the toolbar to start the setup process. To add and set up your signatures in Preview, there are two options – one is to use your trackpad to draw your signature or use the camera to scan your signature from a white paper. Once you have set up your signature, just tap on the sign button for any document, and it will give you the option to insert your signature.

On a smartphone

iPhone: Apple added the signature functionality on its iOS devices with the Markup tool. The Markup tool is available to use with various apps, including mail, photos and messages. To add your signature to any document on the iPhone, tap on the attachment/document and then tap on the markup tool. The markup tool shows you various tools to draw, but you need to tap on the plus symbol in the right corner. Tapping on the plus symbol shows the option for Sign – using the Sign option, you can draw your signature on the phone and then add it to any document. If you use iCloud Keychain, then the signatures are automatically synced across all of your devices.

Android: Android does not come with a built-in feature for adding your signatures to documents, but thankfully, some great apps are available on the Play Store. Our favourite is the Xodo PDF reader and editor – the free app gives you the option to create a signature using your device's touchscreen. Once you have a signature set up, you can then insert it into any document directly. The app also allows you to fill out a PDF form on the phone and then add a signature. Apart from Xodo, you can also check out DocuSign, Adobe Acrobat Reader or the PDF Reader app to add signatures to any document directly on your Android smartphone.

On the Web

If you have a work computer or device that does not allow you to install third-party apps for signing documents, you can use your internet browser. Various websites allow you to upload documents, add your signature and then download the signed document back. The most prominent names in offering this service are Docusign (www.docusign.com) and HelloSign (www.hellosign.com). The trouble is that both services provide limited service in the free account.

If you are looking for a completely free option, then we recommend https://www.ilovepdf.com. The website lets you upload a document, create a signature and insert it in a few simple steps. You can then download the signed document directly on to your device, and the best part is that you do not need to create an account to use the feature.
Karan Bajaj is a senior tech journalist based in Delhi
first published: Jun 19, 2021 10:31 am

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