How to Electronically Sign PDF forms with Adobe Reader


Use the Fill & Sign tool to easily fill, sign, and send your forms or documents electronically. This document explains how to fill, sign, and send your forms from your desktop using Acrobat. (Alternatively, you can use the Fill & Sign online service or the Fill & Sign mobile app.)


Adobe is testing a new Fill & Sign experience in Acrobat DC. After updating to the latest release, if the steps and the user interface mentioned in this document don’t match with your version of Acrobat, see Fill and sign PDF forms | New experience.

How to fill out your PDF form

  1.                   Open the PDF document or form in Acrobat or Reader.
  2.                   Click Fill & Sign in the right pane. The Fill & Sign options are displayed.

Fill & Sign home

  1.                   Click Fill and Sign. The specific tools and options are displayed in the toolbar. Use them to fill out your form.

Fill and Sign toolbar

A. Annotations to fill the form B. Sign form C. Choose color 

  1.                   Hover the mouse over a form field and if you see a blue box, continue with this step (otherwise skip to the next step):
    •                                               If you see a blue box over a form field on hover, that means the form is fillable or interactive - it contains fields that you can select or fill in. Click anywhere in the blue box, the cursor is placed at the right position automatically. Type your text to complete the field.
    •                                               Similarly, for a checkbox or a radio button, click in the field to select the option.

Hover the mouse over a field to display the detected form field

Hover the mouse to display the detected text field

Checkbox field auto-detected

Checkbox field auto-detected

  1.                   Hover the mouse over a form field and if you see no blue box, that means it's a flat form. You can manually fill or add text.
    •                                               Click Add Text  in the toolbar. Click at the place in the document where you want to add the text, and then start typing.

Fill or add text

  •                                               Use the field toolbar to make appropriate changes:
    •                                                                        To resize a field, use the font up or down button in the toolbar - the first two buttons from left.
    •                                                                        To move a field, move your pointer closer to field border until you see the drag handle, and then hold and move the field as required.
    •                                                                        To delete a field or typed text, click the trash button.
    •                                                                        To convert a normal text field into the comb field or vice versa, click the comb button - the second button from the right.
    •                                                                        To use annotations or symbols, click the Options menu  and select the annotation.
  •                                               Use Comb fields to fill or add text in continuous boxes in a line/row. The Comb field spreads the user-entered text evenly across the width of the text field, as shown below. While you are typing, if the characters do not fit in each box, adjust the spacing with the grab handle where the resize here points in the image above.

Comb field and normal text field

  •                                               Use Crossmark, Checkmark, and Dot to fill in check boxes and radio buttons. Use the Circle to circle text or the Line to strike out text. Click an annotation in the toolbar to select it, and then click on the form where you want to place the annotation. (Each click places the selected annotation at the respective location on the form.)

Annotation tools


Resize the first annotation you place to fit the check box or radio button in the document, and the next annotations you add will be of the same size and will fit the rest of the box/circle fields.

How to sign or initial your form

To sign a PDF form, you can type, draw, or insert an image of your handwritten signature or initials.

  1.                   Open the PDF document or form in Acrobat or Reader, and click Fill & Sign in the right pane.
  2.                   Click the Sign icon  in the Fill & Sign toolbar, and then choose whether you want to add your signature or just initials.

Add signature or initials

If you have already added signatures or initials, they are displayed as options to choose from.

  1.                   If you've already added your signature or initials, just select it from the Sign options, and then click at the place in the PDF where you want to add your signature. Skip to the next step.

If you are signing for the first time, you see the Signature or Initials panel. Below is an example of the Signature panel.

Type, draw, or import a signature image

You can choose to type, draw, or import a signature image. Added signatures and initials are saved for future use.

  •                                               Type: Type your name in the field. You can choose from a small selection of signature styles; click Change Style to view a different style.
  •                                               Draw: Draw your signature in the field.
  •                                               Image: Browse and select an image of your signature.
  •                                               Save Signature: When this check box is selected, and you're signed in to Acrobat Reader or Acrobat, the added signature is saved securely in Adobe Document Cloud for reuse.

Click Apply, and then click at the place in the PDF where you want to place the signature or initial.

  1.                   To move the placed signature or initial, click the field to highlight it and then use the arrow keys. To resize or delete the field, use the options in field toolbar.


If you want to use an image as your signature:

  •                               Sign your name in black ink on a clean, blank sheet of white paper. Sign in the middle of the paper so you don't photograph or scan the edges.
  •                               Photograph or scan your signature. If you are taking a picture of your signature, make sure that the page is lit and that no shadows fall across the signature.
  •                               Transfer the photo or scan to your computer. Acrobat/Reader accepts JPG, JPEG, PNG, GIF, TIFF, TIF, and BMP files. You do not need to crop the image. Acrobat/Reader imports just the signature if the photo or scan is fairly clean.

How to send your form to others

After you complete your form, you can share it with others.

  1.                   Open the PDF document or form in Acrobat or Reader, and click Fill & Sign in the right pane.
  2.                   In the Fill and Sign toolbar, click Next.

Click Next on the Fill & Sign toolbar

  1.                   Send your form using any of the following methods:

Send an anonymous or public link to your signed document

Send a copy of the signed document in a personalized email

Send the document to get signatures from others


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