Signing a Fillable PDF Document

This document will provide instructions on how to create a signature and sign a fillable PDF that has a digital signature field.

How to Sign a Fillable PDF document
You’ve just received a PDF document that has a digital signature field, but it’s an electronic document. How do you sign an electronic document? Follow the steps below- 
1. First, read through your document carefully and fully. Edit and answer questions as needed.
2. When you come to where your signature is needed, click on the line you want to sign on. This opens the “Sign Document” window.
3. In the “Sign As”, select the digital identity you want to use to sign this document. Adobe can store multiple digital identities for you. Pick the appropriate one from the list or create a new one (see “creating a new digital ID” below for instructions)
4. If you select a digital identity that you created and locked with a password, a password box will appear just below the Sign As box. 
5. In the Appearance drop down, select how you want your signature to appear on the document. You can personalize the look of your signature by following the instructions in the “Personalizing the appearance of your signature” section below.
6. Below the Appearance section, there may be additional questions to answer, such as the reason for signing.
7. Click the sign button to finish.
8. You should be asked to save the document at this point. Save a copy of the signed document for your own records.
9. Your document has now been successfully signed and time stamped. You are done!

Which digital ID should I use?
If you are logged into a UW Colleges or UW-Extension Windows computer, it will create a default digital ID based on your email address. This ID has some very basic information about your identity. For most internal documents, the default certificate is sufficient.
If the business process calls for a more robust signature, you can follow the prompts to create a new digital identity. You will be asked more questions about who you are and the department you work for. If you have a Digital ID through the UW’s Digital ID program (, you can use that to sign PDF documents. You will be issued a certificate file. Save the certificate onto your computer, and use it to create a new signature in Adobe Reader. 

Creating a new digital ID
There are several steps here and it may take few minutes. You will only have to create the new digital ID once and then you can use it as often as needed.
1. When you click on the box to sign, a new window will appear. 
2. In the drop down menu next to “sign as:” you will select “New ID…”
3. Another new window will appear. Choose the appropriate type of ID.
• If you have a UW issued Digital ID (, select “from a file”
• Otherwise, select “a new digital ID that I want to create now.”
4. Next you will need to select where you want your new signature to be stored. You can either store it as a file on your computer, or in the Windows Certificate store. Both are password protected, and cannot be accessed by other people. 
• Use the file option if you need to copy this signature to a second computer.
• Make sure to record the password in a safe place that you can find again.
5. Next you will fill in the form that appears. Click finish once you are done.
6. Your new digital identity will appear in the drop down menu in the original window. From here, you can edit your signature’s appearance and sign the document.

Personalizing the appearance of your signature
You can personalize the look of your signature. This design is separate from your digital ID. The dialog box will show you how your signature will look. You can import a picture of your handwritten signature, or just have Adobe display your typewritten name. This is just how it looks on the page. It does not affect the validity of your digital signature. 
1. On the signature dialog box, select “Create new appearance.” A new pop-up window will show you the options.
2. Give your design a name.
3. You can choose to show an image in the left-hand side of the signature box, or just your typed name. 
• If you want to show an image of your signature, you will need a picture of your signature saved in PDF format.
• Use the “imported graphic” option to select the image file.
• Use the Preview window to see how the selected image will appear.
4. In the Configure Text area, you specify which what is included with your tag.
• You should always leave Name and Date checked.
• Use the Preview window to see how the selected options will appear.
5. If you are happy with the preview at the top of the screen, push the “ok” button.
6. You will be redirected back to the signature window. 

Keywords:electronic, signature, signing, document, sign   Doc ID:51279
Owner:Tia D.Group:UW-Extension and Colleges
Created:2015-05-11 11:59 CDTUpdated:2015-05-12 11:28 CDT
Sites:UW-Extension and Colleges
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