Step-by-step guide: How to sign PDF documents electronically

When issuing an EV certificate, the extended vetting process requires that a number of documents are signed and returned to TRUSTZONE. To make this part of the vetting process as quick and easy as possible for our customers, we have created this step-by-step guide that shows you how to sign PDF documents electronically.

Please note that this guide is based on using Adobe Reader (Adobe Acrobat Reader DC) with Windows or Mac OS. In case you use another operating system or tool, please contact us. We will be happy to help.

Please also note that this way of signing documents electronically differs from so-called digital signatures: Digital signatures are encrypted, and they verify that you, your department or your entire organization has authorized and finalized the document in question. If you’re looking for this extra layer of security, please click here to read more about our TRUSTZONE Document Signing certificate.


Open the PDF document that you wish to sign in Adobe Reader and click the “Fill & Sign” button in the right pane:

Click the “Sign” button on the toolbar that is now visible above your document:

Select the “Add Signature” option from the drop-down menu:

Now you can choose how you prefer to create your electronic signature. The default option is “Type.” If you just start typing your name on your keyboard, then Adobe Reader converts the letters to a signature:

If you click “Change style,” you can select a different handwriting style from the drop-down menu:

As you can see, the “Type” option in Adobe Reader results in a rather generic signature that probably looks nothing like your actual, personal signature.

Luckily, Adobe Reader offers other options as well: If you select “Draw” from the vertical area just below the “Fill & Sign” toolbar, you can add your signature by drawing it on your touchscreen or using your mouse. The “Save signature” box below your signature is checked by default. If you want to save your signature for future use, just leave this box checked:

If you prefer the added control you get with a pen and a piece of paper, just select “Image” instead. You can then write your signature on a piece of paper, scan it and add it to Adobe Reader. Once the signature is added, you can use it every time you want to sign a document electronically.

When you’re done creating or adding your signature, just click “Apply” to add it to your document. Now you can use your mouse to move the signature around. You can also make it larger or smaller – just click on the corner of the rectangle around it and adjust its size:

When your signature is exactly how you want it to be, just click elsewhere on the page. Your signed document is now ready:

If you left the “Save signature” box below your signature checked, you can add your signature directly from the “Sign” menu next time you need to sign a document: