This example is Adobe Acrobat Pro DC. If you find these instructions do not work for your version of Adobe, please contact your IT support person.


  1. Open Adobe Acrobat and navigate to the Preferences menu, as show below:


  2. Under the “Categories” menu, choose “Signatures.” Then, next to “Identities & Trusted Certificates,” click “More.”


  3. Click “Add ID,” then select “A new digital ID I want to create now,” and lastly click on “Next.”


  4. Ensure that “New PKCS#12 digital ID file” is selected, as shown below. Then click “Next.”


  5. Fill out the appropriate portions of the window below. Do not change Country/Region, Key Algorithm, or Use digital ID for. Click “Next.”


  6. Choose a password for your digital signature. Note: If you forget this password, you will have to create a new digital signature as there is no password recovery mechanism. Click “Finish.”


  7. View your new digital signature. You can now use your digital signature to sign Adobe Acrobat forms. The next section of this “How To” document covers signing documents in Adobe Reader. 


Sign an Adobe Document with your Digital Signature

  1. Open the PDF document or form that you want to sign.

  2. Click the Sign icon  in the toolbar. Alternatively, you can choose Tools > Fill & Sign or choose Fill & Sign from the right pane.
    Global sign tool

  3. The Fill & Sign tool is displayed. Click Fill and Sign.
    Fill & Sign home

  4. The form fields are detected automatically. Hover the mouse over a field to display a blue box. Click anywhere in the blue box, the cursor will be placed at the right position automatically. Type your text to fill the field.

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

    You can choose your desired color to fill the PDF form. Click the color button in the Fill & Sign menu and choose your desired color.
    Choose color to fill the form


    By default, the signature color is black. To retain the default color of the signature, make sure the Retain Original Color For Signature option is unchecked.

  5. Click the Sign icon  in the 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.

  6. 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 into 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.

  7. 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.

Sign an Agreement

If someone has used Adobe Sign to send you an agreement for signing, you receive an email notification with a link to sign the agreement. Also, if you use Acrobat DC or Acrobat Reader DC desktop application, you see a notification that an agreement has been shared with you for signing.

Do one of the following to sign an agreement sent to you using Adobe Sign: 

Sign using Acrobat/Reader desktop application

Sign using the email link

Send your signed PDFs

After you have signed the form, you can share it with others. To share the form, follow the steps mentioned in the article Send your form.