Electronic signatures, also known as ‘e-signatures’, make the process of signing contracts and agreements faster and easier.
They remove the need for printing documents, scanning or faxing, filing physical copies, etc. And since 1999, when the Electronic Transactions Act was signed into law, have been legally valid in Australia. Here at Legal123 we have trialled almost all the major e-signature services, including:
- SignNow/Cudasign, etc.
We recommend the Adobe eSign service
Our preferred e-signature service is the one that is already built into Adobe Reader – Adobe eSign (formerly called EchoSign). Adobe eSign has a number of advantages:
- Easy because it’s already built into Adobe Reader
- Low cost at only $23.88 pa (price current as at October 2015)
- 30 day free trial to test the service
- Also works on tablets and mobile phones
- Secure cloud storage of signed documents
- Supports both e-signatures and digital signatures (a higher security standard using certificate-based digital IDs)
To get started create an Adobe ID here or open Adobe Reader DC > then click the ‘Sign In’ link in the top right hand corner > then click ‘Get an Adobe ID’. Lastly subscribe to the ‘Adobe Send for Signature’ service. This is a very reasonably priced service – and a lot cheaper than the full Adobe Acrobat suite (at $12.99 pm).
Here’s how to eSign your PDF document
The video above demonstrates how to add an e-signature to your PDF document. The steps followed are detailed below:
- Open the PDF document in Adobe Reader DC (latest version of Adobe Reader)
- Click the ‘Sign In’ link in the top right hand corner and log into your Adobe account with your email address and password
- Click the ‘Tools’ link in the top navigation
- Scroll down and click the ‘Send for Signature’ icon
- Click the ‘Start’ button to upload the PDF to the eSign service
- Insert the email address of person that will sign the document and, if necessary, edit the document name and message then click the ‘Next’ button
- Scroll to the bottom of the PDF document, click the ‘Signature Fields’ drop down and drag the ‘Signature’ box to the signature section of the PDF
- Tick the ‘Save to document library’ if you want the PDF backed up on the Adobe Document Cloud service then click ‘Send’ and then ‘Save and Send’
- The document will be sent by email to the other party, who then signs it by clicking on the link in the email and inserting their name in the e-signature field
- The signed document is then emailed, as a PDF attachment, to both you and the other party
- Lastly, the signed PDF is backed up online and available via your Adobe Document Cloud account page
We hope you found these instructions on how to sign a PDF document with an e-signature helpful.