Adobe Reader: How to Sign Your Document with an E-Signature

Electronic signatures, also known as ‘e-signatures’, make the process of signing contracts and agreements faster and easier.

They remove the need to print documents, scan or fax, file 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:

  • DocuSign
  • Adobe Sign/EchoSign
  • HelloSign
  • SecuredSigning
  • SignNow/Cudasign, etc.

We recommend the Adobe Acrobat Sign service

Our preferred e-signature service is the one that is already built into Adobe Reader – Acrobat Sign (formerly called EchoSign). Acrobat Sign has a number of advantages:

  • Easy because it’s already built into Adobe Reader
  • Reasonable cost at $18.69 pm (price current as of January 2024)
  • 30-day free trial to test the service
  • Also works on tablets and mobile phones
  • Secure cloud storage of signed documents
  • Supports 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 ‘Acrobat Sign’ service.

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:

  1. Open the PDF document in Adobe Reader DC (latest version of Adobe Reader)
  2. Click the ‘Sign In’ link in the top right-hand corner and log into your Adobe account with your email address and password
  3. Click the ‘Tools’ link in the top navigation
  4. Scroll down and click the ‘Send for Signature’ icon
  5. Click the ‘Start’ button to upload the PDF to the eSign service
  6. Insert the email address of the person who will sign the document and, if necessary, edit the document name and message, then click the ‘Next’ button
  7. 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
  8. 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’
  9. 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
  10. The signed document is then emailed as a PDF attachment to both you and the other party
  11. 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 Adobe Reader e-signature helpful.