Digitally Signing PDFs using Acrobat DC

Electronic or digital signing must adhere to University policies, including EP 2.218.

Using a Digital ID to sign a PDF

What is a Digital ID?

A digital ID is like an electronic driver’s license or passport that proves your identity. A digital ID usually contains your name and email address, the name of the organization that issued it, a serial number, and an expiration date. Digital IDs are used for certificate security and digital signatures.

Digital IDs contain two keys: the public key locks, or encrypts data; the private key unlocks, or decrypts that data. When you sign PDFs, you use the private key to apply your digital signature. The public key is in a certificate that you distribute to others. For example, you can send the certificate to those who want to validate your signature or identity. Store your digital ID in a safe place, because it contains your private key that others can use to decrypt your information.

To sign a document with a certificate-based signature, you must obtain a digital ID or create a self-signed digital ID in Acrobat or Adobe Reader.

Create a self-signed digital ID

Self-signed digital IDs can be adequate for personal use or small-to-medium businesses. Their use should be limited to parties that have established mutual trust.

Using the created digital IDs to sign a PDF

Trusting Self-Signed digital certificates 

Using Fill & Sign on non-fillable PDFs

An interactive or fillable form contains fields that you can select or fill in. For such forms, the Fill & Sign tool displays only the Sign option.

A flat form does not have interactive fields. It could be a paper form or PDF that hasn’t been optimized for form filling. The Fill & Sign tool automatically detects the form fields like text fields, comb fields, checkboxes, and radio button. You can also manually add text and other symbols anywhere on the form using the Fill & Sign tool if required.

Contact the ITS Help if you need assistance:

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Article ID: 1810
Created: Tue, 31 Mar 2020 10:10am
Modified: Wed, 13 Dec 2023 3:54pm