Digital Signatures and Adobe Digital ID

These instructions will walk you through the process of setting up an encrypted Adobe Digital ID and collecting a signature in order to digitally sign documents. While it is recommended that you have Adobe Acrobat Pro, you can do this with any version of Adobe Acrobat.

Creating an Adobe Digital ID
Creating a Signature Appearance

Creating an Adobe Digital ID

  1. Open Adobe Acrobat and go to Edit > Preferences.
  2. Scroll Down on the left and click the Signatures tab.
  3. In the window, click the "More..." button under the heading "Identities & Trusted Certificates."Uploaded Image (Thumbnail)
  4. In the window that opens, click the plus button on the toolbar at the top to create a new Digital ID.Uploaded Image (Thumbnail)
  5. In the next window, click the button to make "A new digital ID"Uploaded Image (Thumbnail)
  6. Select the option for "New PKCS#12 digital ID file." This will create a local password-protected file on the computer to store your Digital ID. Do not use the "Windows Certificate Store" option. That will store the Digital ID online on a Microsoft server.Uploaded Image (Thumbnail)
  7. Fill out the form on the next page. The two required fields are the "Name" and Email Address" fields. Do not change any of the settings in the drop down options.Uploaded Image (Thumbnail)
  8. On the next page, set the password for your Digital ID. Make sure your password is secure and memorable as you will need to enter it whenever you apply a digital signature.
  9. Click Finish. Your Digital ID is created and you can now close all settings windows.

Creating a Signature Appearance

Now that your Adobe Digital ID is set up, you can create a signature to use with the ID, or apply a signature to a document once one is created. Us the following steps to create and apply a signature.

  1. Open a .pdf file. 
  2. Click on the Tools tab at the top of the program and select Certificates.Uploaded Image (Thumbnail)
  3. Click Digitally Sign on the toolbar at the top of the screen.Uploaded Image (Thumbnail)
  4. If there is not already a designated signature field in the document, it will ask you to select an area to apply the signature. Click and drag a box around the area you would like to apply the digital signature.
  5. In the window that appears, select your Digital ID and click Continue. Uploaded Image (Thumbnail)
  6. Select the signature you would like to use from the Appearance drop down menu. If you have not created one yet or need to create a new one, click the Create button.Uploaded Image (Thumbnail)
  7. When creating a digital signature, there are several text options that can be included such as date, location, printed name, etc. You can enable or disable these options with the check boxes on the signature creation window. For most cases, we recommend disabling all of these options in order to display the signature alone.Uploaded Image (Thumbnail)
  8. Next, click the Draw button at the top to sign the computer. Anyone on a T14 or similarly recent model laptop computer has a touch screen that can be used for this step. You can use your finger to sign or a rubber-tipped stylus pen. Uploaded Image (Thumbnail)
  9. When you are satisfied with the signature, click Apply.
  10. Make sure to name the signature in the Preset Name field and then click Save.
  11. You can now apply the saved signature appearance. Select it from the Appearance drop down. Enter your password int he Password field at the bottom of the window and click Sign.Uploaded Image (Thumbnail)
  12. You will be required to save a copy of the file in order to apply the signature. It is recommended that you change the name and create a new document in order to leave the original intact.
  13. After saving, your digital signature will be applied in the specified location. Uploaded Image (Thumbnail)
  14. If there is a problem with the signature or you selected the wrong one, you can right-click on the signature field and select Clear Signature to begin again.Uploaded Image (Thumbnail)

If you ever lose your digital ID or password or move to a new computer, you will need to create a new one and create any signatures you need again.


Article ID: 2527
Fri 3/3/23 1:18 PM
Wed 3/8/23 7:56 AM