What’s an e-signature?

An e-signature or electronic signature is an efficient, legally binding way to get approval on electronic documents. Secure and verifiable, it can replace a handwritten signature in virtually any process. Get started with e-signatures from Adobe.


Adobe named a leader in e-signatures by IDC MarketScape.

What are the benefits of e-signatures?

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Legally binding and secure.

E-signatures are legal, trusted, and enforceable in almost every industrialized country in the world.

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Incredibly efficient.

Speed up every process by allowing recipients to e-sign documents. You can save 1.5 hours per use per transaction with Acrobat Sign.*

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Extremely cost-effective.

Using e-signatures helps you save money. With Acrobat Sign, you can save $6 per transaction by reducing the amount of paper used.*

What are electronic signatures used for?

See how e-signatures bring efficiency to any department — and any industry.

Keep your teams focused on selling by freeing them from manual, repetitive, administrative tasks.


Increase employee productivity and delight job candidates by enabling them to easily access e-sign documents from anywhere.

Capture and share sensitive information securely with seamless, paperless experiences today’s customers expect.

Transform your document and e-signing workflows for greater efficiency while protecting patient privacy.

Acrobat Sign works with the tools your teams already use.

Certificate-based digital signatures are the most advanced, compliant, and secure type of e-signature. When you need the highest level of assurance of each signer’s identity and document authenticity but still want to sign electronically, opt for a trusted digital signature backed by digital identity certification, such as our cloud signatures.

Get started with intuitive e-signatures from Adobe.

Choose from a range of e-signature plans designed to fit your unique needs.


What can you do with Acrobat Sign?

Send easily, just like an email.

Send for an electronic signature in 3 easy steps. Upload your document, type in the signer’s email address, and hit send. That’s it.

Send easily, just like email.

Sign in a snap.

Signers can simply click a link and e-sign right there from a browser, on their computer or on any mobile device — no downloads or sign-ups needed.

Guidance for Industry.

Track and manage progress.

Know the status of every signature, send reminders, cancel requests, and view a detailed audit trail for any transaction.

Approved Trust List.

Work with Microsoft and other tools you already use.

As Microsoft’s preferred e-signature solution, Acrobat Sign integrates seamlessly with Microsoft applications. You can create, edit, and sign documents without leaving Microsoft 365. You can access integrations with many other business tools, including Salesforce and Workday.

Adobe Sign and Microsoft

Acrobat Sign electronic signature FAQ

An electronic signature, or e-signature, is a legal way to get consent or approval on electronic documents or forms. One of the most relied upon definitions of an electronic signature is “an electronic sound, symbol, or process attached to or logically associated with a record…adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record.” Electronic signatures can be used to replace handwritten signatures in virtually every personal or business process. Examples include contracts, application forms, new hire onboarding forms, nondisclosure agreements, vendor onboarding documents and RFPs, change authorizations, and government benefits enrollment forms.

Yes. Electronic signatures are legally valid and enforceable in nearly every industrialized country around the world, and even less-developed countries are beginning to enact e-signature laws. In 2000, the United States passed the ESIGN Act, making e-signatures legal for virtually all uses. In the European Union, the Electronic Identification and Trust Services Regulation (eIDAS) took effect in July 2016. Other countries have enacted similar laws as well. To learn more, visit our e-signature legality page.

Yes. Adobe takes the security of your digital signing experiences very seriously. Acrobat Sign is certified compliant with the world’s most rigorous security standards, such as ISO 27001, SOC 2 Type 2, and PCI DSS used in the payment card industry. Acrobat Sign also employs Adobe Secure Product Lifecycle (SPLC) practices, a demanding set of over 1,000 specific security activities spanning software development practices, processes, and tools, and integrated into multiple stages of the product lifecycle. To learn more, visit the Adobe trust center

With Acrobat Sign, recipients can electronically sign documents by typing or drawing their name on their computer or mobile device or uploading an image of their signature. They can also use more advanced cloud signatures that rely on certificate-based digital IDs to provide stronger signer authentication. 

Simply upload the document you want to get signed. Enter your recipients’ email addresses, and then drag and drop signature and form fields onto the page. Click Send and Acrobat Sign will email signers a link to your document.

With a simple signature in Acrobat Sign, it’s always free and easy. No downloads or sign-ups are ever needed. Just click the email link to open the document on a mobile phone, tablet, or computer. Tabs and simple instructions walk you through the process. When it’s time to sign, just enter your name in the signature box, upload an image of your signature, or sign using a mouse, finger, or stylus. Click Apply > Finish and you’re done. See more about how to sign using an electronic signature.

No. Online signatures, electronic signatures, or e-signatures refer broadly to any electronic process that indicates acceptance of an agreement or a record. The term “digital signature” is frequently used to refer to a certificate-based digital signature, which is a specific type of e-signature. Digital signatures use certificate-based digital IDs from trust service providers (TSPs) to verify signer identity and demonstrate proof of signing by binding each signature to the document with cryptography.


Acrobat Sign cloud signatures are certificate-based digital signatures in the cloud – perfect for remote, compliant signing.

Acrobat Sign lets you upload a wide range of document types when you request signatures from others or build reusable templates. They include the following: 


• PDF and Adobe PDF (.pdf) 

• Microsoft Word (.doc and .docx) 

• Microsoft Excel (.xls and .xlsx) 

• Microsoft PowerPoint (.ppt and .pptx) 

• WordPerfect (.wp) 

• Text (.txt) 

• Rich Text (.rtf) 

• Graphics (.tif, .jpg, .jpeg, .gif, .bmp, and .png) 

• Web (.htm or .html) 


Learn more about how to sign a Microsoft Word document with an electronic signature

An electronic signature—also known as an “e-signature”—is a simple and legally recognized way to indicate consent or approval on a digital document or form. Professional e-signature solutions, such as Acrobat Sign, make it easy to set up agreements that work across multiple countries with just a few simple steps. You can use it to support business processes that require e-signatures, digital signatures, or a combination of the two. Workflow templates can include predefined disclosures or clauses for particular types of agreements, and you can automate approval workflows to route, track, and log every step of the process and then store signed documents in a searchable repository.

Acrobat Sign makes it easy to send a document for electronic signatures. You can request esignatures from just one person or multiple people, learn more.

*Total Economic Impact of Acrobat Sign, Forrester Consulting