A woman sitting at a table in front of a laptop while signing a document on a phone with her finger.

Adobe Acrobat Sign

How to make an online signature.

Add a personal touch to digital contracts and PDF documents with a binding electronic signature that matches your own.

Online signatures are a must.

In a world of digital paperwork, electronic signatures are vital. There’s simply no reason to lose days — or even weeks — waiting for paperwork to travel back and forth until everyone has signed on the dotted line. E-signatures are secure, fast, and easy. And with Adobe Acrobat Sign, you can go beyond standard digital signatures to add your personal handwritten signature to electronic documents.

Make your online signature match the real thing.

When it comes to the personal connections that foster business partnerships, you can hardly overstate the importance of a handshake or an in-person meeting. That used to be possible when you met to sign a contract. But those in-person meetings are largely a thing of the past, thanks to the advanced technology that makes virtual meetings possible and signatures easy to capture on any mobile device. 


It’s hard to ignore the speed and cost savings of creating signatures online, especially when it’s 21 times faster to get documents signed with e-signatures than it is in person. But, while e-signatures are efficient, they’re anything but personal. (You wouldn’t type “/s/ John Doe” at the bottom of a valentine, after all.) Automated signature generators can put your name in a cursive font, but that still falls short of the real thing. All of these electronic signatures are binding, but some people would just like to see their own John Hancock on the page.


With e-signatures powered by Adobe Acrobat Sign, you can use any device with a touchscreen or touchpad as a signature maker to put your own personal mark on any document.

Does a signature have to be cursive?

Handwritten signatures don’t have to be cursive — you can print if you prefer — but they do need to be legal and secure. All of the e-sign options available in Acrobat Sign are not only binding but fully secure. They also provide timestamp information and can be tracked to help ensure that all needed signatures are collected quickly and safely.


Explore how e-signatures power efficient work

A handwritten signature on a phone against a red background.

How do I create a digital handwritten signature?

You can use Acrobat Sign to create your personal signature in several different ways. 

Draw your signature.

The easiest way to create a handwritten signature is to draw it directly on the touchpad of your mobile device.

1. Open your document in the Adobe Acrobat app on your mobile device.

2. Select the Pencil icon in the lower right corner of your screen, then choose Fill & Sign.

3. From the available options, tap the Draw icon (which looks like a fountain pen) to draw your signature.

4. Select Create Signature.

5. From the options, select Draw and use your finger or a stylus to write your signature.

6. Click Done to save your signature image for future use.

A handwritten signature on a laptop against a red background.

Connect your phone.

If you’re on a laptop or a device without a touchscreen, you can connect your phone and use that to make your handwritten signature. 

1. Open your PDF file in Adobe Acrobat.

2. In the File menu, find and select Sign, and then choose Fill & Sign.

3. From the available options, select Sign Yourself and then Add Signature.

4. From the options, select Draw and write your signature with your finger, a stylus, or even a mouse.

5. Click Apply. Save the signature to your account if you want it available for future use on devices without a touchscreen or touchpad.

Use a camera to scan your signature.

You can also use the camera on your mobile device to get the equivalent of a scanned signature.

1. Write your signature on a piece of paper.

2. Take a photo of the signature and upload it.

3. Open your document, click the Sign icon, and select Sign Yourself. 

4. Choose Image from the options and select the image file of the photo to add your signature to the digital document.

Adobe Fill & Sign supports JPG, PNG, GIF, and TIF image files for signatures. If you use the Fill & Sign app, however, you can simply take your signature photo directly in the app. Just click the Sign icon, select Create Signature, choose Camera from the options, and snap a picture of your signature.

A handwritten signature on a laptop next to a tablet and a smartphone, all against a red background.

See how e-signatures can make things easier for everyone.


Varian is dedicated to a world free from the fear of cancer. In medicine, time is a precious commodity, and Varian turned to Adobe Acrobat Sign to help them streamline workflows. With Acrobat, Varian’s 10,000 employees were able to work remotely, and the company onboarded 250 more employees in only two months. For the patients dealing with a tough diagnosis, Acrobat Sign helped Varian roll out 10,000 user accounts so their families could spend less time on paperwork.


Cats Protection

Committed to finding good homes for cats, Cats Protection needed to find ways to make adoption faster and easier. With Adobe Acrobat Sign, Cats Protection rolled out new digital processes to 37 adoption centers in 5 months, and accelerated adoption paperwork processing from 2 weeks to 2.5 hours. That efficiency allowed Cats Protection to place 5,000 cats in homes in the first 10 months of 2020, and it helped keep return rates low as the new processes led to better matches between cats and families.


Regardless of your business goals, the world's most trusted PDF and e-signature tools can help you work more efficiently — and make life simpler for your clients or customers too.


Discover more benefits of online signatures

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