A person holding a mobile phone in their hand while providing an s-signature on a digital document

Adobe Acrobat Sign

S-signatures help you sign electronic documents just by typing.

Keep contracts moving with these typed signatures. Or bypass s-signatures with Adobe Acrobat Sign, which makes it easy to add a handwritten signature to any doc.

What is an s-signature?

An s-signature is a legal way to sign an electronic document using a typed signer’s name instead of an actual signature. The signer types their name on the signature line of a document between two forward slashes (for example, /Jimmy Doe/). In the case of conformed signatures, which are another type of s-signature, the signer puts an “s” between two forward slash marks in front of their typed name (for example, /s/ Jimmy Doe). In fact, the s-signature name took its name from the conformed signature style.

 

Discover more about electronic signatures

Why use s-signatures?

Flexibility

Electronic signatures are necessary to keep business moving, especially when you can’t meet face to face. You never want technical issues to get in the way of collecting signatures. S-signatures make it especially simple to collect them, regardless of a person’s device or tech savviness.

Convenience

Depending on where and how you are doing business, the option of an s-signature may help you conduct business more quickly by speeding up the signing process. For example, when you’re e-filing a patent application, you can quickly use a form-fill app to add a digital signature from any keyboard. This is just one of many possible examples of when an s-signature might work better than a wet signature.

A woman reclining on a couch while providing an s-signature on an electronic document on their laptop

Ensure your s-signature is valid.

While s-signatures are relatively easy to add to an electronic document, the signatory (the person signing) must follow certain signature requirements:.

 

  • Sign only using letters, Arabic numerals, or a combination of both in your s-signature. 
  • Use the appropriate spacing between words. 
  • Include any other necessary punctuation (commas, periods, hyphens).

 

Remember, the signature must be between forward slashes to make it valid. You must add an s-signature for yourself. Another party cannot add it.

Regulations

The rules around e-signature validity vary from country to country and region to region.

 

For example, there are many laws that cover the validity of e-signatures in the United States. The Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) in 1999 and the US Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce (ESIGN) Act in 2000 both set regulatory guidelines on electronic signatures, but every state has not adopted these.

 

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and many other government agencies accept s-signatures for electronic filing. The Manual of Patent Examining Procedures (MPEP) 501 and 502 also covers regulations on s-signatures for patents. 

A graphic of adding an s-signature to a PDF document on a laptop computer

Add s-signatures with Adobe Fill & Sign.

If you need to add an s-signature to an electronic document while working on your desktop, it’s a fast and easy workflow.


01. Open your form in Adobe Acrobat Sign.


02. In the sidebar menu, select Edit PDF. Or, in the top menu, select the Edit Text & Images icon, which looks like a pen on a piece of paper.


03. Whether the form is digital or scanned, Adobe Acrobat Optical Character Recognition will identify forms on the field and make all text editable.


04. Click the form where you need to add an s-signature and type it in.


05. Select Add Text and choose any space on the form to enter your s-signature for any unrecognized signature fields.

A graphic of adding an s-signature to a PDF document on a mobile phone

If you want to add an s-signature to a document on a mobile device, you can use the Adobe Fill & Sign app.


01. Open your form in the Adobe Fill & Sign app.


02. Click the space where you need to add the s-signature.


03. Type in your s-signature and share the signed document with anyone or any filing system right from your mobile device.

Create your own handwritten e-signature.

In instances where a handwritten-looking digital signature is an option, you have a few simple choices to capture your original signature. From scanning a physical signature to using a touchscreen to write your own signature on any electronic document, Adobe Acrobat Sign makes it as quick and hassle-free to sign your name as it would be to type it between two forward slash marks.

 

Get more e-signature answers in this FAQ

Questions about electronic signatures? We’ve got answers.

A conformed signature is a type of electronic s-signature where the signer puts an “s” between two forward slash marks in front of their typed name (for example, /s/ Jimmy Doe). The conformed s-signature style also eliminates the need for an individual to print, sign, or scan a document to submit it electronically.

There are many forms of e-signatures, each having its own specific uses and formatting requirements.  One of the symbols to indicate an electronic signature is /s/, placed before the signer’s name. For example, /s/ Jimmy Doe. The other symbol is the signer’s name between two forward slashes, typed out, for example, as /Jimmy Doe/.

You might think that an electronic signature refers to the box where you sign your name with your stylus or finger. Electronic signatures can, indeed, look like that — or you can eliminate the actual signing step entirely by typing out your full name within the space. Depending on the symbols used, both are valid versions of electronic signatures.

 

Get even more e-signature answers in this FAQ

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