How to Add a Signature Field to a PDF in Adobe Acrobat DC

UFV has provided all employees with an Adobe Creative Cloud account that includes the Acrobat DC App. If you haven’t done so already, please follow the instructions set out in the Adobe Installation Guide. Once those steps have been completed, you are ready to begin creating PDFs using Acrobat DC.

Acrobat DC allows a document to be signed in two different ways, either using a Simple Signature or a Digital Signature. Please refer to your department procedures about which signature option is best. This How-to Guide demonstrates how to add a Digital Signature field to a PDF document.

For information on creating a fillable PDF or creating and signing a PDF, please see the corresponding guides linked below:


Add a Signature Field to a PDF

  1. Open the PDF document.
  2. Navigate to the right-hand side Tool menu and select Prepare Form as shown below: Prepare form option
    1. If is not available in the side menu, select Tools from the menu bar at the top of the page, and select Prepare Form from the list of available tools.
  3. The Prepare Form menu bar will be displayed. Prepare Form menu bar
  4. To add a signature field, select the signature tool as shown below from the Prepare Form menu. Signature tool
  5. Acrobat provides the ability to drag and drop the signature box to the desired location and size. Navigate to the desired location and add the signature field.
  6. Once the signature field has been appropriately sized, add a field name and select All Properties. Field name dialog box
  7. The Properties dialog box will display. Digital Signature Properties dialog box
  8. A ToolTip can be added to assist users in completing the signature field.
    1. If the Signature field is for an employee, the tooltip could be Employee Signature.
    2. If it is for a Supervisor, the tooltip could be Supervisor Signature.
      • The ToolTip is displayed when a user hovers the mouse over the field.
  9. On the Signed tab of the Properties dialog box, there are three options for actions that can be set after the finalized form is signed by a user:
    1. Nothing happens when signed
      • This choice allows for the fields and text in the form to be updated, deleted or added to after a signature is applied
    2. Mark as read-only, which allows for all Fields, or select fields to be read-only once the document is signed
      • This choice allows the user to limit which fields can be updated after a signature is applied. The user can prevent all field edits or select which fields can be edited after the form is signed.
    3. Or, for more advanced users, an option is available to execute a script once a signature is added to the form.
      • For users with programming experience, a script can be created to perform a prescribed action after the form is signed.
    • The option selected will depend on the needs of the user, but in most cases, the second option, allowing for select field options will provide the most form of integrity.
  10. After the signature field has been created and properties set, save the document.
    1. It is now ready to be posted to the UFV website or emailed for signature.


Helpful Tips
  • If a Digital ID Signature is not required, do not use a Signature field. The Simple Signature feature in Adobe Fill & Sign can be applied anywhere on a document.
  • Unless a Signature field is marked as required, a user can apply the Simple Signature feature instead of a Digital ID Signature.
  • If the form has a date field associated with a signature, ensure that the selected option, under the Signed tab, in the All Properties dialog box is Mark as read-only and All fields except these and that the date fields are selected from the pick-list. This will allow the signee to add the date of signature to the form.

Adobe may sometimes default to the Adobe Sign toolbar when using the Prepare Form function. The Adobe Sign toolbar looks like this:
Adobe Sign toolbar

Forms created in Adobe Sign style will not output correct signature fields.

To change the form type from Adobe Sign to Acrobat Form:

  1. Click on the More drop-down button in the bar on the right-hand side of the page.
  2. From the menu, click Convert / Revert to Acrobat Form.

For more helpful tips and videos, Adobe help resources can be accessed directly from Creative Cloud.

  1. On Creative Cloud’s landing page, on the left-hand side select Acrobat&PDF.
  2. This will launch the home page for Acrobat DC and its related Apps.
  3. Select View Acrobat Tutorials to see a number of resources for working with PDF documents.

Acrobat Tutorials

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Article ID: 2987
Tue 2/15/22 11:34 AM
Thu 4/18/24 2:10 PM