Monday, December 31, 2007

Insert Signature in PDF

Ever wanted to insert a signature into your PDF? Why would you want to do this? Let's say, for example, you are a business traveler. Your company wants weekly timesheets, worklogs, status reports, whatever ... in PDF format. If you are like me, timesheets are generated directly into PDF and then I must sign these before handing them in. That's fine and dandy if you are working in your office. So what do you do on the road and can't print and sign but you still have to submit the PDF? I have a quick and dirty solution for you! After digging quite a bit trying to figure out how to do this myself, the solution is fairly simple. I use Adobe Acrobat 8 on a regular basis. I've seen many suggestions on the internets on how to insert a signature using the stamp tool. While this approach is OK, I found the results to be sub-par at best. My signature looked awful! However that stamp gets rendered, it looks like crap. So here is my suggestion. Follow these steps and you should get pretty good results.

  1. You first need an image file of your signature available on your computer. Make sure that it is a good scan. I would suggest looking up how to do this on google or something if you are unsure how to do it. A couple tips on this ... don't use a fine point pen. Try and use either a felt tip or one of those gel ink roller type pens.
  2. Open the PDF that you need to modify with your signature with Adobe Acrobat 8
  3. Once the file has opened, navigate to the 'Tools->Advanced Editing->TouchUp Object Tool' menu item.


  4. Once you select the TouchUp Object Tool, you will get a black arrow. Right click where you would like your signature to appear and select 'Place Image'.


  5. You will get an open dialog box where you can select the signature image you created earlier.
  6. When you select your file, the image will be inserted ... probably quite large. The image that I used wasn't particularly good. I didn't scan it ... good ol' GIS.


  7. You will want to shrink the size down by grabbing one of the corners of the box and dragging the corner towards the inside of the image. You will know if you are doing it right as the mouse pointer will turn into a double headed arrow.


  8. Now that you have the image sized, you will want to move the image to the spot where you would like it. In my case, right above the signature line. Now keep in mind that the image will block the line itself if you have placed the image over the line, so make sure that the image is above the signature line.


  9. Save the updated file. All done. You now have a PDF with your signature on it.



You should be able to use a variety of image formats. It is your preference. I don't know if transparent gif files can be used. I honestly haven't tried or have needed them. If they do work, please let me know. There are also some vector image creation tools on the internets that you could use that may make your signature look more crisp. A tool like VectorMagic comes in handy.

A few things to mention, these instructions are for Adobe Acrobat 8 only. I haven't tried this in any other version of Adobe Acrobat or another PDF creation application. If you have tips or hints for other applications, please feel free to leave them in a comment.

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

Worked for me!--thanks.

Erik Hansen said...

Thanks! This works great for me!

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot! Works perfectly.

Prashant said...

Hi It did not worked for acrobat 7.0
Can you give method for acrobat 7

Thanks

Anonymous said...

Thanks - I used a transparent .png file for the signature - and it maintained transparency when I pasted the image in to the PDF document. I NEVER would have figured out how to do this without having found your page using Google.

Gage said...

This is great, Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thanks! This helped a lot!

Thomas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thomas said...

Dude, you are awesome. It worked very well for me.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the explanation. It worked for me. How ever I was wondering if there is any way I can put the image behind the line or text.

Thanks.

Jeremy said...

Thanks for the guide. Transparency worked perfectly with a *.gif. Looks like I signed it with a pen!

Hyo J. said...

somehow when I input the jpeg image it's all white! do you have any idea what is going on?

Jonathan said...

Do I need to have an upgraded version to Adobe? I'm using a Mac.

Anonymous said...

Searched everywhere to find this, your solution worked perfectly - thank you so much!!

James Pandavan said...

I don't have Acrobat. So, I figured a way to do it using GIMP.

Birdman said...

Thanks a lot! It worked very well. Truly simple and concise steps!

Cheers!

Mike said...

Thanks for the idea. I have Adobe 9 Standard, and I couldn't get it to work as stated, but I did find that I could import my signature as a background image, which allowed it to come in behind the lines of the paper. Thanks again!

Steve Smith said...

Thanks so much! I've been looking for a solution like this for a while. Great tutorial.

Anonymous said...

You have to wonder if Adobe makes this so hard so that they can push the digital signature process? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I have Adobe 9 and can't get this to work. Anyone have any suggestions? I see that "Mike" commented that he also has Adobe 9, and was able to do this by importing the signature as a background image. Can anyone walk me through this please? Thank you!!

Anonymous said...

You're a genius! Thanks so much for posting ;)

Paul aka Harry said...

OMG, it's so easy and I've been trying to figure out how to do it for years! Thanks!

CCLDB said...

Thanks!!! Save the hassle of getting another software just to paste the signature!

BTW, on Mac with Acrobat X, you go Tools > Content > Edit Object. Then follow the rest of the steps.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much. I tried doing this before and I just couldn't figure it out.

Syrrys said...

Very Helpful. Acrobat 9 with transparent png worked for me as well.
Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Acrobat 8 + Turned my scanned signature in to a gif file with transparent background (using free "paint.net"). worked GREAT! Thank you much!!

Nicola Pengelly said...

works for acrobat version 9 too!

Machete Magster said...

Ed...YOU DA MAN! Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Ed, thank you! After years of opening a page in PS to add my sig, you just made me very sad and very happy at the same time.

Anonymous said...

Nice

Emma said...

Thanks, I just tried doing it and it helped me. I have been looking around for these steps. This is a great tutorial. I wanted to know if all these steps will work for all the versions of Acrobat.
digital signature PDF

Unknown said...

Thanx man! like others, I had never tried this myself before. Somethings are just meant for some one special.
Btw, Acrobat 10 can now also do draw your sign (if you have a touch screen)

Anonymous said...

I notice you are using Adobe Acrobat 'Professional'. That explains why I don't get as many options on the Tool tab as I'm only using standard Adobe Acrobat 9. Thanks anyway.

bronius said...

Thanks! Helpful. All the great tools in this space belong to Adobe. But why is it so unintuitive???

MJ said...

Great bro, thanks! It has been really helpful :)

Anonymous said...

Brilliant. Just what I needed, thank you.