Working from home, studying in college, or doing just about anything else, chances are that you will need to sign a document of some description return it to the sender.

Normally, you’d print it, sign it, and mail the paper back. Or even scan it, so that you can email it. However, there is a more effective way of signing PDFs that doesn’t involve printing or scanning them. In this article, I’ll go through the ‘all-digital’ ways of signing a PDF file—from the most straightforward to the simplest. Hopefully, when you finish reading it, you will know the ins and outs of signing PDFs.

Signing with Lumin PDF — the most straightforward way

Lumin PDF is a web-based app that can open, edit, share, and sign a PDF file. No need to install, print or scan anything—just go to the website, choose your plan, and you’re ready to go. For those that need collaboration functionality, Lumin PDF also features Google Drive integration.

So, you have registered and are ready to use the app.

Now, upload your document and open it.

With Lumin PDF, it is extremely easy to sign PDFs—just select Signature tool on the toolbar and click where you need to sign it.

The app lets you do hand-written and text signatures in the PDF file and even change their colour.

Unlike in other apps, you can resize and move the signature, too. It is as simple as clicking and choosing what you need to change about it.

Making do with what you have — the simplest way

Sometimes you will need to sign a PDF with whatever software you have installed. On Windows, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Android, Chrome, Linux, or any other platform it is quite easy to do.


If you run a Windows OS, the simplest way to sign a document without printing and scanning would be the Fill & Sign feature in Adobe Reader—a widely used app that has been around for a long while.

Having selected Fill & Sign tool, you can click Sign on the toolbar and choose Add Signature to sign the document.

In the window that appears, you can select Type to type out your name and have it converted to a signature. If you want to put in your hand-written signature, select Draw, and use your mouse, touchpad or touch screen to draw it. Touch screen tends to produce much better results, but doing it with a mouse should be OK, too.


Signing PDFs on a Mac is as easy as it can be. All you need to do is open your PDF file in the Preview app and choose Sign in the top toolbar there.

Mac users, I have good news for you. You can sign PDFs without scanning, printing, or even installing anything for that matter. MacOS X’s default Preview app has document-signing features of its own—it enables you to draw a signature on your MacBook’s touchpad. If you own a MacBook Pro, its Force Touch technology will make your signature look even more lifelike.


If you are an iPhone or iPad user, signing documents without scanning or printing them won’t be a problem. All you need is open the PDF attachment in your Mail app, tap Markup and Reply and sign your document.

Signing with Adobe’s mobile apps on iOS and Android devices

If you own a smartphone or a tablet, you can install Adobe’s apps from Google Play Store or Apple App Store—they are available on iOS and Android devices alike. Then you will need to open your PDF file in the Adobe Acrobat and tap the Sign icon to sign it.

Having installed the Adobe Acrobat mobile app, you can use its Fill & Sign feature that allows you to sign PDF files for free. Apart from signing files, you can also take a picture of a printed document with your camera and then sign it on the go. As a result, you can send filled-in documents without having to mail them physically.

Android has no built-in functionality to sign digital documents. Therefore, your best bet here is a third-party app like Adobe’s one. Having installed Adobe’s app from Google Play Store, you can use its Fill & Sign feature the same way as on iOS. There is no limit as to the number of documents that can be signed electronically, and you definitely need not print them out to do it.

Just open a PDF document in the app and tap the Sign icon to sign it. Then you can tap Share to send it to whomever you need from your favourite e-mail client, WhatsApp, or other apps.

Signing PDFs in Google Chrome

Chrome Browser has become a popular means of viewing PDF files as of late. To sign documents there, however, you will need to install HelloSign or any other extension with similar functionality. Having installed it, you will need to open your PDF file in Chrome Browser and click Signature.