Working Remotely

Creating a Digital Signature in Adobe Acrobat

While use of digital signatures for internal University documents is encouraged, digital signatures on University contracts and agreements with third parties may only be used by University employees who are authorized signatories under applicable University policies, such as Policy 1201: Authority and Responsibility for Procuring Goods and Services.

You must use Adobe Acrobat DC to complete this activity. This process is password-secured and provides an audit trail. Use this process instead of using Fill & Sign. Fill & Sign is not secure and can be easily compromised by nefarious parties.

  1. Open a PDF document and click Tools in the menu bar.
    PDF document with indicating Tools menu
  2. Be sure you have accurately completed all required fields in the document, such as Name, Title, Date(s), etc. Once you have completed the digital signature, the document will be locked, so you will not have another chance to enter or change information in the document fields.
  3. Find the Certificates tool and click Open in the dropdown menu.
    Adobe Acrobat Tools menu
  4. Click Digitally Sign.
    Certificates menu
  5. An instruction box advising you how to apply your signature will appear. You can opt to not show this message again in the future by clicking the checkbox. Click OK to proceed.
    Adobe Acrobat instruction message
  6. Your arrow cursor will change to look like a cross or plus sign. Click and drag it to draw a rectangle in the signature block area as shown below. Make sure to draw a rectangle that uses a large area so the signature will be legible.
    PDF signature field
  7. Click Configure Digital ID.
    Adobe Acrobat warning message: digital ID configuration required
  8. At the next screen, select Create a new Digital ID and click Continue.
    Adobe Acrobat Configure Digital ID screen
  9. Select Save to File and click Continue.
    Adobe Acrobat Select Digital ID destination screen
  10. Enter your name and email address. Click Continue.
    Adobe Acrobat Create a Digital ID screen
  11. Use the Browse button to select a location to save your Digital ID. We recommend saving to your desktop.
  12. Enter a password in the fields provided, then click Save.
    Adobe Acrobat Save Digital ID to file
  13. Select the signature you’ll use for signing. Click Continue.
    Adobe Acrobat Sign with Digital ID
  14. Enter your password to validate your signature for the document. Be sure to select Lock document after signing.
  15. Click Sign. Note: After you click Sign, you will be prompted to save your document again.
    Adobe Acrobat digital signature, date and time of signature
  16. Your document is now digitally signed and time stamped. You can save the PDF and route it as you normally would for counter-execution or return an executed copy if you were the final signee. Because the document is locked for editing, other parties must digitally sign or print and manually sign.
  17. You have now successfully established a Digital Signature. On subsequent digital signings, you will only need to repeat steps 1-6 and 13-16 of this procedure.

You can also create a digital copy of your signature within Adobe Acrobat by clicking on Tools, then Fill & Sign, and then Sign. This digital copy of your signature can be added to any document.

  1. Click Tools and then Fill & Sign.
    Adobe Acrobat Tools menu
  2. Click Sign.
    Adobe Acrobat Fill and Sign menu
  3. Sign the document by typing your name, signing with a drawing tool, or placing a scanned image of your signature.
    Adobe Acrobat signature field