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Digital Signatures

In this article we will show you how to create a digital signature and use it in Adobe Acrobat Pro on PDF documents that require signatures.Using this rather than printing off a document and signing it not only decreases printing but also improves productivity as it reduced the need to be near a printer to approve forms, invoices, and other documents.


The digital signatures outlined in this article are only valid on your computer and can be easily impersonated if desired. If you would like to discuss more secure ways of using digital signatures, please email support@cu-portland.edu.

Creating Your Signature

1. Open up Adobe Acrobat Pro

2. From your document, select Tools > Sign & Certify > More Sign & Certify
adobe sig 1.PNG

3. From that drop down, select Security Settings....
adobe sig 2.png

4. Click the Add ID button
sig 4.JPG

6. Select "A new digital ID I want to create now" then click Next.
sig 5.JPG

7. In the next step select Windows Certificate Store then click Next. You may use the other option; however, CUP IT suggests the windows option if you are on a CU Issued computer as this protected by, and uses your network account for verification.
sig 6.JPG

8. Enter your information and leave the default selection. Click Finish when you have all the information in.
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Now the digital signature will be ready for you to use to sign documents!

Configure Your Signature Appearance

You can control how your signature looks like on your document including add a graphic of your real signature! Follow the steps below to find out how.

Follow steps 1 -3 in the "Creating Your Signature" section of this article.

1.From the document select Edit > Preferences
sig 1.png

2. From the "Categories:" menu select Security . You will have to scroll down the list to find it.
adobe sig 3.PNG

3. In the "Digital Signatures" area, there is a Appearance section. You will want to click on New

adobe sig 4.PNG

Adding "Ink" Signature
4. From here you can name your signature appearance, import a graphics, and configure the layout of the text to your preferences. It is suggested to get a high quality image of your signature:
  • draw you signature on a piece of paper
  • scan the piece of paper
  • crop the image using ms paint
  • the import it into this section:
sig 14.JPG
sig 15.JPG

4, You will see a preview of what it will look like. Once everything is configured as you like, click OK. You can always edit this later by returning here.
sig 10.JPG

Using a Signature

Follow the steps below to learn how to use the digital signature you've created in a document that requires one!

1. Open a document with a signature field. In this example, we will be using the Leave Request Form.

2. Navigate to the section that requires a signature and click that. The prompt to sign the document will appear.

Note: If you document does not have a signature field programmed, you can create your own:
  • click on the "signature icon" from the tool bar
  • select Place Signature
  • then draw a box when the signature needs to go
sig 12.JPG
sig 13.JPG

3. Click Sign and you will be prompted to save the file with your authenticated digital signature in the location of your choosing.
sig 11.JPG

4. You can now share the document with your signature as required!