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Signing PDF documents professionally
Thread poster: Mahmoud Rayyan

Mahmoud Rayyan  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:19
English to Arabic
Dec 29, 2008

Peace be upon you all,

I would like to learn from you how to sign a PDF document in a professional way.
I mean handwriting signing not the digital signature,
I used to insert a scanned image of my signature on word files for NDAs and POs if they were in a word format, then I convert it into PDF format,
but is there a professional way to do so directly on the PDF files?
Many thanks in advance.

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István Hirsch  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:19
English to Hungarian
Not so professional Dec 29, 2008

Once a client sent me their contract in e-mail as a PDF file to print, sign and fax the signed contract back. My scanner was not available then and I did not have a fax either.

What I did was open the PDF file in Coreldraw, and create my ’signature’ by moving the mouse as a pen. After some practizing, I was able to make an acceptable signature, which I inserted in the right place of the contract. Then I saved the file in PDF (and my ’signature’ too for later use).
With Coreldraw you can insert your signature anywhere in the PDF document either it is a ’real’ or ’scanned’ PDF.

Best regards,


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Uldis Liepkalns  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:19
Member (2003)
English to Latvian
+ ...
Just to add Dec 29, 2008

You don't have to buy Coreldraw, Photoshop ar Illustrator for this- can do this in about any graphic application- including MS Paint.

Also- Im not sure about MS Paint, but in any professional graphic application you can insert
your signature, print it to PDF and absolutely nobody will me able to tell if the signature is scanned or not (until comparing 10 of such your different documents, that is- if you will insert the same scanned signature in all of them).

BTW, I don't digitally sign my invoices, I just insert my scanned singnature in Excel invoices and print them to PDF.

One more thing (you may want read recent threads on "digital signatures" here on
seems not in all jurisdictions such invoices will be accepted. However, I myself haven't encountered any problems yet.


István Hirsch wrote:
With Coreldraw you can insert your signature anywhere in the PDF document either it is a ’real’ or ’scanned’ PDF.

[Rediģēts plkst. 2008-12-29 20:52 GMT]

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Mulyadi Subali  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:19
English to Indonesian
+ ...
stamp your signature Dec 30, 2008

what i do is:
- sign on a white piece of paper
- scan the signature
- make the background transparent then save it into gif or png
- select it as stamp in the pdf editor/viewer
- stamp the signature on the pdf file

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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:19
Partial member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
PDF editor software Dec 30, 2008

Suppose you do not have a scanner machine.
Suppose you have a PDF editor software.
You can add graphic on a PDF document: graphic=signature.
You need to prepare a good graphic of your signature e.g. with a mouse pen.
You final PDF document will have a complete signature.

Soonthon L.

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Maxim Manzhosin  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 14:19
Member (2008)
English to Russian
Touchscreen PDA instead of scanning Dec 30, 2008

Adding to everything said above.
You don't really need to scan a signed paper if you've got a PDA with a touchscreen. I made a signature with a stylus, then synchronized with my PC and got a JPG file with my sig.

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Mahmoud Rayyan  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:19
English to Arabic
Thanks for all your comments Dec 30, 2008

Thank you for all your comments, actually I don't have PDA but I got my smart phone which I can use to scan my signature and save it as picture.
I downloaded Microadope PDF editor but it appears to be a trial version only,
still the question is there any way to insert my scanned image on PDF file using a free software?
I used to do this easily on word using insert picture or images, I think I will use photoshop, I own this software though I didn't use it before.
Many thanks again.

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RNAtranslator  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:19
English to Spanish
+ ...
It has not any value in a law court Dec 30, 2008

Liberty, Equality and Fraternity upon you, Mahmoud,

Yes, you can use Photoshop, but as you asked about free software, you can use GIMP instead of Photoshop.

I think that inserting a scanned signature is not very professional, regardless how you do it; it has no legal value at all. If it had legal value, your client could copy it to the bottom of a document claiming that you are the guilty of any horrible crime and you would go to jail. But don't worry, such a signature has no value at all. But if your client is happy with that, let them enjoy.

Only a digital signature may be accepted in a law court, and only if the public key is signed by a fully trustable third party.


Ignacio Vicario Esteban

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Mahmoud Rayyan  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:19
English to Arabic
Thanks for the link Dec 31, 2008

Thanks RNA for the link, I am trying to download it right now.

And concerning the validity of this act in any low court, actually you answered an important question for me, because I was having the same question also, what if anyone made the same process with my signature!
Anyway it is finally as you said, as long as the client is satisfied, it is OK
Thanks again.

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