Signing PDF's for free
Thread poster: Dan Mackey

Dan Mackey
United States
Local time: 01:57
Member (Feb 2017)
Arabic to English
Mar 9

Can anyone recommend any way to sign and date a pdf for free? I am able to do it about 50% of the time, but the other 50% of the time I have to use "freemium" apps like SignNow. I am dreading the day that is rapidly approaching when I will inevitably start hemorrhaging $10 a month just to avoid having to print, sign, and scan documents manually.

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Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:57
Member (2014)
French to Danish
+ ...
Adobe Reader? Mar 9

Can't you use Adobe Acrobat Reader DC's Fill & Sign function (Tools)? It's free.

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Pascal Pierre Kameim  Identity Verified
Guinea
Local time: 05:57
Member (Feb 2017)
English to French
+ ...
Guidlines for using NitroPro11 Mar 9

I recommend you to use NitroPro 11 which is a very usfeful software, after opening this software, convert the document to PDF and go to the angle at the very top and you will see an icon or it is written Quick Sign, after selecting this icon you can just click where you want to sign and then sign.
Thank you in advance and I hope this message will help you


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GerSi  Identity Verified
Slovenia
Local time: 07:57
Member (2010)
German to Slovenian
+ ...
HelloSign or Foxit Reader Mar 9

Hi Dan,

you could try HelloSing. It's free up to 3 documents per month.
It even integrates with Google, Evernote, Dropbox, OneDrive etc.

https://www.hellosign.com/info/tour#googleIntegrations

Or Foxit Reader
https://www.foxitsoftware.com/products/pdf-reader/

Best,
Ana


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Kenny Barclay  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:57
Member (2016)
Spanish to English
scan your signature and use "cut and paste" Mar 10

I don't know if this is a little bit from the dark ages but it works for me.

I have scanned my signature and keep it as a jpeg.
When I need to sign something, I open it with Paint, select the signature and cut/copy and paste it in to the pdf (wherever it is needed). I then drag it into position and make it bigger or smaller to fit.
Save and I'm done.


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Rolf Keller
Germany
Local time: 07:57
English to German
Signature vs. signature Mar 10

Dan Mackey wrote:

any way to sign and date a pdf


Apparently different colleagues understand the word "sign" differently. Please specify what you mean?

1 - A signature that is a just picture that renders the shape of your hand-written signature.

2 - An electronic signature (a) that proves proves your identity and (b) proves that the electronic copy has not been changed after it was signed by you.

In my country, (1) has no a legal effect, because it is only a non-witnessed copy but not an original. Nevertheless many people use it or accept it.

Regarding (2), there are several methods but they need more than just a software because a software cannot produce real proofs. I use a smartcard. This card is not free, but I can use it for other purposes as well, e. g. for transfering my tax return from my pc directly into the computer of the tax office.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:57
Spanish to English
+ ...
Hours of fun Mar 10

Pascal Pierre Kameim wrote:

I recommend you to use NitroPro 11 which is a very usfeful software, after opening this software, convert the document to PDF and go to the angle at the very top and you will see an icon or it is written Quick Sign, after selecting this icon you can just click where you want to sign and then sign.
Thank you in advance and I hope this message will help you


The signature function is also available in Nitro Pro 10, which is the version I have. I just tried to do it and the results were hilarious - trying to write on screen with my mouse produces even more illegible results than my normal signature! However, I'll try again when I have a bit more spare time, because it could come in handy in future.

Thanks for posting, as I didn't know this function existed.


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Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 07:57
Member
English to Italian
+ ...
+1 Mar 10

Thomas T. Frost wrote:

Can't you use Adobe Acrobat Reader DC's Fill & Sign function (Tools)? It's free.


Seconded. Why complicate things when you have a valid and free option right there?


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Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:57
Member (2014)
French to Danish
+ ...
Validity Mar 10

Rolf Keller wrote:

Dan Mackey wrote:

any way to sign and date a pdf


Apparently different colleagues understand the word "sign" differently. Please specify what you mean?

1 - A signature that is a just picture that renders the shape of your hand-written signature.

2 - An electronic signature (a) that proves proves your identity and (b) proves that the electronic copy has not been changed after it was signed by you.

In my country, (1) has no a legal effect, because it is only a non-witnessed copy but not an original. Nevertheless many people use it or accept it.

Regarding (2), there are several methods but they need more than just a software because a software cannot produce real proofs. I use a smartcard. This card is not free, but I can use it for other purposes as well, e. g. for transfering my tax return from my pc directly into the computer of the tax office.


Emails do, to a certain extent, have legal effect in Germany for everyday purposes; a recent German law change entitles people to cancel their contracts by email, for example, even banning suppliers from requiring paper signatures. Emails are accepted in French courts too. You cannot open a bank account or buy a house by email, but even the law in these countries admits that it is an illusion to require every single document of legal significance to be sent on paper today. But a copied and pasted signature probably won't make much difference. It is enough to make some outsourcers happy, though.

It may or may not be easier to dispute the validity of an email, but paper documents can be falsified too, as no one witnesses who is actually signing them. Emails contain electronic headers that show the IP address trace.

If someone says "sign" without mentioning a need for a certifiable electronic signature, I think most people will interpret it in the most basic sense, but you are right, we don't know if the Asker wanted a certified electronic signature. Such signatures were supposed to have been rolled out across the EU, but whereas plenty of paper has been spewed out from Brussels about it, no general, practical solutions have been provided yet, except that some countries have set up systems for specific purposes, such as the German Elsteronline tax declaration system that requires a digital certificate that the user downloads (a physical card is not necessary) and the Danish NemId system that provides one single access to all public administration and all online banking. The administrative challenges in a generalised system across the EU would obviously be enormous, not to mention the challenges worldwide.

There are platforms such as skysignature.com that allows you to add a scanned signature to a document, but it still isn’t certified, so the legal value is probably no higher than copying and pasting a scanned signature directly into the document.


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Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:57
Member (2014)
French to Danish
+ ...
Scan it Mar 10

neilmac wrote:

The signature function is also available in Nitro Pro 10, which is the version I have. I just tried to do it and the results were hilarious - trying to write on screen with my mouse produces even more illegible results than my normal signature! However, I'll try again when I have a bit more spare time, because it could come in handy in future.


Doesn't it have a function to upload a scanned signature?


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Rolf Keller
Germany
Local time: 07:57
English to German
To certify or not to certify, that's the question Mar 10

Thomas T. Frost wrote:

Emails do, to a certain extent, have legal effect in Germany for everyday purposes; a recent German law change entitles people to cancel their contracts by email, for example, even banning suppliers from requiring paper signatures.


E-mails? We discuss signatures.

If a certain e-mail consisting of plain text has a legal effect (I'd never dispute this fact), then this effect exists with or without any signature. But in a case where a "real" hand-written signature is required, no other form and no copy is acceptable, except an electronically certified signature.

So, a signed PDF is like an unsigned PDF, except if it has an electronically certified signature. Signing with a bitmap looks nice, but has no legal effect.

BTW, Adobe provides electronically certified signatures for PDF for many years, even in the free Adobe Reader. When I read "to sign a PDF", I read this as "to attach an electronically certified signature to a PDF".
https://helpx.adobe.com/acrobat/using/certificate-based-signatures.html

There are platforms such as skysignature.com that allows you to add a scanned signature to a document, but it still isn’t certified, so the legal value is probably no higher than copying and pasting a scanned signature directly into the document.


Quite right. And there are other platforms that provide certified signing as a service.

the German Elsteronline tax declaration system that requires a digital certificate that the user downloads


I don't like that. A certificate that consists of data residing in my pc is not failsafe and not tamperproof. My certificate key resides on a card and never ever leaves that card; the software runs on the card's integrated microprocessor.


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Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:57
Member (2014)
French to Danish
+ ...
Fail-safe Mar 10

Rolf Keller wrote:

the German Elsteronline tax declaration system that requires a digital certificate that the user downloads


I don't like that. A certificate that consists of data residing in my pc is not failsafe and not tamperproof. My certificate key resides on a card and never ever leaves that card; the software runs on the card's integrated microprocessor.


Not much is fail-safe. Your card can be stolen. I would not want a certificate for online banking being stored on my computer, but entering incorrect data in the tax system, should a criminal get access, is unlikely to be of much interest. They could make a bit of mess, but not much else. But this is another story .

[Edited at 2017-03-10 17:03 GMT]


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