An electronic signature should not be confused with a ‘digital signature’, which is an encoded fingerprint used for legal documents. Digital signatures or certificates prevent people from tampering with the document after it has been created, which makes it a much safer option for business or other important documents. There are services online, such as Signix.com, that can provide you with this feature if you need it.
Prior to the discovery of electronic signatures, it seemed like the only way you could add a signature to a document if you weren’t physically available to do so, was to go through the rigmarole of printing off the document, signing your name and then finally scanning the document and sending it back to the recipient. Although this method might be the first choice for a lot of people, as it seems to be more ‘real’ than signing a document with your finger, using an electronic signature to sign documents and PDFs is becoming more common, especially since most documents are sent via email.
Living abroad from my home country, means most of my dealings are undertaken online. Although I don’t have to sign documents on a weekly basis, knowing how to add an electronic signature to documents has certainly saved me a lot of time and hassle. For example, when I was planning my wedding last year, I needed to sign contracts and agreements with the venue, caterer and dress-maker to name a few. When agreeing to new student loan repayments (Boo 🙁 ), I fill out my information and sign electronically, when in the past, I would have printed out the documents, filled it out by hand and mailed it back, which took forever!
Although there are plenty of apps and programs you can download to add your signature to a document or PDF, it’s easy enough to do with the software you probably already have on your computer. The great thing is, once you’ve signed your name, several of these programs will save your signature to be added to future documents. Alternatively, you can save your signature as an image and add it to documents and PDFs.
We don’t provide instructions on how to add a signature to a PDF document on your iOS device within the SOP document, but this process is super easy from the Apple Mail app. Just click on the PDF in your email and tap on the suitcase icon in the right-corner and the Markup tool will open and allow you to edit various parts of the document, including adding a signature. Simply draw your signature on the screen and then resize to fit your document. You can use Adobe Fill and Sign to create an electronic signature on your Android device.
To find out how to add your electronic signature to a document or PDF, download our SOP Template above.