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How to Create a Digital Signature Online

by Hung Nguyen

You can also read this article in German, Spanish, French, Indonesian, Italian and Portuguese.

With Smallpdf eSign, you can freely create, sign, and request digital signatures in just a few clicks.

Have you been requested to sign a document with a digital signature? If you’re wondering how to do so—the Smallpdf eSign tool is available for you to create a digital signature and sign any PDF document.

How to Create a Digital Signature Online

  1. Go to the Smallpdf eSign page.

  2. Upload the document that needs signing.

  3. Click ‘Add Signature’ to create a new signature.

  4. Afterward, drag your signature onto your document.

  5. Hit ‘Finish & Sign’ and download your document.


Create a digital signature with Smallpdf, in less than a few seconds.

How Do Digital Signatures Work with Smallpdf?


When you sign your PDF as a Pro user, we create what’s called an Advanced Electronic Signature (the technical name for digital signatures). With it comes an LTV-enabled timestamp, which you can validate using a PDF reader, such as Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Sign.

The validation process should show the Smallpdf—as we signed the document on behalf of the user. It should also come with a timestamp of when the digital signature was created.

And lastly—it shows that the document hasn’t been changed since the time of signing. Because of this, please do not update or alter the content of your legal documents, once you sign them. Converting a document after digitally signing it will also break the digital signature, e.g., changing the file from PDF to Word.

If you are a free user, electronic signing is available for limited free use, although you won’t be able to validate the signature. Think of it as a plain image without a digital fingerprint. Depending on your local legislation and the purpose of your document, you may or may not need to create a digital signature.

Other Things You Could Do


You can add text, e.g., in case you need to add the time and place next to the signature field.

On top of that, you can also request a digital signature from another party. If you have a Pro account—the signer will also have access to digital sealing as they sign PDFs with our service.

On top of that, before you upload your PDF to the eSign tool, you can also take advantage of our 20+ tools to process your PDFs anyway you’d like.

For instance, you can compress a large contract before signing, so that it’s in an email-ready size. You can also merge multiple documents into one instead of requesting multiple signatures—which can get tiresome.

As you cannot change the document once signed, remember to carry out all modifications before creating a digital signature (and signing the PDF).

And lastly, our ultimate aim is to enable a smooth sailing for users, for any document management matter. Please keep checking back to our eSign tool, as we continuously add improvements to our digital signing process. Follow us on social media for giveaways, and check out the rest of our blog for how-to tutorials.

Hung Nguyen
Hung Nguyen
Senior Growth Marketing Manager @Smallpdf