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How to Electronically Sign a PDF Online

by Hung Nguyen

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

Learn how to electronically sign a PDF online for free. You can also create signature requests for others to sign—no registration is needed to use.

Practically everything is done online these days. Even contracts no longer have to be printed to get signed. Regardless of how many people need to sign a document, electronic signing makes it possible to get things done without a single piece of paper being harmed in the process.

Smallpdf touts an easy-to-use online PDF toolset, including a signing tool which lets you create and sign PDF files electronically, in a heartbeat. Follow our guide below to learn how to sign PDF document online within seconds.

How to electronically sign a PDF online for free

  1. Drag & Drop your PDF in the toolbox.

  2. Click on “Your Signature” on the right.

  3. Draw your signature with your mouse or stylus.

  4. You can also upload a photo of your signature.

  5. Place the signature onto the document.

  6. Add text if needed and click “Finish & Sign.”

  7. All done! Download your electronically signed PDF.

How to electronically sign a pdf

How to electronically sign a PDF online with Smallpdf

Apart from signing the document, you can use the “Text field” option to fill out forms, or insert your name, dates... etc. Whatever you need to get those contracts going.

Can I sign in a different color?


If you don’t want the signature to be in the default color black, you can also choose between (navy) blue and red at the moment. Once you’ve placed the signature onto the document, select it, and there should be a black dot at the bottom. When you click on the dot, you can change the color to red or blue.

We’re always looking for further feature suggestions. If you are legally required to sign in a different color or format, do send an email our way for our eSign team to consider it for future product development.

change signature color

How to change the signature's color

Is digital signing available?


Digital signatures are available for Smallpdf Pro users. The method of signing is the same, but once you create an electronic signature with Smallpdf, we will convert it to a cryptographic signature.

The difference to an electronic signature is that digital signatures are equipped with additional security features. Digital sealing involves a Long-Term Validation (LTV) timestamp and a cryptographic fingerprint. The seal is applied under our name—Smallpdf GmbH. A digital signature can be verified with common PDF readers, such as Adobe Acrobat Reader. When you open a digitally signed PDF, you’ll see an option to authenticate the signature(s). Here, the seal, the time the document was signed, and more details are provided to prove that the signature is valid.

Having a Pro subscription also will grant you access to all other PDF tools. As such, you can seamlessly join, cut, shrink, or transform your PDF files in any way you’d like. For more information, do check out the Pro page! As legislation differs depending on where you are in the world, remember to check in with local laws on the legality of electronic and digital signatures in your country or region.

Can I request for a signature?


To request another party to electronically sign a PDF, select “Invite signees” at the top right of the eSign page after uploading your contract. After that, you just follow the instructions on the page to request the signature—it’s really easy.

You can request a PDF to be signed electronically by as many people as you wish. Make sure all of the entered email addresses are correct! We’ll send them an email with a link to the document for them to view, create, and sign it.

We’ll also send reminder emails to ensure that you get your signatures. You can add a personalized message to the initial email, if needed. You can use the message to mention any last changes to the file, tell them to add text in specific places, or just to reiterate what you’re sending them.

Request e-signature

Request e-signatures with ease

How to electronically sign PDFs on Mac or Windows


The operating system that you use is never a question for us. As an online service, the website Smallpdf can be accessed from anywhere and everywhere. All that you need is a working internet connection, a browser, and a couple of minutes of your time.

That means that you and your friends and colleagues can access our eSign tool, regardless of whether you are on a Mac, Windows, or Linux machine. Even mobile devices are compatible, through your mobile internet browser.



With a following of millions of monthly users, we try our best to adapt our tools for people from all over. Smallpdf.com has been translated into 24 different languages. If you want to see our page in one of those languages, just click the language option at the lower top-right corner of any page on our site.

If it’s your first time signing PDF files electronically, the task may seem daunting at first. Just give it a try and you’ll see it’s really easy and only takes a few clicks. And just like all out other PDF tools, it’s free.

We also have a Desktop App, and implementing electronic signing is in our backlog, so keep your eyes on our blog for news on the subject!

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Hung Nguyen
Hung Nguyen
Senior Growth Marketing Manager @Smallpdf