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How to Electronically Sign PDF Documents Without Printing

How to Electronically Sign PDF Documents Without Printing

How to Electronically Sign PDF Documents Without Printing

With the growing automation of business processes, everyone can now access easier ways to reduce workload. Work procedures that formerly required printing documents, signing, scanning, and mailing back documents can now be done in one step!

The advent of e-signatures has taught people how to sign on PDF documents faster while keeping things simple. E-signatures come with loads of benefits, including having the same legal power as paper signatures.

This article will show you how to sign PDF documents without printing. But first, let’s understand the fundamentals of e-signatures.

What is an electronic signature?

An electronic signature, also known as e-signature, is an electronic sound, symbol, or program affixed to a contract or any record adopted by a person who intends to sign the document. 

Are e-signatures legally binding?

An electronic signature acts as a legal concept that approves the content within a document or electronic form. 

Since establishing the United States Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN), electronic signatures now carry the same legal authority as traditional handwritten signatures. 

How does an e-signature work?

Just as signatures are scribbled on paper documents, they can be transmitted electronically. An e-signature is the electronic version of the paper equivalent of a signature, which could be merely an image of your handwritten signature layered on top of a PDF document.  It’s usually a faster and easier means to sign PDF online.

E-signature vs. digital signature: key differences

Many people use electronic signatures and digital signatures interchangeably, but there are not the same. Although built on the same technology, some features make it easy to distinguish between signing PDF online.

  1. Encryption

When you digitally sign PDF, the software program embeds the signature into the file’s metadata, making the document tamper-proof. However, if you electronically sign a PDF, it might not be as secure in the public domain. 

  1. Ease of use

Electronic signatures are easy to create and use without much fuss. On the other hand, digital signatures involve advanced tech knowledge. 

  1. Application 

You can sign PDF online using digital signatures for loan agreements, employee contracts, rental applications, Nondisclosure Agreements, and vendor contracts.

  1. Verification

Verifying e-signatories is practically impossible, but digital signatures allow you to identify, verify, and authenticate the parties signing the document. 

Why use an electronic signature?

Now that you understand the differences between electronic signatures and digital signatures, you may still have doubts about using electronic signatures to sign PDFs online. Here are a few benefits of using e-signatures.

  1. Simple process 

It takes only a few seconds to sign PDFs electronically, which can be relatively faster than a handwritten signature. Beginners will have no challenge learning how to adopt electronic signatures for signing PDF documents. You upload the PDF document, insert the e-signature, and share accordingly. 

  1. Save cost

In business, any process that minimizes the cost of production is welcome. When you incorporate e-signatures to sign PDF or forms, you can channel business finances into other necessary ventures.

  1. Discard bulky paperwork 

You can sign on PDF documents electronically without making a fuss about paperwork. You can also go paperless and improve the storage of critical information by using electronic signatures. There’s no need to print, sign, scan and send back documents again.

  1. Speeds up decision making 

Signing and approving documents takes time, especially when you have to sign every page manually. But you can simplify work procedures and improve turnover time when you adopt e-signatures in decision-making processes.

How to electronically sign a PDF document 

Learning how to sign a PDF file online is pretty easy, especially when you use electronic signatures. Online editors like LuminPDF can help you e-sign your documents instantly. 

LuminPDF is available for desktop and mobile. Regardless of your device, you can learn how to sign a PDF electronically following these easy steps. 


You can use the Lumin PDF tool online to sign documents on your smartphone or desktop electronically. Follow these steps to learn how to sign a pdf form.

  1. Sign up on Lumin PDF.
  2. Upload the PDF you want to sign electronically. 
  3. Open the PDF and click “Add Signature”.
  4. Click “Save” once it’s complete.
  5. You can share or download the signed document on your device.

Apart from LuminPDF, you can also use Google Docs and Apple Preview to e-sign your documents. 

Apple’s Preview

The Preview editor is a simple tool you can use to sign PDFs on your Apple devices electronically.

  1. Open the PDF in Preview.
  2. Click on the “Show Markup” toolbar button.
  3. Click the “Sign” button on the toolbar. 

Note: You can create a signature by dragging your finger over the trackpad or signing on a paper and scanning with your webcam.

Google Docs

Google Docs provides two options to e-sign documents — insert image or insert drawing. Let’s explore how to digitally sign a PDF with Google Docs.

To use the “Insert image” option, follow these steps:

  1. Take a picture of your signature
  2. Open the file.
  3. Scroll to the portion of the text where you want to add the e-signature.
  4. Go to the ‘Menu’ bar.
  5. Click on Insert > Image.
  6. Choose to upload the image from any of the available sources. 
  7. Select the image to insert.
  8. Save your file as a PDF.

To use the “Insert drawing” option, follow these steps:

  1. Open the file.
  2. Scroll to the portion of the text where you want to add the e-signature.
  3. Go to the ‘Menu’ bar.
  4. Click on Insert > Drawing > New.
  5. Go to the canvas and select the “Line” icon on the toolbar. 
  6. Click on “Scribble” in the drop-down menu.
  7. Draw the signature with the mouse, stylus, or touchpad.
  8. Click on “Save and Close”.
  9. Save your file as a PDF.

Also, you can download the DocuSign add-on for Google Workspace to access more features.


Whenever you need to sign a PDF form, an e-signature is your best bet. It’s user-friendly, saves time, and helps you get the job done without printing any paper. E-signatures and digital signatures are related but with slight differences. 

You enhance workflows and remove inconvenience when you learn how to sign a PDF document or form using e-signatures. Above all, you can select from loads of online editors on the internet to sign PDF online. How to Electronically Sign PDF Documents Without Printing

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How to Electronically Sign PDF Documents Without Printing