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How to Create an Electronic Signature and Sign Forms Online

Jul 21 2023

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While signing a document on a computer may seem intimidating, there are ways to do it easily —without having to go through a complicated processor installing expensive signing software.

If you need to sign a document immediately but don’t have a printer, here’s a quick and simple way to sign digital documents or forms online with the right tools.

In this post, we cover everything you need to know about how to create an electronic e-signature to sign documents, so you don’t have to resort to printing, signing, and re-scanning forms ever again.

How to sign a PDF

With Xodo's PDF signing tool, you can make a PDF signable, allowing yourself and others to esign PDF files and digital documents instantly and directly from within a browser. Here's how you can create an electronic signature to sign a PDF.

Use your browser to go to xodo.com. Then:

1. Go to our free online PDF signing tool.

2. Upload your PDF either from your computer, Xodo Drive, Google Drive, or Dropbox.

3. Click on the Add New Signature button.

Selecting to add a new signature option in Xodo’s PDF signing tool

4. You can then select how you want to create your signature and initials. There are 3 ways to do this:

  • Draw: Use your cursor to manually draw your signature.
  • Type: Type in your name using the cursive font available.
  • Upload: Import an image file of your signature from your computer.
Electronic signature and initials drawn using Xodo’s PDF signing tool

5. Click on the Create button and you can then position and click on the field to add your electronic signature. Resize the signature by dragging the handles on the signature field in (to make the signature smaller) or out (to make the signature bigger).

An electronic signature is added to a form with Xodo’s PDF signing tool

6. Once you’re done adding your electronic signature to the document, click on the Download button to save the signed PDF file to your device. If you signed up for a Xodo account, you can also save the file on Xodo Drive and easily access the signed document from anywhere while signed in.

How to add signing details

Note that once you insert your signature, you can also include details that may be needed along with your signature, such as a date or information.

Add a date to your signature

When signing a document, you can insert the date you signed. To add a date:

1. Click on the Calendar icon in the PDF viewer toolbar and choose from the default colours provided. Or you can customize the text colour and font size by clicking on the down arrow to expand the menu options.

Customization options to format the signature date when signing a PDF form

2. To place the date on the page, click on the area where you need it. The date will automatically be set according to the date on your system.

3. To date your signature, simply click on the date field to activate it. The cursor will appear and the current date will appear as you drag your mouse over the field to place it. You can edit the date by simply typing it in.

Customized date of a signature added to a form being electronically signed

Clicking on the Palette icon will also provide you with more formatting and alignment options to ensure the date fits into the field properly.

Add additional information to your signature 

You can also insert any additional text if you need to include details such as your initials or, in some cases, the location or address where you signed the document. To add text:

1. Click on the T icon in the PDF viewer toolbar.

2. Then click on the field you need to fill in.

3. Once the cursor appears, you can start typing in your additional details.

Adding text to an electronically signed PDF form with Xodo

What is an electronic signature?

To start, electronic signatures are an electronic version of your signature which you can place onto any document that needs your signature. However, one thing you should know is that there are different types of e-signatures.

1. Image electronic signatures – This is the type of signature we’re covering and talking about in this post. These are usually created within signing tools or applications that offer electronic signing capabilities where you click and sign documents.

You can create one in the form of a photo image of your signature and upload it where needed. Applications may also give you a way to manually draw your signature with your mouse. Or you may be given the ability to type out your name and the tool or app will render that into a general cursive font.

2. Digital signature – This type of signature is essentially more secure in nature. While we won’t go into too much technical detail, it is enough to say that these types of signatures involve encrypted data that is attached to the signature. This provides a digital audit trail, authentication measures, and security from the file being changed once the document is signed.

Explore the technology behind our digital signatures if you are interested in discovering how we can help you in creating secure digital signature workflows.

There are different types, and it can be a bit confusing. But what you need to pay attention to are electronic signatures.

While electronic signatures aren’t legally binding for higher level contracts - or advanced enough in providing an audit trail!

But they can be used to sign PDF documents that need your instant consent or approval on a document on a professional level. 

Here’s a look at several places you can use electronic signatures to speed up completion of your agreements and forms:

  • Companies recruiting employees are now hiring remotely. Prospective candidates are being given digital administrative paperwork to sign. With an electronic signature they can instantly sign any document needed and go through the onboarding process seamlessly.
  • Signing agreements electronically can also speed up lengthy business processes. Going back and forth to review details can take months. But the signing process doesn’t have to. All it takes is a PDF signature that can be done within a single day to push things forward.
  • Documents are quick to send and collaborate around. Using an e-signature online is cost effective and can be added to a PDF anywhere and at any time and sent around via email.
  • Electronic signatures keep the document workflow digital. It eliminates the need to print the document and add a wet signature. Electronically signed documents can stay in the same PDF file format, which ensures that the original content is still preserved and confidential. 

With the number of forms now available on the web, it’s hard to avoid filling out a PDF form or document that you need to electronically sign.

Start signing your forms today

In conclusion, adding your own personal electronic signature and using it to sign documents on your computer doesn't have to be a daunting task. Xodo’s free PDF signing tool simplifies the whole process.

If you’re looking for other PDF tools to add to your arsenal, Xodo also offers a wide range of online conversion, editing and viewing capabilities for any PDF needs you may have on top of signing PDFs. And Xodo works on any device: a desktop computer, a laptop, or mobile phone. Test out Xodo Pro today!

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Reena Cruz

PDF Productivity Expert

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