How to Digitally Sign PDF in Adobe Acrobat DC Pro?

Written By Ashwani Tiwari
Anuraag Singh
Approved By Anuraag Singh
Published On February 26th, 2024
Reading Time 8 Minutes Reading

PDF won’t let me digitally sign – what to do?

PDF is the most preferred file format, which helps to keep crucial data safe. Even this portable document can be used everywhere, whether it is a university form, office document, business transaction, and so on. Moreover, the installation of Adobe Reader is a must while accessing the PDF document. But when most users try to sign a PDF file then, they may face various issues either signing not allowed PDF or the sign button is greyed out. Maybe, it is asking for the digital IDs. So, in this blog, we have discussed a step-by-step procedure to solve the problem “Can’t sign PDF in Adobe Reader DC” or when PDF fill and sign not working without any data loss.

When the document is asking for the digital ID, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Adobe Reader application
  2. Click on Edit > Preferences > On Identities & Trusted Certificates, Click on More
  3. Click on Windows Digital IDs on the left-hand side and make sure there should be nothing there
  4. Click on Add ID > Import an existing digital ID > click on Next > then click on the browse option, and you can see your current digital ID
  5. Now just enter your password

Using Preview for MAC Users to Digitally Sign PDFs

If Mac users find that they can’t sign PDF in Adobe Reader DC. Then, it is necessary to eliminate security from the document first. After that, they can prefer to use the webcam to set up their sign, by using the Preview application. So, follow these simple steps:

1) Open the PDF file that you need to sign in the preview. Next, click on the ‘Markup Toolbar’ icon that appears like a toolbox. Remember, in the previous version of the preview this Markup Toolbar was known as ‘Edit Toolbar’.

click on markup toolbar

2) Once you open the Toolbar, select the icon of ‘Sign’ and click on the drop-down menu.

select the sign icon

After executing the above-described steps now, you will get two options i.e. Trackpad & Camera.

choose trackpad or camera to digitally sign a pdf

Sign a PDF Using Trackpad

Under this step, users can use either a Mouse, tablet, or pen to draw their sign. When satisfied with their signature, click ‘Done’ to complete the process.

Use Webcam to sign PDF

Take a white piece of paper and make a sign on it and after that, hold it up to your webcam so that it comes on the blue line. When it looks perfect then, click ‘Done’. Once you have done with the process, the preview can save your signature for the next time. If you want to sign your PDF then, simply select your signature from the ‘Sign’ drop-down menu.

Unable to Digitally Sign PDF in Adobe Reader? Use This Expert Solution

When users try to sign in a PDF document at that time they might face an issue. They might find that the Adobe fill and sign not working due to which they can’t add a digital signature to the PDF document. So, they start searching for a commercial solution named Unlock PDF Software. This application is designed to remove permissions from PDF documents. This utility can be easily used when users can’t sign PDF in Adobe Reader DC/ Adobe Acrobat DC Pro.

Windows 11 & all below versions

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For Mac OS X 10.8 and above versions

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The utility supports to eliminate different kinds of restrictions from PDF documents. Moreover, if the file is having a document open password then it can also be eliminated by the tool. But, it is necessary that the password must be known to the user. Moreover, the tool supports to process both 128 / 256 bit encrypted PDF documents.

Steps to Enable Signing in PDF Document

To enable PDF signature permissions or to change signing permissions from “Not Allowed” to “Allowed” follow these simple steps:

  • Step 1: Launch and run the software on Windows OS or Mac OS X launch the tool if you can't sign a pdf in adobe reader
  • Step 2: Click on Add Files / Add Folder option to insert PDF files in which you can’t sign. click add files or add folder
  • Step 3: Select either “Save” or “Print” option as per the requirement choose either save or print
  • Step 4: Click on Change & choose the destination location for the resultant PDF click change button to set destination
  • Step 5: Click the Unlock button & enable PDF signing click the unlock button to digitally sign a pdf
  • Step 6: Finally, the process completion message has been displayed can't sign pdf in adobe reader

To check whether signing is allowed or not open the PDF in Adobe Reader DC & view document properties. If the signing is changed from Not Allowed to Allowed then you have successfully enabled signing permissions: can't sign pdf in adobe reader

Now, in the next section we are going to discuss the following steps to add signature in Adobe document.

How to Digitally Sign PDF in Adobe Reader DC?

Once you get the resultant PDF file by the tool, follow the instructions given below:

  • Step 1) Firstly, open your PDF file, which you want to sign with Adobe Reader DC or Acrobat Pro DC
  • Step 2) In the second step, click on the ‘Tools’ menu
  • Step 3) Now, go with the option of ‘Fill and Sign’ and click on it select the fill and sign option
  • Step 4) After this, you will be able to see the ‘sign’ icon that seems like a pen in the center of the toolbar. Then, click on it
  • Step 5) If you are a new user or you have never set a sign before, then it will display you two options:
    • Add signature
    • Add initials

If you want to add a signature then, you can choose the first option, i.e., Add signature select the add signature option

Unfortunately, an option to sign through a webcam is not possible in Adobe Reader DC. But, this feature was available in the previous version of Adobe Reader for Windows. Now, continue with the three option to sign PDF

Top Options to Digitally Sign a PDF Document in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

  • Type a Sign in the default font

If a user has no issue that the sign is not in his/ her handwriting. So, this option will provide an easy and quick way to fix your issue you just write your name and click on it.

  • Design your own Signature

Here, in this step users can take the help of Mouse, Webcam pen, or tablet to make their own signature. If users are not satisfied then, they can erase them when they feel satisfied so, they simply click the ‘Done’ button

  • Upload Image of your Sign

In this step, if users prefer to sign with a marker or pen, then simply find a white sheet and sign with a black pen in the mid. Now, users can take a photograph or scan it all depends on their choice. Next, after you are done with the scanning save it so, you can able to access it to your local machine. Adobe Reader DC supports these files like PNG, JPEG, TIFF, BMP, and JPG, so you have to choose one of the formats to save your image. When you are ready to upload your image, then choose the image and ‘Upload’ it, if you are satisfied then select ‘done’.

After completion of all these three methods, users will be able to see the signature on the sheet. Now, your sign is available on the page that, you can re-size them by dragging the corners. Hereby, Adobe Acrobat Reader DC will remember your sign so, when you want to sign next time then, select the sign icon and click onto your sign to upload it.

Let’s Wrap Up

These days most of the users try to save their data in PDF files because it is the safest file format. But, sometimes users may face an issue, and search for queries like: can’t sign PDF in Adobe Reader DC issue or PDF won’t let me digitally sign. Therefore, to resolve this issue we have discussed the complete procedure in detail. This solution will completely help users when Adobe fill and sign not working.

Frequently Asked Questions

1- Why Adobe Acrobat DC Sign is Greyed Out?

Due to signing restrictions in the document the Sign button greyed out or disabled.

2- How to add a signature in a secured PDF document?

To add a signature in such kind of PDF documents firstly un-restrict the document. Once unrestricted, sign it with the help of Adobe Acrobat Pro DC.

3- Why the option “PDF Signing” is Not Allowed in Adobe Reader?

It is because the author of the document had disabled these Signing permissions.

4- How to put signature in PDF on Mac?

Mac Preview helps users to put the sign in the Adobe PDF files.


By Ashwani Tiwari

Being a Chief Technical Analyst, I am aware of the technicalities faced by the user while working with multiple technologies. So, through my blogs and articles, I love to help all the users who face various challenges while dealing with technology.