Signing Documents Electronically with Adobe Sign


This article is intended for faculty and staff.

Electronic Signatures

This guide explains how to securely sign documents electronically with Adobe Acrobat DC, with Microsoft Outlook, and with Adobe Sign.

An electronic signature, or an e-signature, is a legal way to get consent or approval on electronic documents or forms. It can replace a handwritten signature in virtually any process. Electronic signatures are legally valid and enforceable. Examples include contracts, application forms, new hire onboarding forms, nondisclosure agreements, vendor onboarding documents, RFPs, and change authorizations.

Learn more about electronic signatures or e-signatures >

The preferred methods for collecting electronic signatures with Adobe products include

  1. Using Adobe Acrobat DC - this method directly replaces printing a document, signing it, and scanning it to a PDF.
  2. Using ​​​​Adobe Sign - this method uses a certificate-based digital signature that allows the user to send, sign, track, and manage the signature process using Outlook, a web browser, or mobile device. This is especially useful when requesting signatures from multiple individuals. 

Using Adobe Acrobat DC

To sign a PDF document or form, you can type, draw, or insert an image of your handwritten signature. You can also add text, such as your name, company, title, or the date. When you save the document, the signature and text become part of the PDF. 

  1. Open Adobe Acrobat DC (click here for installation instructions
  2. Open the PDF document or form that you want to sign.
  3. Click the Sign icon  in the toolbar to type or draw a signature. If you've already added your signature or initials, just select it from the Sign options, and then click at the place in the PDF where you want to add your signature.Global sign tool
  4. If you are signing for the first time, the Signature or Initials panel will appear. Below is an example of the Signature panel. You can choose to type, draw, or import a signature image. Added signatures and initials are saved for future use. 
    • Click Type to type your name into the field. You can select from several signature styles; click Change style to view a different style.
    • Click Draw to draw your signature into the field.
    • Click Image to browse and select an image of your signature.
    • When the Save signature checkbox is selected, and you are signed in to Adobe Acrobat DC, the added signature is saved securely in Adobe Document Cloud for reuse.
    • A screenshot of the Signature field in Adobe Sign.
  5. Click Apply, then click the place in the PDF where you want to place the signature or initials.
  6. Once signed, you can save your document as a PDF and close Adobe Acrobat DC. You can then send your PDF via email as if you were sending a printed-signed document.
  7. Alternately, you can click the Next icon in the toolbar and share your PDF via a link or Request Signatures on that PDF using Adobe Sign.

Note: If you want to use an image as your signature:

  • Sign your name in black ink on a clean, blank sheet of white paper. Sign in the middle of the paper so you don't photograph or scan the edges.
  • Photograph or scan your signature. If you are taking a picture of your signature, make sure that the page is lit and that no shadows fall across the signature.
  • Transfer the photo or scan to your computer. Acrobat/Reader accepts JPG, JPEG, PNG, GIF, TIFF, TIF, and BMP files. You do not need to crop the image. Acrobat/Reader imports just the signature if the photo or scan is fairly clean. 

Using Adobe Sign

You can use the Adobe Sign for Microsoft Outlook Add-In to electronically sign a document that has been sent from Adobe Sign or use Adobe Sign via the web.

Installing the Adobe Sign for Microsoft Outlook Add-In

  1. Within the Microsoft Outlook desktop application, click Get Add-Ins on the Home ribbon.
  2. In the search box, enter Adobe Sign.
  3. Click Add for the Adobe Sign Add-In for Outlook. After enabling the add-in, the Adobe Sign section will appear in the Home ribbon.A screenshot of the Adobe Sign ribbon.
  4. To establish the trust between Microsoft Outlook and Adobe Sign:
    1. Click New Email on the Home ribbon as if you were composing a new email.
    2. Click Send for Signature on the Message ribbon. This opens the add-in panel.
    3. Click Get Started in the add-in panel.
    4. Authenticate with Microsoft Outlook with your IC email address and password.
    5. Microsoft Outlook then prompts you to grant access to the add-in. Click Accept.
    6. Authenticate with Adobe Sign with your IC email address and password.
    7. Adobe Sign then prompts you to grant access to the add-in. Click Accept.
    8. The add-in panel will change to show the Adobe Sign welcome screen. Click Got It to open the configuration panel.

The Adobe Sign add-in installs on both the Microsoft Outlook desktop and web versions.

Using Adobe Sign with the Microsoft Outlook Add-In

Microsoft Outlook's desktop and web application have two modes:


When you start a new email or reply to an existing email in the desktop application, the Send for Signature feature is available in the Message ribbon.

A screenshot of the Send for Signature button in Outlook.

When you start a new email or reply to an existing email in the web application, the Adobe Sign application is available via the  ellipsis at the bottom of the compose panel.
A screenshot of the Adobe Sign menu.


When you are viewing an email in the desktop application, the Fill and Sign, Send for Signature, and Agreement Status features are available.
A screenshot of the Adobe Sign ribbon.

When you are viewing an email in the web application, the Fill and Sign, Send for Signature, and Agreement Status features are available via the  ellipsis at the right of the message panel.​​​
A screenshot of the Adobe Sign menu.

The features include:

  • Fill and Sign: This allows the sender to add content to, sign, and optionally send a file to another party as a completed document.
  • Send for Signature: This allows the sender to create an agreement that can have one or multiple recipients other than the sender. The sender may be a recipient, just not the only recipient.
  • Agreement Status: This displays a list of the last ten agreements that include the user, including Draft, Out for Signature, Waiting for me to sign, and Signed.

See the Using the Add-In section from Adobe on instructions for using the add-in to fill and sign, and send signatures from Microsoft Outlook >

Using Adobe Sign via the web

  1. Visit, the Adobe Sign webpage.
  2. Enter your Ithaca College email address in the email address text box and click Continue.
  3. When prompted to Select an Accountclick Company or School Account.
  4. When prompted for SSO, authenticate with your IC username and password.
  5. If prompted for authorization, click Do Not Ask Me Again and click Accept
  6. Click In Progress to view electronic signatures that are in process or click Waiting For You to see electronic signatures that need your signature.

Step By Step Guides to Adobe Sign

Learn More


Article ID: 831
Thu 4/9/20 10:19 AM
Fri 2/5/21 11:14 AM

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