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Create a signature stamp to sign forms using Acrobat X

Learn how to e-sign a PDF form by converting your handwritten signature to an Acrobat stamp.

By Tony DeYoung – February 4, 2011


Learn how to e-sign a PDF form by converting a scan of your handwritten signature to an Acrobat stamp. A signature stamp makes it fast and easy to e-sign forms without printing them. From the Comment task pane, open Annotations. Select Custom Stamps from the Stamp Icon pull down. Select Custom Stamps > Create Custom Stamps. Import a gif of your scanned signature. Now place the stamp whenever you need to sign. It will be accepted almost anywhere that you could use a real-world signature stamp.

Products covered:

Acrobat X

Related topics:

Sign Microsoft Word documents, Create electronic signatures, Create digital signatures, Sign and Send PDFs

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Comments for this tutorial are now closed.

Lori Kassuba

2, 2015-01-12 12, 2015

Hi Na’aeem,

You need to create your own signature image. You can use a webcam or scanner to capture the image.



4, 2015-01-06 06, 2015

Dear Sir/ Madam.
Could you please send me a copy of signature so that I can add it to my applications.
Wish you all the best.

Patty Friesen

3, 2013-08-30 30, 2013

Hi Joseph,

Thanks for pointing this out. Looks like there’s a problem with the video. I’ve asked our web developer to take a look.


Joseph Talluto

4, 2013-08-28 28, 2013

The instruction video stopped just as the Author was going to the Comment button.  My computer or your video?

George Kaiser

2, 2013-07-10 10, 2013

This is a legal attestation form with a legal certification subject to federal court prosecution, it might be appropriate to use the digital certificate on such a form. That signature process would either be established by the IRS as with the electronic filing of tax forms or by federal law. I do not believe that the use of a facsimile signature is appropriate. The IRS will accept a faxed signed form but the sender may need to provide the original form with an inked signature.

Tony Deyoung

6, 2012-08-07 07, 2012

Joseph,  you can sign any document in PhotoShop elements the same way. Have a transparent gif, import it, resize and position it. Then render into the document. 
This is essentially what I am doing in Acrobat - rendering a graphic into the page (using the Acrobat Action to actually flatten it into the document so it can’t be lifted).

Joseph F Talluto

3, 2012-08-06 06, 2012

Just what I was looking for to enable me to send back signed documents. Can this also be used in signing photographs in Photoshop Elements?

Bernice Glenn

4, 2012-08-03 03, 2012

I most always pass over videos of how-to’s unless they show a really complex and highly detailed set of instructions that rely on visuals for their execution. Even then, a standard text descrption, written in steps, works better than the video alone.
I didn’t even open the stamp video, because viewing it would take too long, compared to a text description.
This comment applies to all your documentation!

Hi Bernice,
Thank you for your feedback. We’re looking at implementing infographics on our site, which should address some of your concerns. Also, many of our videos have a written transcript available at the end of the description field. Click the link to view the transcript.
Hope this help.
Program Manager, Acrobat User Community

Cathy Dobbins

4, 2012-08-03 03, 2012

Peter, I always create another PDF of the document (save as PDF), so that the image I’ve laid in as a watermark isn’t something you can just lift out. But, like I said, it only seems to work if the document was created in Word or Excel or something and then converted to PDF. If it was scanned to PDF, it won’t appear behind page.

Tony DeYoung

5, 2012-08-02 02, 2012

Peter & Cathy & Judi,
I use an Action to flatten my signature into the document so it cannot be lifted.

It then becomes the equivalent of a scanned form.  Electronic signing in Acrobat is also a great solution, however those signatures are only visible in Adobe Products (i.e. not Mac Preview). Also many companies do not accept digitally signed docs.  But they will accept a stamped and flattened signed doc because it is identical to a traditional scanned and manually signed document.

Peter Altschuler

11, 2012-07-30 30, 2012

The tool is fine. Using it for signatures is dumb. As soon as you’ve created a standard signature, anyone who gets their hands on the file could forge an infinite number of documents. And, if the Acrobat user doesn’t set a document’s properties to prevent copying of elements, the document itself might as well come with a banner saying, “Hey, want my signature? Take it.”

Cathy Dobbins

9, 2012-07-30 30, 2012

Patrick, how do you create a transparent signature? I’ve been laying them in as watermarks and selecting “appear behind page”, but often the signature disappears so I have to leave it on top, which then defeats my attempt to make the signature appear authentic.


9, 2012-07-30 30, 2012

Can’t some one copy your signature and use it themselves?  I realize if the PDF was saved without editing capability, it wouldn’t be.  But, what if it was?  Is there a way to secure the signature only?


9, 2012-07-30 30, 2012

I finally figured out how to get the transparent background, but now when I use the stamp, it comes in really large. How do I get it to come in actual size?

Tony DeYoung

9, 2012-07-30 30, 2012

Hi Patrick,

Just make the signature a transparent gif.  That is a Photoshop tutorial you can easily find.



7, 2012-07-30 30, 2012

I agree with Mr. Lyons. Please, do share…

Patrick Lyons

2, 2012-07-30 30, 2012

You left out the most important parts viz. how to create a transparent signature and also how to have your signature appear authentic i.e. not a pasted graphic.  All you did was show the easy part

Comments for this tutorial are now closed.