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How to: Sign a PDF on Android Without Printing a Thing

Now that it is 2015 – hell, even dating back to 2012 – you should know how to sign a PDF document without having to print a piece of paper. If you don’t yet, that’s OK, because the inspiration behind this post is the fact that almost the entire Droid Life team had no idea how to do this until a day or so ago (you know who you are). Thankfully, we can teach you in the easiest of ways, because Adobe Reader has signature support built in. Didn’t know that either? Well, good, now you do. 

I don’t think I need to run down the benefits of being able to sign a PDF on your Android device, without having to print/sign/fax/scan/shred a piece of paper, but I will anyway. First, it saves you a ton of time. Instead of printing, then signing, and then scanning before emailing, you can do it all with a couple of taps. Adobe Reader lets you open a PDF document, sign it securely, and then email, all without opening a printer or scanner or having to waste a piece of paper.

Second, printing paper to sign it before then trashing it is a complete waste. Save this Earth, folks! On that note, once you print, sign, scan, and email a piece of paper, what do you do with it afterwards? Shred? Yep, another machine you can completely avoid by signing digitally.

Finally, signing a PDF on your Android device can be done from anywhere. At a basketball game in the evening when an important document comes through? You can sign and send it from your seat. On a nude beach with a Mai Tai in hand when your next contract needs signing? Done without needing to cover up those privates.

See, how awesome is signing a PDF on your Android device?


1.  Download Adobe Reader from Google Play and install it (It’s free!). [Play Link] 2.  Open a PDF file that needs to be signed.
3.  When prompted, choose Adobe Reader to open it.

*Adobe Reader also has a document viewer in the left slideout navigation menu in case you have downloaded a PDF, but can’t seem to find it. Adobe Reader tries to scan your storage for PDFs. You may find it there.

4.  With PDF open, find the areas that you need to fill out and tap on the screen.
5.  A top menu should appear that looks like this:

pdf sign1

6.  Tap the icon that looks like a speech bubble behind a pen.
7.  From this menu you can fill out forms, type letters, doodle, etc.
8.  Once you are ready to sign, tap on the icon that looks like a ball point fountain pen doodling (far right).

pdf sign2

9.  Once that icon has been tapped, you need to tap on the document where you would like to sign.
10.  If you have never signed anything before, you will be taken to a screen to create a signature.
11.  Sign away using your finger!

adobe reader-4

12.  When finished, press the check box and your signature will be added to the PDF.
13.  If it’s not in the correct place, that’s OK, feel free to tap on it to highlight with a box with 4 dots.
14.  Once highlighted, you can drag the signature to a new spot, resize, or adjust color, opacity, thickness. You can delete it as well.

adobe reader-2 adobe reader-3 adobe reader

15.  With your signature in place, hit the back button once to get to the original menu.
16.  Tap the menu button and then “Share.”
17.  From there, email or send your signed PDF using the service of your choice.

  • risky wahyu nugroho

    woow..this is cool. and yeah..your article make it so easy for me

    android tips

  • sonicyoof

    I like Docusign’s input a bit better, but this is nice to know.

  • kenB

    If you want to do the same programmatically in your app there is Apitron PDF Kit for you. Has pdf generation and digital signature support, free evaluation.

  • JRomeo

    WHY does signing on a screen always show the line so thick? I wonder if its because of a setting or if its because all of the stylus you can buy for phones from amazon, have a huge curved tip. If i can find a stylus with a fine-point tip (BTW, do those exist?), would that allow me to sign with a fine-line signature?

  • jon cookson
  • Ritch

    Thanks !! I’m able to sign pdf with my smarthphone now ! 😀

  • creed

    I keep a digital signature on my laptop that I’ve been using to sign PDF’s for years with. Don’t really have a need to do this on an Android device, as this method has worked fine for me.

  • monkeybutts

    Why is Michael Jordan’s hand white? I feel like this signature was forged.

  • EngineerGunter

    Fountain* Pen, not ballpoint…

  • Ryan

    I’ve been doing this with repligo reader for ages, they had full annotations long before adobe did crap.

    I could blow customers minds by returning documents while I was on the plane by filling out and signing. Saved tons of time when they missed a ton of NDAs as I was heading onsite for a project.

    They actually remarked how much that impressed them in an after-action. Especially since I was consulting for an electronic content management and medical record system.


    Holy crap your site loads much faster with AdBlocker

    • Rock

      my sister m.kes $61 an hour on the laptop . She has been out of work for 10 months but last month her income was $21023 just working on the laptop for a few hours. you can check here;.Thanks

    • Ryan

      Yeah for some reason this site runs terribly in my phone. Some advert must be running a crap script

    • 🙁

    • JRomeo

      how did you install adblocker on your phone ?

      • JRUIV

        I didn’t, its on my computer. The other commenter mentioned his phone.

      • terrorist96

        You can do so if you have root.

  • clay

    [desktop] for the windows users out there (apple has the feature built in) i suggest foxit reader. i use it all the time for work to sign pdf’s. the nifty feature is using your camera to upload an image of your signature, and foxit will clean it up and use a perfect image of it to sign where ever you like kinda like a stamp. plus easy features of type writer mode so you can type anything anywhere.

    wish someone helped me along with that years ago, hope this helps at least a couple of people out there looking to do the same but dont know where to start. cheers!

  • Twofourturbo

    I sold my house last year and signed all documents like this.. Made it freaking awesome!!

  • Neal Brooks

    Thanks, I tried editing PDF last week, I sent to computer. Much easier this way.

  • jeesung

    #8 -> fountain pen doodling, not ball point.

  • John Huie

    Thanks! Although I think you mean not “ball point pen, ” but “fountain pen.”

  • Junaid Ansari

    Been doing this for years! Saves me a trip to University when I have to sign in and hand in a lab report.

  • Justin Foster

    This looks like a job FFFOOORRR…….S-PEN!! Oh wait, Touchwiz is too ugly for yaw to have a device with one of those…..aaahhh


    • You had it right, looks like a job for S-Pen unfortunately if you own anything else you’d need to use your finger and hope your signature doesn’t look forged. It’s ok to admit The Note would be the idea device to do this on. Stop the hate child!!!

      • MasterEthan

        Shield Tablet has a Pen as well as the PadPhone right?

      • Justin Foster

        I was actually mocking those who hate on Samsung devices. I own and love my Note 3. DroidLife is a known Samsung hating community. I guess digital sarcasm has to be put in small print now D=

        • Sometimes it’s hard to capture emotion thru words on the net, I learned that the hard way. Saying Lol after a joke or smart comment on the Internet is important especially when speaking to women. In this case I’m so used to the Sammy hate here I just thought someone was attacking my beloved OEM again. I’m sorry!

          • Justin Foster

            haha, true true. I thought the x) face would substitute for lol, but I’ll def. stick to lol xD

  • Nicholas

    I second the “nude beach with Mai Tai in hand” bit!

  • Jeff718

    How did you get MJ to help you with this article?

    • Close friend. Actually, random note, but we do have the same birthday. 😛

    • Tyler Durden

      You just have to match the same level of prick as MJ and he’ll be your friend. Fact.

      • Not easy to hate on the greatest of all time, yet somehow you make it seem natural lol 😉

        • Tyler Durden

          I praise him for being one of the greatest on the court, but in public, I would never want to be seen/friends with him after the way he has acted.

      • Orion

        Knicks fan huh?

        • Tyler Durden

          Must have forgot where I said he’s still the greatest, but he treats people like sh!t.

          • Orion

            Oh right…because you know him personally. Got it.

          • Tyler Durden

            You don’t need too. Read enough stories and articles of his ways, and you’d know. Just like Chris Kyle.

      • AreYouHavingABadDay?

        You seem to match that level quite well. You never have anything nice to say, just complaints and negativity.

        • MicroNix

          Zing! Post-of-the-day winner!!

      • creed

        A friend of mine’s father caddied for MJ back in the 90’s at some golf tournaments. If you listen to him (the caddie) tell stories about MJ, you’d believe him to be a great guy both on and off the court. Maybe he’s different after he left the NBA, but I wouldn’t know.

  • Cael

    I had no idea Kellex was also Michael Jordan.

    • Tyler Durden

      He could be, but then again, Kellex is a good guy, so he can’t be MJ.

  • Mark Aaron Collado

    awesome and convenient

  • Tyler Durden

    Now my signature can look even worse. Hooray!