Graduate School Tutorial -- Digitally sign a PDF with your Personal Digital Certificate

The following video is a brief guide to signing a PDF document with your Virginia Tech Personal Digital Certificate in lieu of a traditional pen and ink signature.



Quick Guide:

Adobe Acrobat steps for digitally signing a PDF file:

  1. Open your PDF form and go to the place in the form to where your signature is required.  You will be placing our electronic stamp in the same place on the form where you would normally put pen to paper and sign.

  2. Locate the (+) More Tools button on the list at the right-hand side of the Acrobat window. Click on it to open the Tools panel.

  3. Under Forms and Signatures, locate the green Certificates icon depicted by an old-fashioned pen-tip with a small award ribbon under it.

  4. Click on the Certificates icon and you will be returned to your PDF form, with the Certificates toolbar now above the PDF contents.

  5. Select "Digitally Sign" from the Certificates toolbar.  Your cursor will change to a crosshair.

  6. Use the crosshair to click and drag a rectangle-shaped area over the space you would normally put pen to paper for your signature.

  7. A window will pop up with a list of the digital certificates available for signing.  If you have more than one, your Virginia Tech PDC can be identified as being issued by "InCommon RSA Standard Assurance Client CA".  Click on your Virginia Tech PDC and click "Continue".

  8. Click the "Sign" button to finish applying your digital signature.  You will be prompted to save the document.  If you do not, the digital signature process will be cancelled.  After saving the file, your digital signature will be stamped in the space you marked out for it on the Required Signature line.

The file you just saved will be the signed copy that you will share back with the Graduate School or the next approver in the list.  If you need to sign in more than one location on the document, repeat the above process for each of your signature lines in the PDF, saving after each one.