How to Create a Digital Signature

Last Updated: Apr 11, 2018 10:52AM EDT

Soda PDF Desktop

A digital signature can be used to ensure no changes have been made to your document once it has been signed.

There are two elements to a digital signature: the Appearance and Certificate components. This article will help you with creating both. Once you have created the pieces of your signature, we’ll cover how to create your signature.

Let's begin with the Appearance.

This is the aesthetic of the signature. This can be your company logo, a signature, or anything else you would like to use. Let’s go over setting up the Appearance. You can find the option to set it up under the Secure and Sign module Create Appearance.


You will need to import an image. This can be a scan of your actual signature, a company logo, or anything else you’d like to use. In the Create New Appearance window, click on the next to Select Image. This will open a Browse window where you can find the image you’d like to use. You will see the image in the preview screen on the right.

Add a name to your signature in the Signature Name field. This will be the name displayed in the list of available Appearances when creating a Digital Signature. When you are ready, click Create:

Now that the appearance is ready, you will need to create a Certificate.  Follow the steps below for assistance getting it set up. If you already have one, click here to skip ahead. You can import one while creating a signature.
Choose the Create Certificate option in the Secure and Sign module.



In the window that opens up, you will need to fill in the following information:
  1. Certificate Name is where you need to enter the name of this certificate. You will use this name to select this certificate when signing your document.
  2. Enter your Email Address in the corresponding field.
  3. Your Organization Name will also be added.
  4. You can add the Organization Unit (this is your department).
  5. Choose your Country/Region.
  6. The Duration requests the length of time your Digital Signature remains valid.
  7. You can choose your encryption rate from the drop down menu under Key Algorithm.
  8. You can choose your Storage Type to decide if this should be saved with Windows Certificates or elsewhere.
Once you have set everything up, choose Create:

Now that your signature has been applied, your document has been stamped. You can validate your signature to make sure the document has not been changed. You can also change your signature or clear it. Click here for more information.

Signing Your Document

When you combine your newly created Appearance with a Certificate, you get a Digital Signature.

Choose the Sign Document option.


Choose the image you would like to use from the drop down menu under Appearance. This will display a list of any Appearances you have created. It will be previewed on the right:


The Reason field lets you express the purpose of your Digital Signature. Pick one from the list in the drop down:

Choose the Certificate you want to use from the list in that category. This will display any certificates you have created.

You can choose whether or not to Time Stamp your certificate. To turn it off, click on Disable. By default, we leave it on. When you are ready, click on Sign:

As you move your mouse cursor, a blue box will appear on the screen. This is the area in which your signature will appear.

Clicking with the left mouse button will make your signature appear.

If your PDF file is not saved, you will be prompted to save it in order to sign your document. Click here to learn more about saving a file.

When you select it in View Mode, it will verify the validity of the signature.


Soda PDF Online

At this moment the digital signature feature is unavailable in Soda PDF Online. We are working towards getting this feature added to our web app as quick as possible. 


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