I frequently find myself receiving PDF documents (often badly scanned/faxed contracts) that require my signature. I want to be able to take these PDFs (again, scanned-as-image) and insert an image into them, and then send them back, rather than the printing-signing-scanning cycle again and again.

I know that many PDF editor tools, from Acrobat to Foxit, can do it, but I feel paying for a full-fledged PDF editor is overkill for this very specific application. There are also free/trial versions, but they tend to add watermarks, which I would like to avoid.

So, can anyone recommend a free (preferably) or cheap (if necessary) GUI application for Windows 7+, easy to use for non-technical users, that can allow me to insert an arbitrary GIF/PNG into a PDF?

What I don't need:

  • Tools for adding watermarks - this should be a small (100x100px or so) image in the foreground.
  • Tools for editing structured PDF forms. My documents are usually scanned as images.
  • Tools for converting a PDF to a PNG to other image and editing it in an image editor. I already know how to do that, and wish to avoid the hassle of extra conversions.
  • APIs/libraries/CLI applications.

3 Answers 3


You can do this easily in the free Foxit PDF reader using the Stamp Tool.

  1. Copy the image of interest to the clipboard: open in an image editor, or copy directly out of a web page.
  2. In Foxit, press Control-V to paste the image. It will be inserted into your document using the Stamp Tool by default.
  3. Resize, reposition, and rotate the image as needed.

The Stamp Tool is actually designed so that you can easily "stamp" a PDF document with a scan or vector graphic (PDF file) of your signature. I'll give directions for Foxit using "Classic Toolbar" mode:How to change to Classic Toolbar Mode

  1. Using the menus, go to Comments->Stamp->Create Custom Stamp:Create Custom Stamp
  2. Choose a file that contains the image that you wish to use.
  3. Use Manage Stamps to choose how your stamp is presented in the menu. For example, I have configured Foxit to store my signature and my wife's signature under the Signatures submenu in the screenshot above.

The Stamp feature makes Foxit one of the tools that I use most frequently when dealing with electronic documents.


The other answer also suggested the free Foxit Reader, but there's an even easier way to add a single image to a document from that program. You can find it on the Home tab:

Image Annotation tool in Foxit Reader

(Don't let the word "Annotation" put you off, to the end user there's very little difference.)

Full disclosure: I work for Foxit. However, I frequently use and research a lot of PDF software, and I don't know of any other free programs that include this feature.

  • Thanks for the answer, Brian – but could you please edit it and fill some gaps: Does it fit all the requirements listed in the question? Does it come with a price tag? Where to get it (link)? Any personal experiences to share (i.e. what makes it recommendable)? We're striving for a quite high quality standard here; for a guide, please take a look at our discussion on what makes an answer high quality. Thanks!
    – Izzy
    Commented Oct 22, 2015 at 20:41
  • Those questions are answered in the other answer, but I suppose mine should stand on my own, shouldn't it. I would have put it as a comment on the first answer, but I guess new users can't do that. I honestly can't see why, as commenting is pretty essential in my view, but I'm sure someone thinks they have a good reason for that... Commented Oct 22, 2015 at 21:24
  • We cannot do anything about that currently – but you can edit your post to improve it. Certainly helps you gaining more rep as well, so you can use comments soon :)
    – Izzy
    Commented Oct 22, 2015 at 21:26

That functionality is built into the free Adobe Reader. I'm running Reader XI (11.0.13) on Windows 8.1.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Access Fill & Sign via the button near the top right, or the View menu.
  2. If there's a dropdown arrow to the right of Place Signature click it, and then choose Change Saved Signature. If there isn't a dropdown arrow, click Place Signature directly.
  3. Click the Use an image radio button, then click Browse... .
  4. Choose your signature image file in the Open dialog box that comes up. Like so: enter image description here
  5. Place the image where you want it in your document. Resize it, if you want, by dragging its corner.

Note that I haven't upgraded to Reader DC and so can't say for sure whether it supports this, but 11 continues (for now) to be available from https://get.adobe.com/reader/otherversions/ .

https://acrobat.adobe.com/us/en/pricing/pricing-compare-plans.html seems to indicate that you can still sign in Reader DC; https://helpx.adobe.com/acrobat/how-to/fill-and-sign-forms-anywhere.html?set=acrobat--fundamentals--pdf-forms says you can upload a signature picture, but the top of that page says Adobe Acrobat DC, so maybe Reader DC is different. If someone has a copy of Reader DC and can test, please chime in.

Also, "upload" (and other things on that page) make it sound, to me, like we're talking about a profile in the cloud. If you're uncomfortable storing your signature in the cloud, a different option may be better for you.

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