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We often need to fill in PDF documents, sign them (visually, a hand written signature), and return them to a business. Printing and scanning is time consuming and results in lower quality documents. What are the best options for filling in PDFs via a browser?

"Installed software" solutions exist, such as using Adobe Reader, macOS Preview, etc.

For this question I'm looking for web browser based solutions people can use manually (not e.g. an SDK or API).

Considerations would include at least:

  • Privacy. Reputable brand and privacy policy?
  • Ease of use. How easily can text and signatures be added to fill in forms?
  • Fax. Sad to say, but some businesses still only accept postal mail or fax to receive forms.
  • Price. Suitable for individuals? Small businesses? One time payment or recurring fee?
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  • Are you looking for just visual signing (image or stylus path), or full cryptographic digital signatures using a private certificate from a Certificate Authority? Are you looking for a SDK, or an already available end user application available on chromebooks?
    – Ryan
    Apr 27, 2020 at 19:46
  • Thanks, question clarified to indicate visual signature and manual application. Apr 28, 2020 at 23:16

2 Answers 2

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Pictorial signatures on PDF has no legal value and does not provide non-repudiation. Signing PDF Documents from modern browsers using digital certificate requires browser extension to access local certificate store.

Free service to sign PDF documents online is available at Signer.Digital. The required browser extension Signer.Digital is also free.

If you want to integrate the whole thing in your web application, it is very much possible and developer notes are also present on above portal.

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Open-Source StirlingPDF has an option to sign PDFs, but I don't know if it fits your use case.

StirlingPDF can be deployed as a docker container locally, on premises or in the cloud.

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