During times of national disasters or university closures, you may not always have the necessary tools on hand to print, sign, and scan documentation. Digital signage functionality can be a huge help in this regard, as it prevents documentation from piling up and processes from being halted.

Note that there’s a difference between electronically signing a document and using a digital signature. An electronic signature is where you simply add an image as your signature to a document. Adding a digital signature is more secure as a cryptographic mechanism is used to ensure the authenticity and origin of the document.

The following instructions may be used by anyone at UCT to sign documentation. For Food and Connect, use DocuSign, which is part of their official workflow processes.

Electronically sign a document

Both Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader allows you to electronically sign PDFs using the Fill & Sign functionality. Once the document is signed, the signature cannot be removed or edited. This process allows multiple people to sequentially sign a document, as each signature is individually handled.

  1. Open the PDF document and do one of the following:
    • Click the Sign icon in the toolbar.
    • Click Tools > Fill & Sign.
    • Select Fill & Sign in the right had column.
  2. In the window that appears, click Fill and sign.
    • If your document is a form, the editable fields will be highlighted in blue. Select the required box and enter the relevant information.
    • To ensure your signature is consistent with the text colour used in the document, ensure the Retain original color for signatures checkbox is selected.
  3. Click the Sign icon.
    • If you have already used this option, your previously-loaded signature will appear. Select it and click on the PDF where the signature should be placed.
    • If you are using this option for the first time, either select Add Signature or Add initials. Then select one of the following options to add your signature.
      • Type: Enter your Name/initial and surname and click Change style to select a suitable font.
      • Draw: Use your mouse or trackpad to draw your signature.
      • Image: Use an image of your signature.
    • Ensure the Save Signature checkbox is selected, then click Apply.
    • Move the signature to its designated spot.
  4. You can then share the document with others.

Should you need to sign a document on your mobile device, follow these recommended steps or watch this video.

Submit documentation for signature

If you need to send documentation that needs to be signed, follow these step-by-step instructions.

Safety tips

  • Remember to always keep electronic copies of the email and signed document for verification purposes at a later stage.
  • Avoid storing your signature on an unsecure device. If your device gets hacked, a cybercriminal can illegally use your signature to their advantage.
  • Digitally signing a document does not imply that a document's confidentiallity is cryptographically ensured. Use document encryption which adds a security certificate to your document.