How to Create a Digital Signature

This feature is only available on the desktop version of Soda PDF. 

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.

  • Click on Secure.
  • Select Digital Signature.
  • Click on New 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.

  • Click on Select Image.



This will open a Browse window where you can find the image you’d like to use. You will see the image on the preview screen.

  • 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.

  • Click on Secure.
  • Select Digital Signature.
  • Click on New ID.



Click on the three dots to expand the list of settings.




In the window that opens up, you will need to fill in the following information:

  • 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.
  • Enter your Email Address in the corresponding field.
  • Your Organization Name will also be added.
  • You can add the Organization Unit (this is your department).
  • Choose your Country/Region.
  • The Duration requests the length of time your Digital Signature remains valid.
  • You can choose your encryption rate from the drop-down menu under Key Algorithm.
  • 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.




  • You can also Create new digital ID from file by clicking the folder icon.




  • In the new window, click on Browse… and select an existing certificate in the .pfx or .p12 format.




  • After you have configured the Appearance and Certificate components you can click the MAKE DEFAULT button to save the changes so the next time you use the Digital Signature option, it will maintain the previously chosen formatting.




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 Digital Signature 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.



  • 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, toggle the switch. By default, it is 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 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.

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


Click here to learn more about how to change, verify, or delete your signature.


We also have the E-Sign module that allows you to electronically sign PDFs and track and manage e-signatures in real time.

If the E-Sign module is not available for you, you can purchase it here.


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