How to fill out a PDF digitally
How to fill out a PDF digitally

We all know the frustration of running out of ink or paper just when we need to print an important document. Luckily, technology has a solution: filling out and signing PDFs without ever having to print them. It’s a win-win, saving both our time and the environment! So, let’s dive straight into it.

Kick-off: Select Your Software

The first step involves deciding on the software you’d prefer to use. Adobe Acrobat Reader DC is a well-liked choice that won’t cost you a dime, though other online tools, like Smallpdf or Docusign, can be equally effective. If you’re an Apple user, Preview, the Mac’s native application, will do the trick. No matter which you choose, remember that while the interface may vary, the fundamental steps are pretty similar across the board.

Step 1: Open Your PDF Document

With the software chosen and installed, go ahead and open your PDF document. If Adobe Acrobat Reader is your weapon of choice, a simple right-click on the file, followed by ‘Open with Adobe Acrobat Reader,’ will do.

Step 2: Populate Your PDF

Find the ‘Fill & Sign’ or a similar feature in the toolbar. In Adobe Reader, it’s typically located on the right side. Once activated, you can click on any area of the document and type away. A word to the wise: it won’t automatically jump to the next field like some internet forms, so be sure to manually click each field that needs your input.

Step 3: Lay Down Your John Hancock

This is where things get exciting: signing your document. Under the ‘Fill & Sign’ feature, look for a ‘Sign’ option. Depending on your preference, you can choose to type, draw, or upload an image of your signature. If you opt to type, the software will transform your typed name into a scrawl that resembles a handwritten signature. If you prefer to draw, simply use your mouse or trackpad. And if you decide to upload an image, just ensure your signature is clear and set against a white background. Once you’re satisfied with your signature, you can insert it into the document’s signature line.

Step 4: Preserve Your Work

Filled and signed to your heart’s content? Now save it to ensure your efforts aren’t lost. Click ‘File’ and ‘Save As,’ then decide where you want to store it. Before you send it off, do one last check to avoid any faux pas like half-filled forms or signatures in odd places!

Wrapping Up

There you go! You’ve now mastered the art of filling out and signing a PDF without resorting to print. It’s not just a cool trick to have up your sleeve but a practical one too, aiding in saving precious resources.

Remember, tech tools are here to streamline our lives, so embrace them and keep exploring new methods that could save you time and effort. Who knows what other life hacks you might stumble upon?

Eric Chan

Hi! I’m Eric and I work on the knowledge base at  You can see some of my writings about technology, cellphone repair, and computer repair here.

When I’m not writing about tech I’m playing with my dog or hanging out with my girlfriend.

Shoot me a message at if you want to see a topic discussed or have a correction on something I’ve written.

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