Digital signatures made free and easy with DigiSigner

Sign your PDFs with this free digital certificate tool.

Digital signatures aren't just common in business, they're critical. Digitally signing your documents protects your rights and helps reassure your clients and customers. DigiSigner is a compact, free tool for digitally signing PDFs as well as verifying signatures. The signatures it produces are completely compatible with Adobe Reader, and vice versa. It can also use a variety of key files, including Windows' key store, smart cards, and PFX or PKCS#12 files.

DigiSigner requires an up-to-date version of Java, which its setup wizard can install if necessary. Its efficient interface opened with an optional tutorial that explained each step, including screenshots. When we were ready, we clicked Generate Certificate. A simple wizard let us enter name, e-mail, organization, location, and country code as well as set how long the certificate would be valid (the default setting is one year). The wizard also let us set the key size and create a password-protected key store file in our system.

We opened a PDF from our archives. Clicking Visible Signatures or Invisible Signatures produced wizards that let us place our signature anywhere on the document using crosshairs. Clicking Validate Signatures opened a side panel displaying the document's signatures, if any. Clicking Generate created a certificate that we successfully imported into Windows. Some of the Pro version's features are disabled in the freeware, such as the option to attach images like signature facsimiles or create time-stamped signatures. However, the toolbar contains a full set of PDF-handling tools.

There's a lot to like about this simple but effective and efficient tool, and not just for small businesses but also for contractors, teachers, professionals, and security-minded users in general. But businesses will probably derive the most benefit from DigiSigner's most important feature: it's free.

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