Customers sometimes ask if they can connect an electronic signature pad to a laptop to sign an Adobe PDF document in Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader. The answer is yes, you can. However, support for signature pads requires drivers and plug-ins to Acrobat or Adobe Reader. Also, the PDF document must have the necessary usage rights applied in Adobe LiveCycle Reader Extensions ES to activate the functionality within Adobe Reader (version 7 of later) that enables users to sign the document.
Adobe lists several partners that support electronic signature pads on the Adobe Security Partner Community. Visit the site and have a look at CIC, Interlink, and SoftPro. These partners provide solutions that can enable you to sign Signature fields in PDF forms.
You can also use a device like a Wacom tablet (not a dedicated signature pad) to sign a PDF document in Acrobat or Adobe Reader. In Adobe Acrobat 9.0 (or later), you can select the Apply Ink Signature option available on the Sign & Certify menu, (Advanced > Sign & Certify), to enable the Pencil commenting tool. With this solution, users can sign or write anywhere in the PDF document. However, the document’s integrity is not locked down after the document is signed, like it is when you the use one of the signature pad solutions from one of the providers mentioned above. In Adobe Reader, users can sign the PDF document as long as the necessary functionality is enabled in Adobe LiveCycle Reader Extensions ES, and the appropriate plug-in is installed for the signature software that uses the Wacom tablet.