Sign PDF document

Sign PDF document - simple and secure

Digital documents have long been a quasi-standard in communication and contracting. However, a signature is often required in order to make a legally binding declaration of intent. For a very long time, the document was printed out and signed by hand. Only with the introduction of digital signatures has it become possible to avoid media discontinuity and to sign the digital document electronically as well.
A document that has been electronically signed in a way that can be used as evidence must be able to reliably identify changes made after signing. To ensure this, PDF is used as the format for documents. The secure interaction of PDF format and electronic signature guarantees that manipulations are detected. This is known as document integrity.

Sign PDF document

These solutions allow PDF documents to be digitally signed

The optimal solution for every application scenario: StepOver offers various options for signing PDF documents.

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The easiest and fastest way to sign PDF documents during face-to-face processeseSignatureOffice our fully automatable offline signature solution in combination with a StepOver signature pad or Windows Tablet PC.

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The solution for anyone who wants to integrate our signature solution into an already existing application – our Signature API in combination with a StepOver signature pad or Windows Tablet PC.

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Suitable for obtaining signatures from people without the signer having to be directly present - our cloud solution webSignatureOffice, available for all mobile devices and StepOver signature pads.

Sign PDF document

The PDF format as the basis of the electronic signature

An electronic signature must meet certain requirements in order to be recognized as evidence. In addition to the verifiability of the signature, the format of the underlying document is essential. Changes made after signing must be identifiable as such. The PDF format in the form of the long-term archivable PDF/A has established itself as the market standard and is therefore the basis for the digital signature process.

Evidence capability

Ensuring the so-called document integrity is crucial for the provability of a document. This is realized by using so-called checksums over the document to be signed. In the case of StepOver products, the use of highly secure, globally recognized cryptographic processes ensures the security of certificate-based and handwritten electronic signatures. For handwritten electronic signatures, a patented procedure using a notarial asymmetric key pair is also used to ensure maximum security. In simple terms, a checksum is formed from the document to be signed. This checksum becomes part of a highly secure cryptographic key. With this key, the biometric data of your signature is encrypted and invisibly added to the electronic document. The visible signature is merely a visual reference. If the document is modified after the signature, the newly created checksum will no longer match the original checksum. As a result, the key generated from this is also no longer the key used to encrypt the biometric data during signing. In addition, the biometric data of the handwritten signature can only be decrypted with the help of a notary, which prevents misuse and provides the operator with maximum verifiability as to who, when and whether someone had access to this data. You can easily determine whether the document has been altered or tampered with after the certificate-based or handwritten electronic signature using free standard products such as Adobe Reader.


Due to the above-mentioned requirements for long-term archivability and vendor independence of the document format, there are only a few usable document formats. By far the most widely used suitable format is PDF/A.

Microsoft Office formats such as Word or Excel are intended more for creating and editing documents and are considered unsuitable for the areas of electronic signatures and document archiving. Therefore, we recommend converting all other formats to the PDF/A format.

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