Create a self-signed digital ID

Sensitive transactions between businesses generally require an ID from a certificate authority rather than a self-signed one.

1. In Acrobat, click the Edit menu and choose Preferences > Signatures.

2. On the right, click More for Identities & Trusted Certificates.

3. Select Digital IDs on the left, and then click the Add ID button. 

Add a new digital ID

4Select the option A New Digital ID I Want To Create Now, and click Next.

Create a new digital ID

5Specify where to store the digital ID, and click Next.

New PKCS#12 Digital ID File


Stores the digital ID information in a file, which has the extension .pfx in Windows and .p12 inMac OS. You can use the files interchangeably between operating systems. If you move a file from one operating system to another, Acrobat still recognizes it.


Windows Certificate Store (Windows only)


Stores the digital ID to a common location from where other Windows applications can also retrieve it.


6Do the following:

  1. Type a name, email address, and other personal information for your digital ID. When you certify or sign a document, the name appears in the Signatures panel and in the Signature field.
  2. Choose an option from the Key Algorithm menu. The 2048-bit RSA option offers more security than 1024-bit RSA, but 1024-bit RSA is more universally compatible.
  3. From the Use Digital ID For menu, choose whether you want to use the digital ID for signatures, data encryption, or both.
  4. Click Next.

Enter your identity information

7. Do the following:

  1. Type a password for the digital ID file. For each keystroke, the password strength meter evaluates your password and indicates the password strength using color patterns. Reconfirm your password.
  2. The digital ID file is stored at the default location as shown in the File Name field. If you want to save it somewhere else, click Browse and choose the location.
  3. Click Finish.

Provide a password for the ID

If a digital ID file with the same name exists, you're prompted to replace it. Click OK to replace, or browse and select a different location to store the file.

8The ID is created. You can export and send your certificate file to contacts who can use it to validate your signature.

The ID is created


Make a backup copy of your digital ID file. If your digital ID file is lost or corrupted, or if you forget your password, you cannot use that profile to add signatures.


Congratulations!!! You just created your first digital signature.

If you want to learn more about digital signatures, click here