You cannot digitally sign a PDF with Reader UNLESS the PDF has been "Reader Extended". This can be done using LiveCycle ES2 Reader Extensions (server product) or Acrobat Professional X (File > Save As > Reader extended PDF)
could that signature be a safe, secured, digital signature or does it need a certificate?
Would I need to set up this digital signature in some way?
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I'm not clear on what you are asking.
To sign a PDF, either with Reader or Acrobat, the person siging the document must have a digital identity (digital certificate, public\private key pair) to genearte the signature. There are various ways to store the digital certificate, such as the Windows Certificate store, in Acrobat or Reader you can browse to a digital ID, the digital certificate may be stored on a USB key etc.
For the recipient of the signed document to be able to properly validate the signature, they must "trust" the digital certificate (public key) of the signer. The public key is embedded in the digital signature itself, and typically you configure a "Trusted Identity" in Reader\Acrobat for the signer.
Thanks for the help with this! I was searching in vain for why my signature panel wouldn't allow for the actual signing. I was only able to leave empty forms which didn't help for signing.
In the future, you may want to suggest this as a default save format any time a blank signature form is added.