What is in your opinion the best user interface to allow the user to sign a PDF?

Option 1: From a menu command user can uploads certificate, and from another command "Sign" user can select certificate already uploaded.

Option 2: User uploads certificate in the same process of signing PDF.

2 Answers 2


The first option is more complicated and likely more prone to errors as people may not realise that uploading a certificate is not the same as signing a document. It would be up to how this is done to make this clear. However it is better for people that sign PDF documents often, as once the certificate is uploaded signing is a simple option.

The second is easier to understand, as users only have to select one option to sign a document, but it takes more time (and may be annoying) if they have to sign many documents.

I would favour the first option, but you would still have to test the way in which you lead someone through the upload certificate and sign document process. That is going to be the most critical in this case.


I think you should provide both options.

Having just option 1, users may find they are in a dead end when it comes to signing during a process of uploading pdf.

Having just option 2 you user will have to keep a copy of a certificate stored somewhere on his computer and upload it every time.

In other words:

  • users should have an option to upload certificates for further use.
  • during pdf upload process users should have a possibility choose a previously uploaded certificate or upload it on demand. If they upload it, a dialog should appear allowing user to choose if they want this certificate to be stored for further usage as well.

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