How to remove a signature from PDF for free

Maryam OseniMaryam Oseni·September 12, 2023

Picture this: a client asks you to send a contract over quickly, but you are away from your desk, and the only contract on your phone is an old, already signed one. How do you remove a signature from PDF files without ruining the quality? Whether you are striving for a more professional look or trying to protect confidential information, the need to remove signatures from PDF files is a very common one.

Removing a signature from your PDF file isn’t only about aesthetics; it is also about professionalism and privacy. Something as important as that shouldn’t have to be a daunting task. 

In this comprehensive guide, you will learn how to remove signatures from PDF files with Photoroom's Retouch tool. This tool helps you seamlessly retouch images and erase unwanted elements without ruining the image.

How to remove PDF signatures with Photoroom’s mobile app

Photoroom is an all-in-one creative photo editing platform. It has many tools and functions to help you make professional photos with a few clicks. One of the many features in Photoroom is the Retouch tool, which allows you to erase elements you don’t need from your pictures without blurring your image or ruining the background. A signature is one of the many things you can remove by retouching. 

To remove signatures from your PDFs using Photoroom, here is what you have to do:

  • Change your document to a picture using a PDF-to-JPG converter

  • Upload the converted picture to the Photoroom retouch area

  • Brush over the signature till it is completely erased

  • Save the retouched image to your device

  • Convert it back to a PDF file format

Let’s break it down step-by-step.

Convert your PDF to a picture file format

First, convert your PDF document to an image file, preferably JPG. When you convert your document to a picture format, such as JPG, you are essentially converting it into a pixel-based file. This makes it easier to edit the document, as you can manipulate the pixels to change the image's appearance.

Tools like iLovePDF and facePdf are popular for converting PDFs to varying file types and vice versa in a user-friendly interface. They both have a PDF to JPG converter that converts documents to high-quality images.

To convert your PDF file to a JPG document, follow these steps:

  1. Go to www.ilovepdf.com and select their PDF to JPG converter

  2. Click the “Select PDF Files” button

  3. Upload the document containing the signature you want to remove

  4. Select an image quality (Normal or High)

  5. Click the red “Convert to JPG” button to process the conversion in seconds

  6. Finally, select “Download JPG images” to save your results

If your document has multiple pages, each page will become an individual JPG. The combined output will be in a zipped folder. It is important to note that the quality of your JPG file can vary depending on the conversion tool used. Some tools allow you to adjust the quality settings for better output.

Retouch the converted image with Photoroom

Now that you have your image, all you have to do is retouch it in Photoroom to remove the unwanted signatures. If you don’t have the mobile app, you can download it on the App Store if you are an iPhone user, or the Google Play Store if you roll with Androids instead. You can also use the web version on your desktop at app.photoroom.com.

Once you have the app, sign up for an account. The signup process is super easy and takes less than a minute. Once you are signed in, follow these steps to remove the signature(s):

Step 1: Open the Photoroom app on your phone and upload the selected image using the “+ Start from Photo” button at the bottom of your screen. Alternatively, select “Retouch” at the top of your screen to upload your picture directly to the retouching area.

Step 2: The retouching area displays your image and a brush width slider.  Adjust the retouch brush width to your preferred size using the slider at the bottom of your screen.

Step 3: Carefully brush over the signature area with your fingertips to erase it from the document.

Don’t worry about leaving a blur or gray area where the signature used to be - Photoroom’s intelligent algorithms will blend the surrounding content to match. In the top left corner, there is a zoom box that gives you a magnified view of the area you are brushing over.

Step 4: Once you are happy with the results, click “Next” in the top right corner to preview your image and add any preferred touches.

Step 5: Select the upload icon at the top right of your screen to proceed to the export page.

Step 6: Click the “Save Image” button to download your final image directly to your picture gallery, and click “Done” in the top right corner to conclude the editing process. 

How to remove PDF signatures on your laptop or PC

Photoroom is accessible on both mobile devices and personal computers. The only difference is that you have to download an app to use it on your phone, and you can only use the web version on a laptop or PC, which is helpful if you don’t want to transfer the file to your phone.

After you have converted your PDF to JPG, follow the steps below to use Photoroom on your desktop:

Step 1: Sign up and once you have logged in, you will see your main dashboard.

Step 2: Click the “+ Select a photo” button on your screen, or select the “Retouch” tool from the tools catalog. This will bring up a screen where you can upload your converted image file.

Step 3: In the retouching area, the brush size slider will be on the right side of your screen this time. Click and drag your cursor to adjust the brush size to your preference. 

Step 4: Next, click and hold down your cursor to drag the retouch tool over the signature. Be careful and ensure that you only erase the signature and not any other important elements of the document.

Step 5: Select the purple “Confirm” button at the bottom right of your screen when you are satisfied with the final image.

Step 6: There are multiple easy-to-use tools on the left of your screen for you to make any additional changes. Once you are done, select the “Download” button in the top right corner to save your final image. 

Don’t forget to convert your JPG file back to a PDF afterward. 

When and why do you need to remove signatures from a PDF file?

One common reason for wanting to remove signatures from a PDF file is when you need to reuse a contract, but certain terms or details have changed. Instead of starting from scratch and creating a new document, it is much easier and more efficient to remove the old signatures and replace them with updated ones.

Besides wanting to reuse an old contract without pulling out your hair, there are other situations where people need to remove signatures from PDFs.

Mistakes during the signing process

Another scenario where removing signatures from PDFs is necessary is when you make mistakes during the signing process. For example, if a signer accidentally signs in the wrong place or the wrong person signs the document, it can be difficult to correct the mistake without removing the signature altogether. In this case, removing the signature allows for a fresh start and a chance to correct the error without confusion.

Protecting your/others’ privacy

When sharing documents with third parties, it's important to be mindful of the privacy of those who have already signed the document. In some cases, it may be necessary to remove the signatures from the document entirely. 

This can be particularly critical when dealing with sensitive or confidential information. The document may contain financial details, personal information, or other data that the signers would prefer to keep private. If this is the case, it's essential to respect their wishes and take steps to protect their privacy.

Invalid/expired signatures

When a contract expires, the signatures on it are no longer valid, which means that the agreed-upon terms and conditions are no longer enforceable. To update or terminate the contract, you can easily remove the signatures from the document. 

Precautions and legal considerations

Even though it looks pretty convenient to erase signatures from documents, you still have to be careful and consider any legal requirements before removing a signature. PDF signatures are often used to authenticate documents and add an extra layer of security to essential files. 

It's important to note that removing a signature from a PDF file may not be appropriate in all situations. For instance, if the signature is legally binding, you may need to consult with a lawyer or other legal expert before proceeding. 

Additionally, you should always ensure that you have the necessary permissions to edit or modify the PDF file before making any changes. If you don't have the proper authorization, attempting to remove a signature could be a violation of copyright law or other legal regulations.

One way to ensure that you don't run into any legal issues when removing a signature from a PDF file is to keep backups of the original signed PDF. This way, you can always refer to the original document if needed for your archives or other legal situations

Quick document transformation with Photoroom

Beyond removing signatures from PDFs, you can use Photoroom to retouch images and remove other unwanted elements. It is particularly useful for businesses and individuals who need to create professional-looking documents or images quickly and easily. The entire process takes less than 10 minutes, and you do not need any professional experience to use it. Download Photoroom’s mobile app from the App Store or Google Play Store to get started.

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Maryam Oseni
Maryam OseniI am a content marketer and I love painting. At Photoroom, I write about multiple ways to make your product photography better with AI.