Adding a signature to a Microsoft Word document allows you to give it a personal touch and validate its contents. Word provides several methods for inserting signatures, both electronic and handwritten, into documents. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the various options.
Insert an Electronic Signature
An electronic signature in Word is a quick and easy way to sign a document digitally. Here are the steps:
- Place your cursor where you want the signature to appear
- Go to the Insert tab and click Signature Line
- Select Microsoft Office Signature Line from the menu
- A box will appear allowing you to enter the Suggested signer’s name and title
- Click OK to insert the signature line
- Double-click the signature line to open the Sign box
- Select the Signing as dropdown and choose your digital certificate
- Type your name in the box to create your electronic signature
This method allows you to add a standardized digital signature without scanning or uploading an image. However, it requires having a digital certificate installed to verify your identity.
Draw a Handwritten Signature
If you want your signature to appear handwritten, Word provides a Draw tool allowing you to draw it with your mouse or touchscreen:
- Place your cursor where you want the signature
- Go to Insert > Drawing Canvas
- Select the Draw tab
- Choose a pen to draw with
- Sign your name in the box with your mouse, touchscreen, or other pointing device
- Click outside the box once finished
The result will resemble an actual handwritten signature. This method is quick and simple but can appear less formal than an electronic signature.
Insert a Scanned Signature Image
Scanning your signature and inserting the image file gives an authentic handwritten look. Follow these instructions:
- Sign a piece of paper
- Scan your signature at a high resolution and save the image
- In Word, go to Insert > Pictures and select the signature image file
- Resize and position the photo as needed
This technique requires scanning equipment but results in the most genuine appearance. You can reuse the same scanned image in multiple documents.
Save Your Signature for Later
Rather than adding your signature from scratch each time, you can save it for easy reuse:
- Create your signature using one of the previous methods
- Select the signature image/text and go to Insert > Quick Parts > Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery
- Give it a name and save it as an AutoText entry
- To reuse it later, place your cursor and go to Insert > Quick Parts > AutoText and select your saved signature
These steps allow you to quickly insert a standardized signature into multiple Word documents.
Tips for Inserting Signatures
- Make signatures legally binding by using digital certificates with electronic signatures
- Draw simple signatures for informal documents requiring minimal verification
- Scan written signatures for maximum authenticity when formally signing important documents
- Save signatures as AutoText entries to efficiently reuse them
- Place signatures above signature/approval lines on documents
Inserting a signature into Word is quick and straightforward using these methods. Follow the steps outlined to add customized electronic or handwritten signatures to your Word documents.