Adding your digital signature to documents in Google Docs is a quick and easy way to sign documents electronically. With just a few clicks, you can add a personalized signature without needing to print, sign, scan and upload documents.
Why Use Digital Signatures
Digital signatures in Google Docs provide several key benefits:
- Legally binding – Digital signatures carry the same legal weight as wet ink signatures in most jurisdictions when properly implemented.
- Secure – Digital signatures are more secure than wet ink as they are cryptographically validated to prove authenticity.
- Convenient – No printing, scanning or faxing required. Just click to sign from anywhere.
- Eco-friendly – Go paperless by signing documents digitally.
How To Insert a Digital Signature in Google Docs
There are a few different methods to add a digital signature in Google Docs:
1. Draw Your Signature
The easiest way is to draw your signature right within Google Docs:
- Click Insert > Drawing > New from the toolbar
- Select the Scribble drawing mode
- Draw your signature with your mouse or touchpad
- Click Save and Close
You can then drag your signature to position it on the document.
2. Upload an Image of Your Signature
If you want your exact signature rather than drawing it, you can upload an image:
- Click Insert > Image
- Select your signature image file and click Open
- Drag the signature image to position it on the document
Make sure your signature image has a transparent background so only the signature appears.
3. Use the Drawing Tools Signature
Google Drawings includes several signature images you can insert:
- Click Insert > Drawing > New
- Click the arrow next to the line icon
- Select the Signatures tab
- Choose a signature image and click Apply
- Drag the signature to position it on your document
While less personalized, this method is very fast.
4. Use an eSignature Add-on
Several Google Docs add-ons provide advanced digital signature capabilities:
- DocuSign – Industry-leading eSignature solution deeply integrated into Google Docs.
- PandaDoc – Intuitive interface to prepare, sign and manage documents.
- Secured Signing – Legally binding signatures secured by blockchain technology.
These tools allow you to customize signatures, request multiple signatures and automate workflows. Many offer free trials to test them out.
Best Practices for Digital Signatures
Follow these best practices when inserting digital signatures into Google Docs:
- Draw don’t type – Insert a handwritten signature by drawing rather than typing your name. It is more legally binding.
- Use color – Draw your signature in blue or black ink for a realistic look.
- Match your usual signature – Design your digital signature to appear visually similar to your handwritten version.
- Save as PDF – Convert the document to PDF format before signing to prevent edits after applying signatures.
By following these best practices, your digital signatures in Google Docs will be secure and legally valid.
More Tips for Working With Signatures
Here are some additional tips for managing signatures in Google Docs:
Create saved signatures – Draw your signature once then save it to My Drive to reuse it on multiple documents.
Request multiple signatures – With an add-on, you can route documents to multiple people to sign in order.
Sign with your finger – Use a touchscreen device and stylus to “handwrite” your signature for a natural look.
Add date signed – Include auto-inserted date fields next to signatures to record when they were applied.
Password protect signed PDFs – Prevent edits to final PDFs by adding a password after adding signatures.
By mastering digital signatures in Google Docs, you can save time, go paperless and rest assured documents are securely e-signed.