How to Add Electronic Signatures to Microsoft Word Documents for Free
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Signatures confirm authenticity. While electronic signatures aren’t always legally binding Is Your Electronic Signature Legal Around the World? Is Your Electronic Signature Legal Around the World? Are electronic signatures valid and legal around the world? Are they more preferable to the inked handwritten signature in a paperless world? We look at what the law says globally. Read More , they do inspire trust. And adding an electronic signature is fairly easy.

We show you how to set up your electronic signature and add it to a Microsoft Word document.

1. Use Word to Insert a Handwritten Signature

If you prefer putting a personalized touch on your Word documents, opt for a handwritten signature. Note that this option requires using a scanner.

First, sign a white piece of paper. Then scan it to capture the image Scan Documents on Your Phone with CamScanner for Android Scan Documents on Your Phone with CamScanner for Android You can use this handy app to scan any document straight from your phone. Read More and import it into your computer. Once the picture appears on your screen, you may want to crop it with an image editor.

When you’re satisfied, save the image as a common file format, such as JPG, GIF, or PNG. Then go to the Insert menu at the top of Microsoft Word and click Pictures.

electronic signatures in microsoft word

Choose your signature picture from your files and click Insert. Doing that makes the scanned signature appear in the Word document. Resize it as needed, then save the document.

2. Include Additional Text With Your Scanned Signature

You may also want your electronic signature to include supplementary text. You can add your job title, contact details, or similar information with a built-in Word feature.

Using the method described above, insert your scanned signature into the document. Type the desired text underneath it.

Use your mouse to select the added text and the signature. Then, click the Insert menu at the top of Microsoft Word and pick the Quick Parts from the Text part of the panel.

From there, choose Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery. That action opens a Quick Part Gallery dialogue box that says Create New Building Block on top.

electronic signatures in microsoft word

Enter an applicable name in the first box. Choose AutoText from the Gallery dropdown box below it. Then, click OK. You can leave the other boxes as they appear.

electronic signatures in microsoft word

Want to use your new enhanced signature? Click a desired insertion point in the document, then go to the Insert menu. Choose Quick Parts, then AutoText. Clicking the AutoText option generates a menu of all created signature elements. Choose the one you want by clicking on its name.

3. Use the HelloSign Application

HelloSign is an electronic signature application that lets you drag and drop files requiring signatures. In addition to Word capability, it works with other kinds of Microsoft files plus PDFs.

HelloSign has pricing tiers, but there is a free option too.

electronic signatures in microsoft word

The complimentary version gives access to one document signer. It also lets you put signatures on three documents per month.

Google Drive integration and status notifications are other perks included with the free package.

Download: HelloSign for iOS | Android (Free, premium starting at $13/mo)

4. Use Google Docs Add-Ons

Another quick way to add a signature to your Word document is to upload the document to Google Drive The Google Docs Guide You Need for All Your Business Documents The Google Docs Guide You Need for All Your Business Documents If you have never considered Google Docs for business documents, then this quick guide will change your mind. Learn everything you need to know. Read More . When you do so, you can use Google Doc’s features to insert a signature into the file.

HelloSign also works directly with Google Docs via an add-on for that program. To use that add-on, just download it from the add-ons store within Google Docs.

electronic signatures in microsoft word

After activating it, you can draw a new signature or choose a saved version. Rest assured, all documents signed in Google Docs also show up in the website version of HelloSign.

If you want to try a different signature add-on, there are plenty of others to choose from. To find them, just click the Add-ons tab in a Google Document and select Get add-ons.

electronic signatures in microsoft word

Type the word “signature” or a related word in the search box of the add-ons store and hit Enter. Your options will populate on that screen.

Download: HelloSign for iOS | Android (Free, premium starting at $13/mo)
Download: Google Docs for iOS | Android (Free)

Note: The mobile versions of Google Docs and HelloSign may not recognize the add-on.

5. Convert Your Word File to a PDF to Sign

You can unlock even more options for professionally signing your files 8 Ways To Sign A PDF From Windows, Mac & Mobile Platforms 8 Ways To Sign A PDF From Windows, Mac & Mobile Platforms When you get that contract via email, what do you do? You have to print the last page, sign it, scan it, and email it back — surely MakeUseOf, there must be a better way? Read More by saving your Word document as a PDF.

To do that, open your Word document, go to File > Save As. Click the Save as type dropdown menu and select PDF. Follow this process when working in Windows or on a Mac.

electronic signatures in microsoft word

Now you’re all set to sign the file using the three methods discussed below.

Use a Web App to Sign Your PDF

DocHub is an online signature service that works with PDF documents. It also offers legally binding electronic signatures.

The free version of DocHub offers slightly more features than HelloSign. Each month, you can sign five documents, you can have up to three signers of each document, and you can send out up to three signature requests to people via email.

electronic signatures in microsoft word

Moreover, DocHub works on the Android and iOS platforms but does not offer dedicated apps. Instead, go to the DocHub website on a Safari or Chrome browser on your smartphone or tablet. Then sign into your account. From there, look for the Sign menu and tap it. Choose the intended signature from the list, then touch part of the document to insert it.

You can also make new signatures on a touchscreen device. Simply use your finger to draw the signature on the screen. It becomes part of the Sign menu, so you can easily insert it into a new document.

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader DC

Adobe Acrobat Reader DC is free software that allows you to view, print, and annotate PDFs. After downloading it and saving your Word document as a PDF, open the PDF in the program. Then choose Fill & Sign from the Tools menu or the right options pane. Find the Sign option and icon.

electronic signatures in microsoft word

Click it, then select the option to add your signature or just initial the document.

Each option has a plus sign next to it. Have you signed a document with Adobe Reader before? Select your signature from the list on the screen.

Otherwise, you’ll see the Signature pane. It prompts you to type a signature, import a signature image, or draw one with your mouse.

After doing one of those things, click the Apply button to save the signature.

Download: Adobe Acrobat Reader for Windows | iOS | Android (Free)

Launch Preview to Sign a PDF on Your Mac

If you’re a Mac user, Preview is an integrated application 10 Essential Tips and Tricks for Preview on the Mac 10 Essential Tips and Tricks for Preview on the Mac Preview is an unassuming app that can do the job of half a dozen standalone utilities. Read More that allows signing documents. Save your document as a PDF, then open it in Preview.

Click the Toolbox icon, then the Signature icon. Next, click Create Signature, then Click Here to Begin. Click the Trackpad tab at the top of the box.

You can also use the Camera tab for a picture of a signature, but that’s a less-precise option.

With the Trackpad tab selected, use your finger to draw the signature on your trackpad. Then click the Done button. Clicking on the signature inserts it into the document, and you can resize or move it, too.

What’s Your Preferred Way to Sign Word Docs?

You now have several options for adding an electronic signature to a Microsoft Word document. Although some require saving it as a PDF first, all are easy to do.

Which method is easiest for you?

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