If you want to send a Word document or prepare it for printing, it’s recommended you know how to save it as a PDF file. This way, you can be sure that the formatting of your document won’t change and that others will not be able to edit it without permission. For simple conversion tasks, the save function in Word is often sufficient. However, there are some dedicated tools which offer a wider...
Official correspondence in a private or professional context is also frequently sent by email. There are many ways to easily sign a Word document. Here you will learn how to add your signature to Word.
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Why insert a signature in Word?
Often, adding a signature to a Word document is not only good style, but it may also be a legal necessity. It guarantees the authenticity of a document and confirms that the person signing has understood the content and gives their consent. A signature may also be required for digital correspondence for these same reasons. Therefore, you can insert your signature in Microsoft Word and then choose to send the corresponding document by email or print it out. There are different ways to sign a Word document. We will explain the three most common and easiest ones below.
Inserting a signature as a graphic in Word
You can insert your signature as a graphic in the finished document. This method is quite easy to do, but you will need a scanner or smartphone. Do the following to sign your Word document:
- Sign a white piece of paper. Use a ballpoint pen or fountain pen to make the signature stand out.
- Now scan the signature. Choose a common image format, such as PNG or JPG, and save it. If your scanner or the program on your smartphone offers the option to scan only a certain area, select only the small section with your actual signature. The quality of your scan should be at least 300 dpi.
- Open the image and crop it. If possible, only a small white border should remain. This makes it easier to insert the signature in Word. When you are done editing the image, save it again in an image format. You can also use this signature for other documents in the future.
- Open the Word document you want to sign, click ‘Insert’ > ‘Pictures’ in the top bar (or ‘Insert’ > ‘Pictures’ > ‘Picture from File’ if you're using a Mac), and select the image of your signature.
- Now place the signature in the appropriate place and save the document. To do this, use either the ‘File’ > ‘Save’ option or the appropriate Word keyboard shortcut for Windows or Mac. If the signature is still too large, you can make it a little smaller. However, make sure it remains legible.
Inserting a signature into Word with the touchpad
In newer versions of Microsoft Office, you can also use the touchpad on your tablet or smartphone to insert your signature into Word. You can also set your signature manually with an appropriate graphics tablet and a digital pen.
- To do this, first select the freehand option. If necessary, use a pen here or draw with your finger.
- Select a black or blue colour for your digital signature in Word. These colours are easy to read and look more professional than shades that are too bright or intense.
- You also define the line weight yourself. Use the plus and minus signs to adjust it.
- Now sign your Word document. It is the easiest way to put the signature right where you want it.
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Creating signature line
While the two methods mentioned above work well if you want to send the signed document by email, the following option works well if you want to print the document. Microsoft Word actually offers you the possibility to insert a signature line. This ensures that your document remains well-structured, and your signature gets the space it needs.
- First, finish your document. Also note the space required for footnotes and endnotes.
- Click where you want your signature to be, and then choose ‘Insert’ > ‘Signature Line’.
- Now click the ‘Microsoft Office Signature Line’ option.
- You can specify what should be written under your signature. For private documents, your name goes here. If you are sending a professional document, you may also need to indicate your position in the company.
- Now a signature line should appear in the corresponding position. Then print the document and sign it afterwards. Alternatively, you can paste your signature directly into Word, as explained above.
What should you keep in mind when inserting your signature into Word?
There are a few things you should keep in mind when adding your signature to Word. If you are not printing the document and just sending it directly by email or uploading it, it is best to save it as a PDF. This is more secure and prevents your information from being changed later. If you have already converted a document and want to add your signature afterwards, you can also easily sign the PDF yourself.
It may make sense to take further security precautions, especially for sensitive documents that require a signature. A watermark or encryption ensures that your documents are protected from unwanted changes or unauthorised access.
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While a simple electronic signature as described above is usually sufficient, there are cases where you need a certified signature. For example, some notices of termination of employment or rental contracts as well as guarantees and loans are only valid if they have a certified signature.
For most other contracts, however, a digital signature has full legal power. In any case, you can always compose the documents with Microsoft Word, insert a signature line, and then sign them after printing. This means that you are on the safe side in any case.
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