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How to Electronically Sign a Word Document

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When you send Word documents electronically, the ability to sign those documents without having to print them out can save you time. Documents like a cover letter, follow-up thank you note and job offer letter may be signed in Word using a handwritten signature that is converted to an electronic signature, or with the pen tool included with your Windows tablet.

Convert Handwritten Signature to Electronic

To turn your handwritten signature into a reusable electronic signature to use in Word, sign your name on a white piece of paper larger than you normally. This gives you the ability to adjust the size in Word without affecting the quality of the image. Scan the paper with your signature or take a digital photograph of it, so you can open it in Microsoft Paint to finalize the image file.

Format Electronic Handwritten Signature

To create an electronic handwritten signature that is ready to use in Word, take the image file created from a scan or a digital photograph and open it in Microsoft Paint, which comes with your Windows operating system. Crop the size of the signature itself by going to the Home tab and clicking "select" in the Image Group. Click the top left corner near your signature and drag out to the bottom, right corner of the signature to select the specific area, then click "Crop." Save the image file as a .jpg or a common image file format like .bmp, .gif, or .png.

Sign Electronically in Word

To add your electronic signature to a Word document, place your cursor where the signature should appear and left-click your mouse. Under Insert in the top menu bar, click "Pictures" to locate and select your electronic signature file created from Microsoft Paint, then click "Insert." Use one of the top corner anchors to adjust the signature image size. The signature image may also be set to go behind text. Right-click on the image and select Size & Position for the Text Wrapping tab. Select "Behind text.” Click "OK" to complete format setting.

Insert Signature With a Touchscreen

To add your signature using a Windows tablet or a Windows touchscreen computer, use the tablet pen or your finger to sign your name. Open the Word document that requires your signature and go to the Review tab to click "Start Inking." Select the Pen tool to sign your name to the specific area. Adjust the ink color and stroke thickness under Color and Thickness in the tool bar above. If you make a mistake, the signature may be erased by clicking "Eraser" at the tool bar and selecting the area of the signature.


Wendy Lau entered the communication field in 2001. She works as a freelance writer and prior to that was a PR executive responsible for health care clients' written materials. Her writing experience include technical articles, corporate materials, online articles, blogs, byline articles, travel itineraries and business profile listings. She holds a Bachelor of Science in corporate communications from Ithaca College.

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