Word: Create an Electronic Signature

correspondence

Sometimes it would be nice to send a signature without having to print the completed document first, sign the document, scan it, and save again in order to send to the recipient.

The document I was working on actually consisted of multiple signatures that were required. So there were signature lines that ran down the left margin, as well as a series of signatures that ran down the halfway point of the page.

If you have a signature line with subsequent lines indicating your title and department, a graphic can put too much space between the information and make it look, well… like you actually didn’t sign it. Also, you will want the ability to place the signature in a specific location.

These directions are for Word 2007. However, all of these features are available in Word 97-2003.

Directions to creating a signature within Word:

  1. Scan your signature and save as a graphic file.  You may need to edit the graphic to select just the signature portion of the scan.  A really basic program that works great is Paint.  I know, too easy.
    • With the original scanned graphic in Word, point and click on the graphic to select it, Copy (Ctrl+C) the graphic, switch to Paint (Alt+Tab), and then Paste (Ctrl+V) the graphic into Paint.
    • Click outside the grahic onto the “white” background and drag the handles on the sides and /or corners of the “white” background to eliminate excess.
    • Don’t forget to save as a grahic file (jpg, tif).  When you do Save As, at the bottom, under where you type in the File name: is a drop down menu for Save as type:.
  2. With your cursor on the signature line (it could be a graphic line or a tabbed underline), from the Menu bar select Insert. Then select Insert Picture from File.  From here your directory will appear for you to select the signature graphic.
  3. Once you have selected your signature graphic, resize the graphic from the corner. If you resize from the top, bottom, or sides, it will expand or contract the image that is not a correct representation of your signature. If you resize from the corner it will maintain the aspect ratio and remain proportional to the authentic look of your signature.
  4. With your mouse over the graphic, right click and select Text Wrapping, scroll and select Behind Text.
  5. Select the graphic by left clicking on your mouse. While the graphic is selected, hold down the Ctrl key and pressing the up, down, left, and right arrow keys. This will position the graphic incrementally to where you want it. Or, you can merely hold down the left mouse button and drag the graphic to the location you want it go.

The graphic will literally go to any location you designate without interfering with or moving text around. Doing this permits the line to remain completely visible with any letters that would normally hang under it.

On a final note, I would like to suggest converting the document to .pdf or protecting the Word document as I explained earlier in Word: Restrict Formatting and Editing before sending it out. Otherwise your signature graphic is available to copy and save by anyone who receives the document in the original Word format.

Let me know how this works for you. Also, if you have any other suggestions that may be helpful, I welcome the creative insight. I did try keep the directions very simple. Sometimes, the more complicated, the more confusing.

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Layne
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Layne

Founder of Administrative Sparkle at Administrative Sparkle
Layne brings a creative and artistic flair to her work, writing, and art. She grew up in Northern California and currently resides with her daughter and shepherd, Lucy, in Georgia.
Layne
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