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How to insert a signature into Microsoft Word

Inserting a signature into Microsoft Word is the perfect way to make your document appear more professional, as well as to provide a personal touch. Microsoft Word allows you to implement a digital signature for authenticity purposes, a handwritten signature, and a signature line that can be signed manually once the document is printed out.

Let's take a look at how to insert a signature into Microsoft Word.




5 minutes

What You Need

  • A PC or laptop with Microsoft Word installed.

Inserting a signature line

A signature line allows you to enter your signature on a predefined location on a Microsoft Word document, which is a convenient feature if you need to print a general document, a contract, or an official form. It can also be customized to provide specific instructions or additional information alongside the signature.

Step 1: Open your Word document, then click wherever you want the signature line to be added to.

Step 2: Click the Insert tab and then select Signature Line.

The Signature Line button on Microsoft Word that can be accessed via the Insert tab.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 3: Within the Signature Setup window that appears, type out all the details you want to show around the signature line. If the document is intended to be printed out and be signed by, say, an employee signing a contract, you can also include their details as well. Once you're done, click OK.

The Signature Setup window for adding details around a signature line on Microsoft Word.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Inserting a handwritten signature

There are many who may prefer to include their actual signature into the Word document electronically.

Step 1: Preferably on a white piece of paper, write your signature.

Step 2: Scan that piece of paper in order to convert it into an image file.

Step 3: On Microsoft Word, click the Insert tab and then select Pictures. Choose that image file from step 2 and click OK. Place the signature to your preferred location on the document.

If you want to further customize the image, use Microsoft’s built-in crop tool. Select the image, after which the Picture Tools Format tab will automatically be opened. Click Crop, and make the necessary adjustments. You can also make the image smaller or larger by modifying the size (click on the image and use the pointers that appear on the edges).

Inserting a handwritten signature via the Pictures button on Microsoft Word.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Adding additional information

Another convenient feature that can complement a handwritten signature image or signature line is inserting additional information. This can be helpful if you want to include a point of contact such as an email, phone number, etc.

Step 1: Once your signature image has been added to the document, type any relevant information you wish to include under the image or signature line.

Step 2: Highlight both the image and the text located underneath.

Step 3: Click the Insert tab and then select Quick Parts.

Step 4: Select the Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery field, which will open the Create New Building Block window.

The Quick Parts button that can insert additional information around your signature line on Microsoft Word.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 5: Within the Name box, assign a name for your signature block. For the Gallery field underneath, choose the AutoText option from the drop-down list. Click OK.

The Create New Building Block window on Microsoft Word where you can save additional information for future use.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 6: To insert this signature block that includes your signature and the text you inputted from step 1 to future documents, select where you want to add it on the document and head to the Insert tab. Click Quick Parts and then AutoText. Finally, select the name you set for the signature block from step 5.

The AutoText field where you can select an existing signature block on Microsoft Word.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Inserting a digital signature

Adding a digital signature into Microsoft Word provides verification of the owner of the document itself. To implement a valid digital certificate, it has to be connected to a trusted certificate authority (CA) -- Microsoft recommends GlobalSign and IdenTrust on its support page. However, Word also allows you to create one yourself.

Step 1: Locate your Microsoft Office root folder on your system via Program Files and then Microsoft Office. Open the SELFCERT file within this folder, which will display a Create Digital Certificate window.

The Create Digital Signature window for Microsoft Office and Microsoft Word to authenticate a digital signature.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 2: Enter a name of your choosing in the provided box and click OK.

Step 3: Double click the signature line on your Microsoft Word document. Alternatively, right-click on it and click Sign. You’ll need to save the document first before you can add a digital signature.

Step 4: Enter your name or choose the Select Image box to use an image of your signature instead. The last section, Signing as, should already include the certificate you just created. If not, select the Change button next to it and choose your certificate.

The Sign window where you can apply a digital signature on Microsoft with a digital certificate.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 5: Click the Sign button.

Your document will now be certified with a digital signature. It will remain valid providing no additional edits to the document are made. If you do modify the contents of the document, simply repeat the above steps to insert the digital signature certificate.

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Zak Islam
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