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Every day, more and more businesses are turning to electronic signatures to make the contracting process safer and more efficient.

For some, however, understanding precisely how to attach a signature to an electronic document isn’t exactly straightforward.

We all know how to add our wet signature to a physical piece of paper, but how about signing a contract in Microsoft Word?

This article will teach you exactly how to insert a signature in Word. We’ll cover steps for using MS Word in Windows and Mac OS, as well as the cloud-based version in Microsoft 365.

How do I write my signature on a Microsoft Word document? 

Microsoft Word offers a couple of different mechanisms for adding signatures to Word documents.

  1. Add a scanned version of your handwritten signature as an image
  2. Add a signature line to the document for physical signing at a later date

Both options are available whether you’re working on a Windows or Apple device, as well as whether you’re using the desktop or cloud-based version of Word.

However, the steps look a little different between Windows and Mac OS.

In neither option do you have the ability to add an eSignature—you’ll need a dedicated tool (more on that later).

Also read: The 11 Best Electronic Signature Software Platforms for 2023

How to add signatures to Word in Windows 

Add a digital signature in Microsoft Word for Windows

The first method for inserting a signature into Word is by scanning a hand-drawn signature and adding it as an image.
As such, you’ll need a scanner to achieve this, though a clear photo from a smartphone can also do the job.

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Write your signature on a clean, blank piece of paper, like this:
  1. Take an image of the signature using a scanner or smartphone camera.
  2. Save the image to your desktop using a commonly used file format like BMP or JPG (you may need to convert the file).
  3. Open your Word document.
  4. In the menu bar, navigate to the Insert tab, then click Pictures > This Device, then select the image to insert it in your document.
  1. Navigate to the Picture Format tab and click Crop. Use the handles to crop and resize the image to the appropriate measurements. Also, be sure to get rid of as much white space as possible. 
  1. Right-click the image and select Save as Picture. Save the image as a separate file (or overwrite the previous one). You can now directly import this file as your signature going forward.

Add a signature line to Microsoft Word for Windows

The other option for signatures in Word is to add a signature line.

Here, you’re prepping the document for physical signing, not actually importing a digitized signature into the Word doc. 

This method, therefore, is better suited for those who want to be able to add a wet signature to an agreement created in Microsoft Word.

  1. Open your Word document.
  2. In the document, click where you’d like to have the signature line.
  3. Click Insert > Signature Line.
  4. Select Microsoft Office Signature Line.
  5. You can add the signer's name and job title below the signature line, should you wish.
  6. Click OK. Here’s what will be added to your doc:
Also read: Contract Signing Unveiled: A Step-By-Step Guide

How to add signatures to Word on a Mac 

As with the Windows version of Word, Mac users can choose to scan and upload a digital image of their handwritten signature or create a signature line for later signing.

Add your signature digitally to Microsoft Word for Mac

To insert an image of your signature into the Mac version of Word, you’ll need either a smartphone camera or a scanning device.

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Write your signature on a clean, blank piece of white paper, like this.
  1. Take an image of the signature using a scanner or smartphone camera.
  2. If you used an iPhone to take the image, you can share it to your Mac device using AirDrop
  3. Find the image in Photos, then hit the share button in the bottom left-hand corner.
  4. Locate your Mac device and select its image to share the file to your downloads folder.
  5. Save the image to your desktop using a commonly used file format like BMP, PNG, or JPG. If you took the photo on an iPhone, it might arrive as a .HEIC file, in which case you’ll need to convert it.
  6. From your desktop, double-click the image to open it in Preview. Select File > Export.
  7. Then, export as a new file using the PNG or JPG file type.
  8. Now open your Word document.
  9. In the drop-down menu bar, navigate to Insert > Pictures > Picture from File. Then, select the image to insert it into your document.
  10. Click the image to open up the Picture Format tab and click Crop
  11. Use the handles to crop the image down to size, and get rid of as much white space as possible.
  12. Right-click the image and select Save as Picture. Save the image as a separate file (or overwrite the previous one). You can now directly import this image file as your signature going forward.

Add a signature line to Microsoft Word for Mac

The steps for inserting a signature line in Word for Mac are exactly the same as if you’re using a Windows device.

Also read: How to Write Business Contract Agreements: Tips + Free Template

Frequently asked questions

How do I create an electronic signature? 

There are a number of ways you can add an electronic signature to a document:

  • Draw, scan, and import an image of your handwritten signature
  • Use a native image editing tool like Preview on Mac
  • Use Adobe Acrobat to add signatures to PDF documents 
  • Find a free online signing tool
  • Invest in a contract management platform with native signature capabilities (like SpotDraft)
Also read: Types Of Electronic Signatures And Which To Use

Can you add a handwritten signature in Word? 

Yes, it's possible to add a handwritten signature in Word. Click here to learn:

However, Microsoft Word really isn’t the best software tool to use to eSign documents.

For that, we’d recommend a digital signature-capable platform like SpotDraft.

Also read: The 11 Best Electronic Signature Software Platforms for 2023

Moving beyond Microsoft Word with SpotDraft 

As you’ve no doubt come to realize, inserting a signature into Word isn’t the most user-friendly task.

Plus, it doesn’t answer the question as to whether the signature is legally valid. These signatures provide no data encryption or method of tracking who edited or signed documents and when.

For a more robust, safe, and intuitive signing process, let us introduce you to SpotDraft.

SpotDraft's contract management platform uses a familiar Microsoft Word interface that’s easy to use, fosters collaboration, and makes redlining and task management simple. 

With SpotDraft, getting customers to sign on the dotted line no longer means uploading images or adding signature lines to MS Word documents. Simply import their details directly from your CRM and send the contract over.

Also read: From Paper to Pixels: Persuading Clients to Embrace E-Contract Signatures

Ready to learn more? Schedule a demo with one of the SpotDraft team.

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