Our signature represents our identity and expresses our legal agreement in business and personal transactions. As many transactions move online, it is becoming more and more common to sign digital documents or to create an online electronic signature. In this article, we’ll explain how to draw a signature in Word.
However, where one signs is vital. For example, affixing your signature in the wrong place in a document could make it invalid. It is the best practice to signal where someone should sign using a signature line. Creating one is simple with Microsoft Word.
How to insert Signature Lines in Word: 3 easy methods
Arranging for several people to sign a document can be time-consuming since digital signatures must have a valid digital certificate issued by a Certified Authority (CA). If some signatories lack this, they can use MS Office to sign the document digitally or manually through a signature line in Word. This function makes Word one of the most versatile ways to sign documents. These three methods help you add a signature line in Microsoft Word.
1. Add a Formatted Signature Line
This first way is the easiest method for creating a signature line in Word and gives you ample options for customizing the line according to your or your signatories’ needs. You can adjust the line’s length and place it wherever you want on a document.
To insert a signature line in Word, follow these simple steps:
- Open the Word document. Put the mouse cursor in the document.
- Click the Insert tab.
- Click on the “Add a Signature Line” under the text group ribbon. Choose the Microsoft Office Signature Line.
- A dialog box will appear. Type in the signatory’s name on the first line, then write their title on the second line.
- Click “OK.” The signature line with your indicated information will appear where you placed your cursor.
If you only need a blank signature line, leave the text box for the name and title blank. If you fill in this information, the typed text beneath the line will include the signatory’s name and job title. The line will also include a large X, which indicates where the signer should place their signature.
Suppose your document is a Word file, and other signatories don’t have access to signature apps or Adobe Acrobat. In that case, you can easily print out the file and have people sign the document using a printed version. Printing a file to be signed also comes in handy when you need multiple people to insert their handwritten signature at the same time in the presence of a notary public, for example.
If digital signatures work for everyone, you can still use apps like Signaturely for your Microsoft Word documents by simply uploading the file onto the app and having the signers insert their electronic signature on the blank signature line.
2. Insert a Horizontal Line
Using the horizontal line tool, you can also add a signature line in Word. This method allows you to add your signature in Word later, whether an e-signature or a handwritten one. Here’s how to do it:
- Open the Word document. Click the mouse cursor where you want to place the signature line.
- Click the Home tab.
- In the Paragraph group, click the arrow on the corner of the borders icon.
- When the options open, select “Horizontal Line.”
- It will appear as a long line on your document.
- Double-click on the line, and a dialog box will appear. You can adjust the length, placement, and color of the line.
- Click OK to confirm.
This method can also work when your document requires a wet signature or when your signatories do not have access to or are not well-versed with signature apps like Signaturely or Adobe Acrobat Reader.
3. Create an AutoFormatted Line
The third way to create a signature line is using the AutoFormat feature in Word. As its name suggests, this feature allows you to control your document’s formatting.
This feature provides a shortcut to create a horizontal line in Word by using one symbol on your keyboard three times. As with the previous methods, the signer later adds their electronic or handwritten signature. Here’s how to use the AutoFormat feature to create a signature line:
- Open the Word document and place the cursor where you want to position the signature line.
- Type the symbols for producing the kind of line that you want. Press ENTER on your keyboard. Here’s a handy cheat sheet for creating various types of lines:
- Plain single line: three hyphens –––
- Bold single line: three underlined symbols ___
- Dotted line: three asterisks ***
- Wavy line: three tildes ~~~
- Plain double line: three equal signs ===
- Triple line with a thick center: three hashtags ###
If you can’t find a hyphen on your keyboard, use the shortcut CTRL +- to easily create a hyphen.
You can press the underline symbol several times to create a custom length line. This will create a long horizontal line in your document. Type “Signature” below your line to indicate that it is a signature line.
4. Use Shapes
You can also add a signature line in Word using Shapes. Here’s how to do it:
- Open the Word document, go to the Insert tab, and then click on the Shapes icon.
- Select the first line in the box menu under the lines group.
- The mouse cursor will then appear as a cross.
- Click on the document where you want to position the line.
- Press the left click of the mouse along with Shift to start the line’s origin point.
- Drag the mouse while simultaneously holding Shift and the mouse’s left click. Let go when you have reached the desired length.
- You can change the line’s color through the toolbar’s “Shape Styles” section.
- Since your line is an image, right-clicking on it will give you a box that allows you to add features such as “text wrapping” and “move with page”. Select “move with page” so the line will adjust when edits or changes are made within the document.
5. Use Quick Parts
Another option is to use Quick Parts. The Quick Parts Gallery allows users to create and reuse content, including AutoText, signature fields, and document properties. These parts are all called building blocks and can store text and images. Here, you can create a signature block for your files. Follow these steps:
- Open your Word document. Go to the Insert tab and go to Quick Parts Gallery on the right-hand side of the toolbar.
- Click the Quick Parts building blocks organizer to create a signature block that will appear in AutoText.
- Choose AutoText to include a textbox that adds a signature block to the file. Or, choose Document Property to insert names, dates, email addresses, comments, or data to the document. You can later modify these properties to include your automated signature in your Word files.
How to Insert Signature Lines in Word
As you can see, adding a signature line in Microsoft Word is simple. But that is just the first step to digitally signing a document. You can then insert a signature in Word using two simple methods.
1. Sign and Scan
This method allows you to save an image of your signature and to sign without printing the document. However, you must ensure that the digital signature is certified by a Certified Authority (CA). Here are the steps for this method:
- Write your signature on a clean, blank sheet of paper.
- Use a scanner to scan the signature as an image and save it in PNG format.
- Open your document in Word.
- Go to the Insert tab and click on Pictures. Please select the image file of your signature and place it in the signature line. Press enter to insert your signature.
This image file of your signature can then be used to sign all your documents.
2. Use an Electronic Signature Software
You can also use a signature app to add an e-signature to your Word documents. Here’s how to place your signature in Word documents through Signaturely:
- Open your Signaturely account. If you do not have one, create one for free.
- Once on the Home page, click Sign on the left side menu and select the number of signatories.
- Prepare the document. Type in the document title and information. Click Upload File.
- Choose your file and upload it to Signaturely.
- Select the “Fill Out & Sign” button.
- When the document is under “Prepare for Signing”, select Sign to create your signature fields.
- Create a signature. If you have not yet created one, a dialog box will prompt you to create one.
- Insert your signature.
- Send your document.
You can also use Signaturely to create an electronic form of your signature for free as an image. Follow these steps when you log in to Signaturely:
- Click “Draw Your Signature”.
- Use a digital pen, stylus, mouse, or touchscreen to draw your signature on your laptop, PC, or other devices.
- Modify the style and thickness of your signature to your preference.
- Once you are satisfied with your signature, download the image.
- Open the Word document.
- Select the Insert tab in Word. Go to Pictures. Choose the signature image you created in Signaturely. Press enter to insert it.
You can also type out your signature using Signaturely. Here are the steps:
- Select “Type Your Signature”.
- Type your name or initials.
- Choose from different font or style options.
- Once done, save the file, and download your signature as an image.
You can insert the signature in a Word file by clicking on Pictures and selecting the file. Then your e-signature is then available for your usage.
Signaturely gives users the freedom to add their e-signatures to any document, whether in a PDF or a Word document. Additionally, the e-signatures that users create can be used on documents opened on any Android device. Lastly, Signaturely is free! Users can use the app for their private and legal documents without incurring fees.
FAQs About Drawing a Signature Line in Word
Here are some answers to common questions about signatures and signing Word documents.
How Do You Draw a Signature Line?
There are three easy ways to draw a signature line in Word. You can use a horizontal tool, the AutoFormat feature, or create a formatted signature line.
Furthermore, you can also go to the Word toolbar, click Insert, and select Signature Line. Typing in a set of three symbols, such as a tilde, hyphen, or hashtag, before pressing ENTER also creates various lines that can serve as a signature line.
Why Doesn’t My Word Have a Signature Line?
Finding the “Signature Line” feature in Word can sometimes be tricky. To find the feature, click the Insert tab and click “Signature Line”. If the line is still not visible, try clicking the signature icon in the Text section on the right-hand side. Click the corner arrow and select the Microsoft Office Signature Line.
How Do I Create a Fillable Signature in Word?
Create fillable signatures in Word using the signature line method. Through this method, you can open a dialog box that allows you to designate the signers, their job titles, and the area where they should sign. Word also allows users to insert many fillable blank signature lines for multiple signatories. Signatories can use their digital or handwritten signatures.
An app like Signaturely also allows fillable signatures in Word documents. Signaturely will even send the document to all recipients for their signature and track its progress.
What to Remember About Drawing a Signature Line in Word
Many people are accustomed to using Microsoft Office Word for work, school, and personal documents. However, Word has features many people still have not explored, like inserting a signature line in Word. If you need Word documents signed with an e-signature in Word, consider all signatories’ comfort levels with tech and their available tools. Alternatively, you can always use an app like Signaturely to make signing Word documents easier.