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How to Sign a Document Online: The Best Solutions for Signing Word Documents, PDFs, Google Docs, and More
Electronic Signatures

How to Sign a Document Online: The Best Solutions

Will Cannon

Last updated on January 15, 2024

As almost every aspect of doing business moves online, e-signatures are growing more popular by the day.  E-signatures (electronic signatures) are a legal and legitimate way to sign documents digitally.  They can help you avoid the additional time and effort involved in the manual signature process.

In this article, we’ll provide all the details you need to know when signing a document online. You can use these strategies to e-sign Word documents, PDFs, Google Docs, and more!

Which Documents Can Be Signed Electronically?

E-signatures can be used to sign a variety of documents involved in day-to-day business transactions, including:

  • Sales contracts
  • Recruitment documents
  • Invoices for processing
  • Purchase orders
  • Expense reports
  • Vendor contacts
  • NDAs
  • Compliance forms
  • PDF documents

Are Electronic Signatures Safe?

Traditional handwritten signatures can easily be forged or misused. Electronic signatures are more secure than their traditional counterparts because they come with multiple layers of security. Depending on the tool you use, you can opt for additional authentication built into your e-signature that can help protect you from fraud.

Electronic signatures also come with a record that includes an audit trail and proof of transaction (name of the supplier, the date of the supply, and the goods/services supplied). 

When you use an electronic signature tool, you can also reference past documents to see exactly when you opened the document and when you signed it. Some e-signature providers also allow you to access the geolocation where a signature was added. With such records available at your fingertips, you can easily verify your documents in case a dispute arises.

Some electronic signature providers also offer a “completion certification.” This can include details about the document and its signatures, such as timestamps, IP addresses, etc. These features help ensure security and authenticity while signing electronically.

After the signing process is complete, your document is digitally sealed with public key infrastructure (PKI) that confirms the validity of the signature and assures that the document has not been tampered with.

With Signaturely, you can sign documents electronically while protecting your highly confidential information. They’ll encrypt your signature and ensure that it remains tamper-free.

How to Electronically Sign a Microsoft Word Document

Before electronic signatures were introduced, Word documents needed to be printed and signed manually. With the introduction of digital signatures, you no longer need a printer and pen to sign your Word documents

There are many ways to sign Word Documents digitally. Here are a few methods, along with step-by-step instructions for each.

Insert a signature line in Word

Word includes a feature that allows you to insert a signature line on your document. 

To avail of this feature:

  • Go to the upper left corner of Word and click on the Insert tab. 
  • Over there, you will find the option for the Signature line. 
  • Click on it and then type a name in the Setup box. 
  • After clicking ‘OK’, a signature line will appear on your document.
Insert signature line on word document

This helps you add a signature line to the Word document easily.

Upload your signature as an image

You can also add your signature to a Word document by uploading an image of your handwritten signature. Although this process can be long and tedious, it officially counts as an electronic signature.

To upload your signature: 

  • Open the Word document and select the section where you want to place your signature. 
  • Go to the Insert tab and click on the Image option.
  • Word will then allow you to browse images on your device. 
  • Select the image of your signature and place it on the document.
Insert picture from file

Add a digital signature using Signaturely

Another paperless way to get your signature into a Word document is through the use of electronic signature tools like Signaturely. Signaturely offers a safe, legal, and convenient way to digitally sign your documents. 

Prepare for signing

After opening an account on Signaturely, you must upload your document and select the option to sign it. Next, you can add your signature by drawing or typing it. It’s that easy. You can even add additional signers if necessary.

How to electronically sign a Word document on Mac

You can still sign your Word documents electronically as a Mac user. Here are a few methods you can use:

  • First up, you can upload your signature as an image. You can take a picture of your hand-written signature and upload it on your Mac. 
  • Then, in the Word document, you can insert the picture and place it where you want to sign. 
  • You can even save the image for future use by selecting the “AutoText” option. This method can be time-consuming but it is also very easy and can be done by anyone.
Save selection

You can also sign your Word document using an app to preview it as a PDF file. After converting it into a PDF, you can sign the document. This process is simple but time-consuming.

Signaturely is compatible with many operating systems and devices and can easily be used to sign Word documents on your Mac. For step-by-step instructions, you can check out our guide – How to Sign a Word Document on a Mac]

Signing a Word document on an iPad

iPads are used frequently in business settings. Luckily, signing a Word document on an iPad is relatively easy. 

Upload a picture of your handwritten signature on your iPad. After saving the image, you can insert it into the document. You can save the image for future use by selecting the Auto Text option.  While this process is relatively straightforward, it can be tedious, especially since you’ll want to make your signature as high-resolution as possible.

iPads also have a Markup feature that helps convert your Word documents into PDF files and sign them.

If you’re looking for a time-saving method to sign your Word documents, try using software such as Signaturely. You can check out our article – How to Sign Documents on Your iPad, for more detailed instructions.

How to sign a Word document on Android

There are a couple of ways to sign Word documents on your Android, neither requiring much time or effort.

To sign documents on your Android, you can either upload an image of your signature and place it onto the document, or you could use your Android to convert your document into another format, such as PDF, and sign it digitally. 

Another convenient way to sign documents on an Android is by using e-signature apps such as Signaturely. Learn more in our article on how to sign a Word document on Android

How To Sign a PDF Document Online

Many companies make use of PDF documents to conduct their business. PDFs are used for many purposes, including contracts, NDAs, and other important documents that require signatures. Knowing how to add signatures online when working with such documents is important. You can sign PDFs using Adobe features. If you don’t have Adobe, you can still sign your PDFs without it. You can opt for a sign and fill method as well.

Upload pdf

If you want to simplify and automate the process, you could also use PDF signing software.

While many ways to sign PDFs exist, the steps will vary depending on the operating system. Here are some helpful tips to navigate the process on your device.

Sign a PDF on a Mac

Digital signatures on a Mac can be added in a variety of ways. For instance,  Mac also comes with an Apple Preview and Apple Mail option that allows you to sign PDF documents easily. Alternatively, you can use third-party digital signature software.  Of course, you could also upload the image of your signature and place it accordingly.

Mac allows you to modify documents easily, making it very user-friendly when it comes to signing PDFs. You can easily download your signature as a template and save it to use again later.

However, with Mac, most tools that can help you sign the PDF need to be purchased separately, limiting your options if you are on a budget. 

You can also take a look at our detailed instructions on how to sign a PDF on a Mac. Signaturely is a low-cost option to help with your eSignatures.

Draw your signature

How to sign a PDF on an iPhone 

If you’re on the run, you can use digital signature software like Signaturely to electronically sign PDFs on your iPhone.

Signaturely is a simple and effective document signing tool made to help you upload documents and collect electronic signatures from any device.

You can also use PDF software such as Adobe Acrobat Reader directly or Apple’s own Markup feature, which allows you to edit and sign PDFs. Read our article –  How to Sign a PDF on Your iPhone for detailed instructions.

Sign PDF on an iPad

There are a few different methods to sign PDFs on an iPad.

iPads operate similarly to iPhones, so you’ll find many similarities when signing PDFs. For example, you can use secure digital signature software such as Signaturely to sign the PDFs. You can also use Adobe’s fill-and-sign option for quick signing.

Just like iPhones, iPads also come with Apple Markup. This allows you to sign unlimited documents and even request signatures. You can check out this article on how to sign a PDF on iPad for more detailed instructions.

How to e-sign a PDF on Android

To add a digital signature to a PDF on Android, you can download an eSigning app. 

These apps vary in terms of the security and features they offer. However, they are an easy and convenient way to add a digital signature to a PDF on Android. Some available apps include PDF Element and PDF Max, which can be found on the Google Play store. 

Signaturely is also compatible with Android and is a safe and efficient way to sign PDF documents.

Here are detailed instructions for how to sign a PDF on an Android phone.

Signing Google Forms

Google Forms offers a great way to work online. However, it does not offer an option to sign your documents electronically. Unfortunately, there’s not even an add-on to overcome this issue. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t sign your Google forms.

Signing Google Forms is easy through the use of electronic signature software. The signatures created through e-signature software are legally binding, easy to use, and hassle-free. Tools such as Signaturely allow you to securely sign your documents and obtain a timestamp or IP address for each signature, depending on the software you use.

Google form example

You can explore other options by reading our article on how to add an electronic signature to Google Forms.

How To Sign A Google Doc 

Google Docs is another system that allows you to create and edit documents online. Unfortunately, Google Docs does not have an option to add your signature to a document. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t sign the documents electronically.

You can use e-signature software such as Signaturely to sign a Google doc quickly and conveniently. You can also download extensions for Chrome that allow you to sign the Google Doc electronically.

Signaturely document list

Of course, you can also take a picture of your hand-written signature, upload it, and paste it into the image. We discuss all these methods in detail in our article, on How to Sign a Document in Google Docs.

Ways To Sign An Image Online 

While most documents that require a signature exist in PDF or Word format, there may be times when you want to sign a scanned image instead. Luckily, many simple ways to add your signature to an image exist.

You can sign an image using tools such as Signaturely, Photoshop, Gimp, Paint, or even Illustrator. E-signature software such as Signaturely is compatible with any device. They also offer a free version that can help you sign documents immediately via their secure system. Other tools used to sign images can be expensive and have limited storage space. Depending on the tool, the quality or security of your signature may also vary. To explore these options in detail, read our article – Tools to Sign an Image.

Prepare for signing

How To Sign An Excel Document 

Excel documents are a great way to organize your data. There may also be times when you want to sign an Excel document. There are multiple ways in which you can insert your signature in Excel.

If you’re looking for an easy and safe way to sign an Excel document, you can opt for an electronic signature software such as Signaturely. With Signaturely, you can sign your documents legally and efficiently. HelloSign is another e-signature software that offers a convenient and secure way to sign an Excel document.

Upload document

Adobe Sign is an additional tool you can use to sign an Excel document. This tool offers a streamlined user experience and is compatible with most software. However, it’s only available through a paid subscription.

You can use the signature line feature to sign the document using Excel itself. For more information, read our article – How to Insert a Signature in Excel.

Common Questions Regarding How To Sign A Document Online

What is the easiest way to sign documents online?

Signing documents online can be a tedious and time-consuming task if you aren’t using the right technology. The best way to sign documents online is through e-signature apps and software.

How to sign a document online for free

There are many ways to e-sign a document for free. You can scan or take a photo of your signature, upload it, and add it to your document. If you’re looking for a more convenient alternative, you can use e-signature software such as Signaturely, which comes in both paid and free versions.

Can you legally sign documents online?

Signing your documents online is legal. Electronic signatures are considered legal in many countries for business and personal transactions. Digital signatures created with the right software come with a security certificate, which helps prove their legality.

What To Remember About How To Sign A Document Online

There are many different ways to sign a document online. Each device and software offers a unique way to sign a document. If you’re looking for a consistent, secure, and simple way to sign documents online, try Signaturely today for free. 

Create a free Signaturely account today!

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