Sign word document online
By Joanne Hue, Last updated: 2021-12-10 (originally published on 2021-11-10)
Electronic signing or e-signature is a modern era alternative to traditional wet-signing of documents such as handwritten signatures or a stamped seals. An electronic signature is often misunderstood as a digital signature. Both are different, however, there are some similarities between the two.
An electronic signature is merely any form of digital/virtual mark included in a document. It can be drawn, inserted as an image, or technically even typed text. A “signature” is valid as long as you “intended” to sign it – regardless of “how” it’s actually applied. Whereas, a digital signature ID (or Digital Signing) is Microsoft’s proprietary name for digitally signing a document. Digital Signing is not just an image, it uses “special standards of encryption” and “hashing algorithms” to attach authenticity (only the owner of a specific certificate can sign a document with that ID) and integrity (it can’t be altered after the signing). It requires both the sender as well as the recipient to purchase the digital certificate.
Both e-signature and digital signature are legally binding and enforceable. However, digital signatures are more secure than e-signatures. In the case of e-signatures, it also depends upon the software where the document is signed. Some software provides more security than others by automatically generating the certificate of time and date whenever a document is signed.
Why sign a Word document online?
Microsoft Word is one of the most commonly used and the main word processing software in the world. Therefore, everyone wants to sign a word document online with minimal effort rather than taking a print to sign a document and then scan it. Signing a word document online free not only saves time but also provides security, convenience and is cost-effective. Microsoft word makes it easy and doable to add online signatures in a word document.
There are 3 different ways in which you can sign a word document.
- add/insert an e-signature to a word document
- add/insert a signature line to a word document
- Online signing using Zegalsign.
We are going to discuss each method in detail below:
How do you add/insert an electronic signature to a Word document?
To insert an electronic signature to a word document:
Step 1: you need to have a handwritten signature on a blank piece of paper and then scan it.
Step 2: Save the scanned signature on your PC/laptop in any of the formats: .jpg, .png, .bmg, .gif.
Step 3: Place the cursor where you want to add/insert your electronic signatures in a word document.
Step 4: In the Word document, go to Menu tab > Insert > Pictures. Navigate to the location of the scanned signature on your computer to upload it in the word document.
In just these simple steps, you can add an electronic signature to a document.
Apart from inserting/adding an electronic signature to Word documents by uploading a scanned picture from the computer, you can also insert/create a signature line in Word for the signer to sign.
How do you add/insert a signature line in a Word document?
Given below are the steps to follow:
Step 1: In the Microsoft Word document, go to Menu Tab > Insert > text field > add a Microsoft Office Signature Line.
Step 2: A Signature set up box pops up, fill in the details of the intended signer (such as Signer Name, title, email address) who will sign the document.
Step 3: Click ok, the signature line will be added to your document. Drag and drop it at the place in the document where you want the intended signer to sign. X denotes the place where the intended signer is to sign.
Note: You can add more than one signature line in one document if the intended signers are more than one. Follow these steps as many times you want to add a signature line.
Step 4: Send the document to the intended signer to sign.
After you have sent the document to an intended signer, in which way the receiver can add/create his signatures to the document. Below is the process for an intended signer/receiver to draw or create his signatures in a word document
Can I draw signatures in a Word document? (For the receiver)
For a receiver to add signatures in a word document, he must have a digital certificate from Microsoft. Below are the steps for a receiver to draw signatures in a word document:
Step 1: Open the word document where you intend to draw/insert the signature.
Step 2: The intended signer will see the yellow line which mentions view signatures.
Step 3, 4: Follow the steps given in the image:
Step 5: For a receiver to sign a word document online or draw signatures in the word online, he needs a digital ID from Microsoft.
In order to digitally sign with Microsoft Word, you will need a Microsoft Digital ID. If you do not have a digital ID, you may consider the 3rd option, i.e. online e-signing
Online Signing using ZegalSign
If you don’t have a digital ID, you can sign a document online using ZegalSign. It allows you to electronically sign a document when you receive any document to sign. Follow the below steps to sign a document online for free:
Step 1: Go to zegal.com and on the top right corner > Start now free to create a free account on Zegal.
Step 2: Go to upload and Sign then you can either upload or Drag and Drop files.
Step 3: Once the document is uploaded, then start signing.
Step 4: Add a member and a signature block to the document. Mention where to sign.
Step 5: Click on start signing, it gets activated, and then sign the document by drawing, typing, or uploading a digital signature to sign the document.
This modern era usage of e-signature has changed the way documents are signed and individuals/companies operate their businesses. The debate is whether the tools/options provided in Microsoft Word are sufficient to meet the requirements. Simply adding an image of a signature can be done using Microsoft Word for free. However, the challenge here is that to digitally sign a document in Microsoft Word, one needs to purchase a Digital Certificate. This is where the 3rd option like online signing using Zegal or other platforms can be explored which also allows adding e-signatures by simply uploading the document online.
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