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How to add electronic signatures to Microsoft Word documents for free

Signatures confirm authenticity. Although electronic signatures are not always legally binding, they do inspire trust. And adding an electronic signature is pretty easy.

We show you how to set up your electronic signature and add it to a Microsoft Word document. This is how you can get Microsoft Word for free. This is how you can get Microsoft Word for free. You don't want to pay for the full Microsoft Word experience. ? Don't worry, here are some ways to use Microsoft Word for free. Read more.

1. Use Word to insert a handwritten signature

If you prefer to put a personalized touch on your Word documents, opt for a handwritten signature. Please note that this option requires the use of a scanner.

first, sign a white piece of paper . Then scan it to capture the image Scan documents on your phone with CamScanner for Android Scan documents on your phone with CamScanner for Android You can use this handy app to scan any document directly from your phone. Read More Once the image appears on your screen, you may want to crop it with an image editor .

When you are satisfied, save the image as a common file format, such as JPG, GIF, or PNG. Then go to the Insert Menu at the top of Microsoft Word and click Pictures .

Choose your signature image from your files and click Insert . Make the scanned signature appear in the Word document. Resize as needed, then save the document .

2. Include additional text with your scanned signature

You may also want your electronic signature to include supplemental text. You can add your job title, contact details, or similar information with a built-in Word feature.

Using the method described above, insert your scanned signature into the document. Write the desired text below it.

Use your mouse to Select the added text and signature. . Then click Insert menu at the top of Microsoft Word and select the Quick Parts from Text part of the panel.

From there, take your pick. Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery . That action opens a Quick Part Gallery dialog that says Create a new building block on top.

Enter an applicable name in the first box. Choose AutoText in the Gallery dropdown box below. Then click OK . You can leave the other boxes as they appear.

Do you want to use your new improved signature? Click on the desired insertion point in the document, then go to the Insert menu t Choose Quick Parts , then AutoText . Clicking the AutoText option generates a menu of all signature elements created. Choose the one you want by clicking on its name.

3. Use the HelloSign app

HelloSign is an electronic signature application that allows you to drag and drop files that require signatures. In addition to Word's capabilities, it works with other Microsoft file types and PDF files.

HelloSign has pricing tiers, but there is also a free option.

The free version gives access to a document signer. It also allows you to put signatures on three documents per month.

Google Drive integration and status notifications are other benefits included with the free package.

Download: HelloSign for iOS | Android (free, premium from $13/month)

4. Use Google Docs plugins

Another quick way to add a signature to your Word document is to upload the document to Google Drive. When it does, you can use the Google Doc features to insert a signature into the file.

HelloSign also works directly with Google Docs through a plugin for that program. To use that plugin, simply download it from the plugin store within Google Docs.

After activating it, you can draw a new signature or choose a saved version. Rest assured, all documents signed in Google Docs also appear in the website version of HelloSign.

If you want to try a different signature plugin, there are plenty of others to choose from. To find them, just click on Plugins tab in a Google Doc and select Get Add-ons .

Type the word “signature” or a related word in the add-on store search box and press Enter . Your options will appear on that screen.

Download: HelloSign for iOS | Android (free, premium from $13/month)
Download: Google Docs for iOS | Android (Free)

Note: Mobile versions of Google Docs and HelloSign may not recognize the plugin.

5. Convert your Word file into a PDF to sign

You can unlock even more options to professionally sign your files by saving your Word document as a PDF.

To do that, open your Word document, go to File> Save As . Click the Save as type dropdown menu and select PDF . Follow this process when working on Windows or on a Mac.

Now you are all set to sign the file using the three methods described below.

Use a web application to sign your PDF

DocHub is an online signature service that works with PDF documents. It also offers legally binding electronic signatures.

The free version of DocHub offers a bit more features than HelloSign. Each month, you can sign five documents, you can have up to three signers for each document, and you can send up to three signature requests to people via email.

Also, DocHub works on Android and iOS platforms, but does not offer dedicated apps. Instead, go to the DocHub website in a Safari or Chrome browser on your smartphone or tablet. Then log in to your account. From there, look for the Sign Menu and touch it. Choose the desired signature from the list, then touch part of the document to insert it.

You can also make new signatures on a touch screen device. Simply use your finger to draw the signature on the screen. It becomes part of the Sign menu, so you can easily insert it into a new document.

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader DC

Adobe Acrobat Reader DC is free software that allows you to view, print, and annotate PDF files. After downloading and saving your Word document as a PDF, open the PDF in the program. Then choose Fill &Sign from the Tools menu or the correct options panel. Find the Sign option and icon.

Click on it, then select the option to add your signature or just initialize the document.

Each option has a plus sign next to it. Have you signed a document with Adobe Reader before? Select your signature from the list on the screen.

Otherwise, you will see the Signature crystal. Prompts you to type a signature, import a signature image, or draw one with your mouse.

After doing one of those things, click the Apply button to save the signature.

Download: Adobe Acrobat Reader for Windows | iOS | Android (Free)

Launch preview to sign a PDF on your Mac

If you are a Mac user, Preview is a built-in application that allows you to sign documents. Save your document as a PDF, then open it in Preview .

Click on the Dashboard icon, then the Signature icon. Next, click on Create Signature , then Click here to start . Click on the Trackpad tab at the top of the box.

You can also use the Camera tab for an image of a signature, but that's a less precise option.

With the Trackpad tab selected, use your finger to draw the signature on your trackpad. Then click the Done button. Clicking on the signature inserts it into the document, and you can also resize or move it.

What is your preferred way of signing Word documents?

You now have several options for adding an electronic signature to a Microsoft Word document. Although some require saving as a PDF first, they are all easy to do.

Which method is the easiest for you?