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Insert signature in the word document

Posted on 2013-05-24
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Last Modified: 2013-06-11
How can I insert a signature into the word doc that looks like real?  Like real blue ink.  I see some people sign docs on the fly for approval.  Like to find out how they doing it.
Please advice
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Question by:Tiras25
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Skyler Kincaid earned 125 total points
ID: 39195975
What most people do is scan their signature in, crop it down and save it as a GIF file so they can easily insert it into a document.

Adobe Acrobat also has some additional features for signing that allows documents to be signed electronically.
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by:jsdray
jsdray earned 125 total points
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I do just as xKincaidx has recommended.  I then print to PDF and no one has been able to figure out that I never printed and "signed" the document.
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by:Chris Bottomley
Chris Bottomley earned 125 total points
ID: 39196098
If you want to type something on the fly then you need to select a suitable font for that text including colour so for example select Lucida Handwriting and blue  ... and you can create your own 'style' to make it easier once you have decided how to do it.

Chris
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by:BillDL
BillDL earned 125 total points
ID: 39196247
The problem with using a font to create a coloured signature is that if the Word document is transferred digitally to another computer (eg. email), then that computer may not have the same font installed and would then substitute the font for one that could look very different and possibly ridiculous.  Chris suggested Lucida Handwriting, which is pretty common, but you couldn't guarantee that it would be installed on all recipients' computers.

If scanning a signature on paper and saving as an image format that you then insert manually or as part of a template or footer, then I think it goes without saying that you should make sure that the scanner is properly calibrated and that the paper is completely white and free from crumples or dirty marks.  The thicker the white paper the better, because light sometimes shines through thin paper and can show the grain or watermarks in the paper itself.

Examples:

http://www.movcon.org.uk/History/MCOC/Bulletins/Bull%2034E%20Signatures.jpg
I don't know if that is a photograph of a sheet of paper or if it was a sheet of well used paper (from 1944) which shows up crumples, or it could easily just be a badly calibrated scanner.
http://www.lionheartautographs.com/lionhearts/fckfiles/5-ROOSEVELT-Franklin-web.jpg
Thin paper (probably a book) where typing on the other side is showing through and the scanner has been badly calibrated or the paper badly yellowed.
http://embed.polyvoreimg.com/cgi/img-thing/size/y/tid/32059769.jpg
paper is off-white, the scanner was badly calibrated, or when the scan was saved as a JPG it degraded the white background and you can see the area of the image as a darker rectangle on a white page.

The Wikipedia images that the links on this page:
http://nationalhomeschoolbookaward.com/blog/2011/05/lucy-snowcap-4-fun-with-signatures/
open are in PNG image format, where everything other than the black signatures is transparent, so it doesn't matter what colour the background is.  Creating a PNG like this means selecting all the areas other than the signature and making it transparent, for which you need a signature with very defined and consistent edges and image editing software.

The good thing about images saved in PNG format (even without transparent areas) is that they don't really degrade when saved.  JPG images can show ragged edges, watersilk type of artefacts, and other blemishes, especially if saved with a lot of compression or when they are opened up again and resaved several times.  GIF format creates quite small image file sizes, but only supports a limited range of colours and your blue ink may not show as the original colour, if it matters much.  BMP images are way too large in file size to consider using.

Use quite thick white paper and apply your signature with a good thick pen.  Scan your signature at 100%, so that it does not have to be stretched or squashed when inserted into the Word document, and save as PNG and you should be fine.

If you don't have a flatbed colour scanner that allows you to save out scans as images, but you do have one of those new photocopy/fax machines that allows you to scan a document to PDF email attachments, then you can always open the emailed PDFattachment in Adobe Acrobat Reader and use the selection tool which allows you to select an area and copy it to the clipboard like a screenshot.  You can then paste into an image editing program (even mspaint would do), crop it to size, and save as PNG or JPG.
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by:BillDL
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Thank you Tiras25
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