Electronic signatures have become more popular as time goes on. This is a decided advantage for people who seized the opportunity early. Documents get signed faster, there’s less friction, and as long as you use a tool like UsefulSignatures then it’s legally binding.

Before you can do all that, you’ll need to create an electronic signature. There are many ways to go about it and we’ll look at the easiest to the hardest methods to show you how to create an electronic signature.

Create an electronic signature with UsefulSignatures

First, it’s important to understand what an electronic signature is. It’s the digital form of a traditional signature. A traditional signature is any unique sign, symbol, or marking that is used to identify someone. With that definition in mind, there are many ways to create an electronic signature. Let’s start with UsefulSignatures.

There are two ways to go about creating an electronic signature with UsefulPDF. The first method is to use our free electronic signature creator. Navigate to the linked page and you’ll see the following page:

Choose the method you want to use to create the signature (typed or drawn). For this example, we’ll use typed. Click on the option and the page will load.

type name to create an electronic signature

Type in your name and click the generate button. There, you’ll see multiple font options to choose from.

Select one and it’ll open a popup window for you to make edits to your signature. These include size and color. If you’re not happy with the changes then you can reset it. Once you’re done, click save to download it.

The other option for creating an electronic signature is to log in to the UsefulPDF application and create new signatures in the application which can be used to sign documents immediately.

When you log in to the app, navigate to the account section and click “my signatures.” A list of all the signatures you’ve created will appear and you’ll have the option to create a new signature.

Choose the option to create a new signature and a popup will appear that’s similar to the options in our free signature creator tool.

Once you’ve created the signature, you can set it as your default signature for signing, delete it, or download it.

How to add an electronic signature with Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word is one of the most popular word processing tools in the world. It’s an obvious choice when creating documents that need to be signed and many people try to take advantage of it. Because of that, Microsoft has added an option to insert signatures inside documents.

The process is relatively straightforward if you’re using Word versions 2013, 2016, 2019, or Office 365. Keep in mind that there may be slight variations based on the software version and it may require a digital certificate to make it work.

Open the document you want to sign within Microsoft Word then click on the Insert tab and select the option called signature line.

It’ll prompt you to fill in the details of the signer before inserting a signing box into the document you’re working on.  

After filling in the information, a signing box will be inserted into the document.

Microsoft Word requires a digital ID to sign documents. After inserting the signature box, you’ll be prompted to get one if you don’t already have it. This can be a time-consuming process – especially if you’re trying to get your documents signed quickly.

This is one of the major drawbacks of using Microsoft Word to create electronic signatures. The other drawback is that it’s not nearly as versatile as other solutions.

For example, UsefulSignatures allows you to send a document to multiple people for signing at once and the overall document will be updated in real-time. Microsoft Word is unable to do that.

Additionally, it doesn’t give you insights into how people interacted with the document before signing. Did they open it and sign a few days later, was there an issue and they didn’t get it, etc.

Why use electronic signatures?

There are many tangible benefits of using electronic signatures. One of the most important is that it’s convenient and faster than traditional signatures for everyone involved. When using electronic signature software to create an electronic signature, you’re also able to map auxiliary fields.

These fields include options such as name, date, address, checkboxes, etc. It ensures that the signers don’t miss crucial aspects of the document leading to further delays.

It can also be signed on mobile devices or out of the office. For example, you don’t have to print, sign, scan, and resend. This can speed up document completion times by up to 80%.

Lastly, electronic signatures are legally binding when used properly. That means a contract that’s signed with an electronic signature cannot be challenged in court because electronic signatures were used instead of wet signatures. You can read more about country-specific electronic signature legality here.

Conclusion

There are many ways to create an electronic signature but not all of them will be ideal for your situation. This guide has outlined how to create a signature in Microsoft Word, using our free signature creation tool, and from within our application.

Each one has benefits and drawbacks. If you’re only signing one document then working through the quirks of Microsoft Word may be beneficial to you. If, on the other hand, you need to sign documents regularly then registering for a free trial of UsefulSignaures could be your best investment this year.