Have you found yourself in a position where you needed to add a signature to a digital document? Perhaps you’re signing a contract, or you’re adding a professional flare to a letter. If you’re printing the document off, it’s a simple case of signing after it’s printed. Of course, things are a little trickier if you want to email the document, or you’re printing lots of copies of one document.
Fortunately, if you do find yourself in a position where you need a signature on a Google Doc and want something a little more professional than just typing your name, there are a few ways you can add one.
Using the Built-in Drawing Tools
This is a good option if you have a drawing tablet or a touchscreen. It’s also quite usable if you only have a mouse but may not look as good as a regular signature would.
To use the drawing tools for a signature, go into the Google document you want to insert a signature into. Click “Insert” at the top of the document, then click “Drawing…”
This opens a drawing canvas which is a handy tool for when you want to draw a picture for your document. You can add lines, arrows, shapes, text, and even import an image into the tool for editing. For the time being, however, we’re just going to use the “Scribble” tool to write our signature.
Find the Line tool, then click the downward-pointing arrow button to its right. In the menu that appears, click “Scribble.”
This allows you to draw lines onto the canvas in freeform, meaning you can scribble whatever you like onto it, like your signature!
If you have a drawing tablet or a touchscreen, you’ll be able to draw a pretty like-for-like signature onto the canvas. When you draw your first line, a series of tools appear at the top right.
These allow you to set thickness, colour, and consistency of the line you just drew, as well as the lines you draw after it. You can tell which line you drew last because Google highlights it in blue.
Once done, click “Save & Close” at the top. It’ll insert the image into your document.
Using an Add-on
If drawing using Google’s tools doesn’t produce the results you want, you can try an add-on instead. Just click “Add-ons” while in a document, then “Get add-ons …” to search for Google Doc extensions to help you write your signature.
Once an add-on is installed, click “Add-ons” again, then select the add-on you want to use.
While you’re free to experiment to search and use the add-on that suits you best, there are a few particularly good examples. The add-on called “Dotted: Signature Creator” is a nice tool that adds a pen effect to your signatures. You can use it as many times as you like, and the results are often visually pleasing.
At the same time, the add-on “HelloSign” is also great and produces a pleasing signature by using only a mouse. Once you’ve written the signature once, HelloSign then saves it so you can insert it into different documents without having to repeat the signature each time. However, they only give you three free signature insertions per month before you have to buy their premium package and unlock infinite uses.
Inserting an Image
If computerised drawing isn’t doing it for you, perhaps going back to paper is the solution. Of course, we’ll need to get that paper signature into a digital space so you can use it in your document. Ideally, this will be done with a scanner, so if you have one on hand, you’re ready to go.
The easiest way to do this is to sign a piece of blank white paper or get a letter with your signature on it. Use the scanner to scan it in, then crop the image so that only the signature remains. Import it into Google Docs by clicking “Insert,” then “Image…” and importing your signature.
You could also save the document, print it, sign it on paper, then scan the whole thing and use that instead. However, you might notice a drop in the quality of the text after the printing and scanning process.
Using a Cursive Font
If drawing a signature isn’t working out, and you can’t scan in a signature, you could use a font that represents a signature. It would be a chore to go through each font installed on your system to find one that looks good, so if you’d like to cut to the chase, you can use online tools that write your name in a signature style.
One particularly great option is Online Signature’s font signature tool. There are a lot of fonts you can play with, so you can get a signature that suits your style. You can also set the size of your signature and even add a slope to it if you want.
At first, it might seem tricky (if not impossible!) to add a signature to a digital Google Doc. Using a wide array of tools at your disposal, however, you can add a professional-looking signature to your documents.
Have you ever wanted to add a signature to a digital document? How did you do it? Share your stories below.