Signing Documents Electronically

Hi All,

Can anyone please advise how to store & use a signature electronically in order to sign documents? There must be an easier way than printing, manually signing & scanning the completed doc back into the computer.

Simple lingo please, I'm nearly as bad as 'arry Redknapp when it comes to technical jargon:)


Gallery Guru
You can do this on Adobe Acrobat, but it ain't cheap and unless you have a tablet and pen, trying to draw your signature ends up looking like you were having some sort of epilepsy issues whilst drawing it. Well, mine did anyway. If you have a drawing "image" (jpeg) of your signature you can import that into just about any sort of document. You do need to make sure that it is then "locked" so no further editing can take place, as the image of your signature could easily be lifted off the doc you attached it to! I've been having the same problem myself with signing and scanning docs, and it seems the biggest problem is that of security and legality. All depends on the docs you are signing I guess, but if it's for something that needs to be legally compliant, your own handwritten signature in ink is required (so I am told!). But then, where I work everything has to be signed by at least four people in authority, in triplicate and in Unicorn Blood, including permission slips to go for a wee. :)
Depends if you just want a facsimile of your sig to put at the end of a letter, similar to the guff I get from banks, water boards, etc.

Or do you want to be able to prove that the letter/email came from you and was authorised by you.

For the first, yes you can scan, crop and edit a piccy of your sig, save it as a jpg file and insert it into your document each time you produce one. Or you can open up Paint, and play with 'writing' your sig with a mouse until you have something that looks roughly similar. Again, save and use when required.

For the second, it's far more tricky and you'd need a damn good reason to go down that route involving digital certificates and authentication etc. Far beyond my nouse I'm afraid.
For a picture of your signature, the easiest thing to do is sign a blank piece of paper and use a scanner. I've always been a bit wary of this as anybody can lift your scanned signature but that's true of anything you sign these days.

For a proper digital signature, you need to get a X.509 certificate and import it into your PC. It's easier than it sounds and you can get a free certificate to try out at What is SSL Encryption?

The web site will guide you through the steps to install the certificate on your PC. It only takes a few minutes. You can get a "proper" certificate from credit reference companies like Experian for about £25 a year. Experian will verify your identity before issuing the certificate.

The free certificate will verify that your signed document has not been changed and the Experian certificate will also verify that you are who you say you are.

Once the certificate is installed, you can use it with any application that allows you to sign documents. Word, Outlook, Adobe etc all allow you to do this. The trouble is that many of these applications change received documents without asking. Outlook will strip out extra new lines and spaces automatically. This will cause the signature to fail authentication and the user will be notified that the document doesn't match the signature.

Digital signatures are a fine idea in theory but, in practice, they can be more trouble than they are worth. Giving forgery alerts because Word trimmed an extra trailing space from one paragraph in a 100 page document becomes tiresome.

Trying out a free certificate from Comodo to see if digital signatures meet your needs might be the way to go for you.
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
stumpyi Army Pay, Claims & JPA 17
quiller Army Reserve 9
G Aviation 12

Similar threads

New Posts

Latest Threads