How to Add a Handwritten Signature in Word

James Lintzer |

Millions of people use Microsoft Word to create and edit documents because electronic word processing streamlines the writing process and eliminates the need to create unnecessary paper waste. Inside the Word platform, you can customize nearly every part of a document — fonts, colors, margins, formatting, etc. — with a keyboard and a mouse. However, to insert a handwritten signature in a Microsoft Word doc, you’ll need to enlist the help of more tools.

We’ll explain how you can create a handwritten signature and add it to your document in this article. There are a couple of different ways to do this, so we’ll show you what they are, explain how to implement them and go over the pros and cons of each method.

Why You Might Need to Add a Handwritten Signature in Word

There could be a future use case for an in-document signature that you haven’t considered yet.  

Here are a few reasons why you would want to add a signature to a Word doc: 

  • To add a personal touch or identify yourself
  • To verify that document content is true and valid
  • To confirm that you agree to the contents of the document

The type of document you might want to sign can vary wildly. Some of the most common digital documents you might sign are an offer letter or a sales contract. Yet, signatures can appear anywhere, from invoices and financial reports to lease agreements and personal or business memos. You can even add a handwritten signature to a child’s permission slip that you create in Word; there’s virtually no limit to the type of electronic documents you can sign. 

How to Add a Handwritten Signature in Word

No matter why you want to insert a handwritten signature in a Word document, you have a couple of options to make it happen. You can either use a third-party application that enables handwritten signature insertion or sign your name on paper and scan it into your computer. 

1. Use a Third-Party Solution Like jSign

Online document signing applications can save you a ton of time. Some of them allow you to draw or upload a custom signature, which you can then save for future use. If multiple parties are expected to sign a document, signing online is the only way to go. 

Software that streamlines the signing process makes it simple for multiple parties to navigate and even notifies participants via email when it’s time for them to sign. 

The easiest method to insert a handwritten signature is to sign your Word document in jSign. It’s fast and super easy to do. It’ll also help you save waste by eliminating the need for paper and pen or marker, and you won’t need to scan or edit photos. 

Here’s how to sign a Word document in jSign: 

  1. Sign up for a free trial or log in to your jSign account
  2. Upload your Word document 
  3. Select “Add Signer(s)”
  4. Enter the names and email addresses of all signers
  5. Click “Done”
  6. From the available options, select “E-signatures”
  7. Insert your signature placeholder(s)
  8. Select “Edit Placeholder”
  9. From the upper tabs, choose “Draw” or “Upload”
  10. Create or upload your custom electronic signature
  11. Click “Save”
  12. If needed, set a due date 
  13. Select “Finish”

jSign will then send your document to any additional signers and notify you immediately when all signatures have been added. If you are the only signer, you can download your document right away. 

If this is your first time, your new, handwritten e-signature will be saved in your jSign account to use again later. 

After the trial period, you’ll have to pay to continue to use third-party document signing apps. Fortunately, jSign plans are priced for affordability and start at just $9.99 per month. 

2. Sign and Scan a Physical Piece of Paper

You can sign and scan a piece of paper with your actual inscription to insert a handwritten signature in Word. You might want to do this if you want to add flair to a document or if your individual signature is the only one required for the task at hand. 

If your document requires multiple signatures, this method isn’t effective since it’ll require that every signing party is able to navigate the same tech and processes. Technical issues can create some resistance and are likely to prolong the document signing process. 

The sign-and-scan method isn’t ideal if you want to eliminate the use of paper — plus, it requires that you also have access to a reliable scanner and a pen or marker.  

Here’s how to create and insert a scanned signature in Word:

  1. Get a blank piece of white paper
  2. On the paper, write your personal signature
  3. Place the paper in the scanner and scan the signature to your computer
  4. Save the file as a .bmp, .svg or .png
  5. Open a new Word document 
  6. From the top menu, select “Insert” 
  7. Click “Pictures”
  8. Select the saved image of your signature
  9. Navigate to Picture > Tools > Format
  10. Edit the picture as needed
  11. Right-click the image in the document and select “Save as Picture”
  12. Open the Word document that you need to sign 
  13. Click “Insert”
  14. Select “Pictures”
  15. Choose the image of your electronic signature
  16. Drag and drop the image to the appropriate place in the document
  17. Navigate to File > Save

When you’re done, your Word doc will be saved with your handwritten signature, ready to share with anyone who needs to see it. The sign-and-scan method requires the most work but eliminates the need to pay for a monthly subscription to use a third-party document signing app. 

Answers to Related Questions

Here are answers to commonly asked questions about handwritten signatures.

Can You Create a Signature in Word? 

Yes. By all means, you can create a signature in Microsoft Word using a cursive font. Another option is to scan your handwritten signature, save it as a .bmp, .svg or .png image on your computer and insert it into your document. This method can be used for individual wet signatures and company seals. You can use .jpg images, but this format doesn’t enable transparent backgrounds, which are crucial for professional-looking electronic signatures. 

How Do You Save a Handwritten Signature in Word? 

Open your Microsoft Word document, then highlight the section you want to save as a signature. Then, go to Insert > Quick Parts > Save Selection to Quickparts Gallery. Give your signature a name, then select AutoText > OK. 

You can add any saved signature to a Word document by grabbing it from Insert > Quick Parts > AutoText. Your saved signature should appear with the name you gave it, alongside any other Quick Parts you have saved. 

How Do You Digitize a Handwritten Signature? 

You can digitize a handwritten signature by scanning it into your computer and saving it as a .bmp, .svg or .png. Once saved, you can then use your signature for various use cases. For example, you could insert your signature as an image in a Word or Google Docs document. Or, you could upload it to a convenient document signing app to save and use as needed.  

How Do You Save a Sharpie Signature? 

If you’ve written a signature in Sharpie, and you want to save it to your computer for future use, you’ll have to scan it into your computer and make appropriate edits to digitize it. Sharpie signatures are no different than pen signatures, other than the fact that the thickness can make them easier for some photo editing platforms to read, highlight and edit. 

How Do You Handwrite in Word? 

You can add handwritten signatures and notes to a Word document by either signing and scanning the handwritten text or using a third-party document signing app to insert signatures. 

Save Your Handwritten Signature in jSign

At jSign, we offer the easiest way to sign, send, track and collect electronic signatures in minutes. Sign Word documents, PDFs, contracts, invoices and legal documents online with no need to print, scan or fax documents for project finalization or approval. To experience the convenience for yourself, start your free, 14-day trial of jSign today

James Lintzer
Senior Marketing Manager

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