Printing, scanning and resending documents is wasteful for the environment, time-consuming and worst of all, increasingly difficult in our digitized world.
It’s faster and easier to create electronic signatures on our Android smartphones or other electronic devices. Printing and scanning to sign and send documents is a relic of the past.
In this article, we’ll explore ways to sign your Word documents without having to dig your old InkJet out from the basement.
Why You Might Need to Sign a Word Document
There are many reasons you might need to sign a Word document. These days contracts, sales orders and even waivers for sporting team registrations or school permission slips are sent digitally — but they still require your signature to fulfill the agreement or verify your permission.
Examples of Word documents you might need to sign include:
- Authority to check your credit report
- An application for an insurance policy
- School permission slips
- Loan documents
- Lease agreements
- Non-disclosure agreements
- Arbitration agreements
- Other contracts
You might also need to sign PDFs, Google Docs or other documents created in different word processors and readers.
How to Sign a Word Document on Android
The procedure for signing a Word document on Android smartphones will differ slightly depending on which electronic signature Android app or tool you use. The options below all allow you to upload Word documents and sign them.
Sign a Document with jSign
jSign makes it easy to sign a Word document on Android devices. The web-based app is accessible from anywhere and simple to use on mobile or desktop browsers. All you need to do is sign up for a jSign account or free trial. From there, you can create a electronic signature in your choice of four ways:
- Draw a signature using your touchscreen
- Sign your signature using a stylus on a drawing pad
- Choose from one of the jSign templates
- Upload a photo of your signature to the jSign platform
Once you have your signature, uploading a Word document to sign is straightforward. To do this, simply:
- Log into your jSign account
- Use the upload tool to choose the Word document from your files
- Add yourself and anyone else you need as a signatory
- Insert signature placeholders
- Add your custom signature
- Save your document
You can choose to sign the document yourself only, send the document to others to co-sign and even request signatures. jSign also allows you to set due dates and reminders for signatures.
Pros of Using jSign
jSign e-signatures are stamped with blockchain technology. Each signature has its own data packet which is locked to a chain of other data, so you have a clear audit trail for your documents. They’re more reliable than other digital images.
When you and anyone else finishes signing your document, you’re sent an email with a Certificate of Completion that records the IP address, location and timestamp as well as other data to help clearly identify who signed the document and in which version.
You also get real-time notifications when someone signs documents you’ve created using jSign.
- Easy to use
- Accessible from anywhere
Also, once you’ve created your electronic signature for Android using jSign, you have it to use on any device or document you need.
Cons of Using jSign
The platform does require a subscription fee after your 14-day free trial.
Using Microsoft Word’s Tools
Microsoft Word has some powerful tools including an embedded signature line feature. To use it, you need to have Microsoft Digital ID. If you have one, you can add a signature line by following these steps:
- Open the MS Word app or Office Suite on your Android phone
- Put the cursor where you want it in the document
- Choose “Insert” and then “Signature line”
- Tap the signature line to add your electronic signature
The other way to add a signature in MS Word is by uploading a photo of your signature to the Word document.
Pros of MS Word Signature Tools
MS Word tools are convenient if you want to remain in the MS Office suite when you’re working on documents on your Android device. The photo upload option is also easy to do and anyone can do it.
Cons of MS Word Signature Tools
Signatures created by adding images or typing signatures into MS Word documents are usually not legally binding because they don’t have any way to prove who signed the document and when.
If you use a Microsoft Digital ID they’re more reliable, but it means you have to set up that ID with Microsoft. You also can’t email directly to other signatories or track the signatures in real-time. You could end up with multiple versions of the same document bouncing around in emails.
Print, Sign and Scan The Document
If all else fails you can always go analog when it’s time to sign that important document if you have a printer or access to one.
Pros of the Print, Sign, Scan Method
Analog signatures are much less daunting for less tech-savvy people. All you need is paper, a pen, a printer and a scanner to get the document signed and returned.
Cons of the Print, Sign, Scan Method
Not very many households have a printer these days. Not only that, but how often is your Android smartphone connected to your office printer?
This analog system is cumbersome, bad for the environment and nearly impossible to do from most people’s smartphones. There’s no tracking, no audit trail and no way to gather multiple signatures in one place. Also, scanned documents lose resolution and get harder to read the more times they’re printed and read. If you have to gather multiple signatures, the end document is extremely degraded.
FAQs About Signing Word Documents
Here are several common questions about signing Word documents using an electronic signature on Android.
Can You Sign a Word Document on an Android Phone?
It’s easy to sign a Word document on any smartphone as long as you have the right tools to read and edit the document. Electronic signature tools and plug-ins, MS Office Suite or even Google Docs can all open and read word documents on Android. From there, you only need to choose a tool that suits your needs and anyone can sign a Word document digitally.
Can I Type My Signature Into a Word Document?
You can create an electronic signature on Android by typing it into an electronic signature platform like jSign. You can then use that signature in Word documents. Simply typing your name at the bottom of a Word document won’t be legally binding and doesn’t count as a valid electronic signature.
What is an E-Signature?
An e-signature is an electronic version of your signature. You can use it to sign Word and PDF documents or Google Docs using certain tools and plug-ins like the ones we explored above.
What is a Digital ID?
A digital ID is an electronic identity. They’re usually attached to an electronic signature — but not all e-signatures are attached to digital IDs. The e-signatures you create with jSign are used as electronic signatures encrypted by blockchain technology.
If I Sign a Word Document on Android is it a Legal Contract?
jSign is 100% compliant with all e-signature laws, such as the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) and the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN). This means that documents signed through jSign are legally binding and defensible in court.
Is it Safe to Sign a Word Document?
Electronic signatures that are supported by encrypted blockchain technology, like jSign, offer a clear audit trail that helps verify who signed a document and when. When you sign up for an e-signature service you create a digital ID that is locked to your account.
Sign Up for an Android Electronic Signature Today on jSign
Reliable, traceable and easy-to-use electronic signatures are a staple of the modern world. As more of our business and legal transactions happen virtually, it’s important to find a way to quickly and conveniently sign documents or gather signatures from others. You can sign Word documents, PDFs, Google Docs and others all with your jSign e-signature. Sign up for your 14-day free trial and get an electronic signature started today.