What are Electronic Signatures and How to Add Them to Word, Google Docs, or PDF Documents?

Electronic signatures have grown in popularity in recent years. So, what are e-signatures and when and where can you use electronic signatures?

We all like it when things move fast when we sign contracts – there’s no denying that! 

If you are like us, you have probably printed many documents in your lifetime – just to scribble your signature at the bottom. It’s hard enough to get everyone in the same room and agree on what needs to be done. However, this can be even more frustrating when our teams are spread across the country or worldwide, with multiple time zones. So, this is where electronic signatures make our lives easier.

But there’s a better way - to sign documents electronically! Now, with the power of technology, you can add an electronic signature by using legacy platforms like Word, Google Docs, or PDF to sign your documents quickly and easily!

What is an electronic signature?

In simple terms, an electronic signature is a digital equivalent of a traditional handwritten signature that allows us to use various methods for signing contracts for essential documents using an electronic device instead of physically signing them with a pen and paper. This could include typing our names, drawing our signatures with a finger on a touchscreen device or mouse, or using a digital signature. 

Electronic signatures have grown in popularity in recent years, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic, as they allow us to quickly sign documents from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. For this reason, there have been adopted multiple ways in which we can sign documents electronically – Word documents, as well as Google Docs documents, PDFs, and other software tools implemented in contract platforms. 

Why should I use an electronic signature? Electronic signature benefits

Electronic signatures can be used for various purposes, including signing contracts, legal documents, and forms. They are commonly used in real estate, finance, and healthcare industries, where there is a need to sign and authenticate essential documents quickly and securely. So, what are the benefits of signing documents electronically?

  • We can benefit from their convenience and efficiency, as we can sign documents electronically from anywhere in the world with an internet connection;
  • We can use electronic signatures more securely than traditional signatures, as they can be verified and authenticated using a variety of methods;
  • Electronic signatures are legally binding in a large number of countries around the world;
  • We can save time, money, and stress while also reducing the need for physical document storage;
  • We will help reduce the environmental impact of printing and mailing the documents;
  • We can improve the overall efficiency of contract signing and document management processes. 
How do we start using electronic signatures?

We’ve all been wondering at some point how to use electronic signatures, how to sign a document electronically, or how to create an electronic signature. 

Many people prefer using electronic signature providers that have basic signing functionalities, such as the ability to add a signature, initial, or date to a document, at low prices. Some popular electronic signature providers include AdobeSign, HelloSign, and other alternatives. These providers are often considered alternatives to DocuSign, one of the most used electronic signature providers. 

However, adding an electronic signature is relatively easy! We can do it in three different formats: Word documents, Google Docs, and PDFs. All it takes is a few clicks and a little bit of patience!

Adding an electronic signature to a PDF document

Using an electronic signature  PDF document is used the most by all of us. To do this, we can use a PDF editor in Adobe Acrobat or an electronic signature provider. If we add the signature in Adobe Acrobat, we can easily select the “Sign” tool to add a signature, initial, or date to the document. However, suppose we choose to use an electronic signature provider. In that case, we can just as easily upload the PDF document to their platform and use their signature tools to add the information required.  

Adding an electronic signature to a Word document

If we want to add an electronic signature to a Word document, we can easily use the built-in “Sign” feature in Microsoft Word. Similar to adding our electronic signature to the PDF, we can also add our signature, date, or initial to the Word document. We can do this by following two simple steps:

  • Click on the “Insert” tab
  • Click on the “Signature Line” button

From there, a signature line will be created, in which we can sign using our mouse, touchpad, digital pen, or using our finger on the touchscreen.  

Adding an electronic signature to a Google Docs document 

Adding an electronic signature to a Google Doc document is not as effortless as the other two methods. The reason behind this is that there is no signature feature present. Therefore, we must use a third-party electronic provider that integrates with Google Docs. To use one of these providers, we will first need to install the necessary add-on for Google Docs, and we will then be able to add an electronic signature.

Regardless of which method we choose, adding an electronic signature to a document is a convenient way to sign essential contracts or papers without printing them out and singing them by hand. Using an electronic signature, whether a digital signature or an eSignature, we can quickly sign and share documents with other people, making the process much faster and more efficient. 

So go ahead and try it – your future self will thank you!

Gabriel Pană
June 11, 2024

Related Articles

Explore the intricacies of effective contract management on our platform through our insightful blog articles. Stay informed, stay efficient, and unlock the full potential of streamlined contract processes with our expert guidance.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

To subscribe, simply enter your email address and hit subscribe. It's quick, easy, and the best way to stay connected with us.
By subscribing you agree to our
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.