Signing a word document is a day-to-day task for most organizations. The reason is that they develop contracts and sales agreements daily. However, the absence of any concerned person makes the process becomes difficult to complete.
More importantly, the technology of electronic signature has been in use for many years that is easy to manage. Many software solutions help you sign the document electronically and upload it. You can adopt the same procedure for Excel, PowerPoint, and PDFs, etc. as well.
This article will help you understand how to use E Signature in Word Documents. Moreover, you may have the tools to allow you to use a free electronic signature in word as well but we do not recommend it, as there may be security and reliability concerns in this case.
Let us explore the details!
Adding a signature line in Word Document
To initiate a process, you need to point out the place where you want an electronic signature. For that, you will place your pointer at a particular place. Now, you need to go into the insert tab, find the text group.
Here, you will find the Signature Line list that you need to click. The result will be the appearance of Signature Setup Dialog Box where you need to provide the following information:
→ Suggested Signer. Here you will provide the signatory authority’s full name.
→ The next tab is for the Suggested signer’s title. You need to provide the designation of the signer here.
→ Now, the next tab is for the Suggested signer’s e-mail address. You need an email address to complete this field.
→ There is an instruction box right after the email address. Under this head, you can give instructions to the signer regarding the signing procedure.
→ For providing this information, as it will be shown beneath the signature line.
→ Two checkboxes are under instructions to allow the signers to add comments and type the purpose. You can check both the boxes or leave unattended as per your requirement.
Including the signing date to show it in the signature line should be with a signature. Moreover, If you want to add more signature lines, the same steps will be followed.
In addition, in the case of missing signs, you will click on View Signatures in the Signature Message Bar and complete the procedure.
In this way, you provide a visible signature, and in the case of providing a digital signature, you need to present it according to the procedure.
How to use E-Signature in Word Document?
To provide a visible representation, you need to follow the given steps:
→ Go on the signature line
→ Right-click it that will open the file from where you will include the selected sign. In the case of finding the protected file, you need to ignore it if it is coming from a reliable source by clicking Edit Anyway. Now, you will click on Sign and the procedure will be completed.
→ On the other hand, if you want to add a printed version, you will select the image by selecting the Signature Image dialog box. It will allow you to go to the file where the signature image has been placed. You only need to select the file and add it to the document.
→ Stamp Signature Line appears if the customers are using Chinese, Korean, or Japanese languages for the signing purpose.
→ You can sign the document at the signature line by double-clicking it. The next step is to type your name next to the X. Besides, click the arrow for the signing process that will appear in the case of Signature Pane.
→This pane will appear in the Requested Signature Section. After that, you will select a sign to add the signature.
→ It is also allowed to sign by hands by using the inking features, but it can be done only through tablet PCs. For that, you need to click on the Sign Button. After that, the signature button will be appeared to complete the process.
How can we remove digital signatures?
To complete the removal process of a digital signature from Word document, you need to open the document, right-click the signature line. Now, you will find the option of Remove Signature, click yes, and remove the signature.
You can complete the same process by clicking the arrow that you will find next to the signature. From here, you can remove the signature.
The procedure of adding invisible digital signatures
Sometimes, the signer wants to improve the authenticity of the document. In some cases, he needs to protect the document content. To achieve this target, the system gives you the option of providing an invisible signature.
An important aspect that needs to be mentioned here is that there is a signature button when you will go at the end of the document. It will appear only if you have signed the document.
So, if you want to protect your document or its content, you need to click on the File tab. Here, you will info that needs to be clicked as well. The next step is to find Protect Document that you will click. In the last, click OK. Now, you need to go into the Sign dialog box.
Here, you will find the Purpose of signing the document box. You need to mention the purpose of protecting the document and click Sign. In this way, you will develop the digitally signed document that will be available to others with the read-only option. It means that you are not allowing anyone to modify the document.
The procedure of removing invisible digital signatures
To complete the removal process, you need to open the document that is protected by incorporating an invisible signature. After that, you will click the file tab. Here, you will find the info tab that is also needed to click. The next option will be View Signature and will click it as well.
The view of the document will appear along with Signature Pane. Here, next to the signature name, there will be an arrow. You will click it. The next option will be Remove Signature.
When you will click it, it will ask your confirmation. In the case of clicking Yes, the removal process will be completed.
What is a digital signature?
To understand how digital signature works, it is important to understand what it is. To provide digital information like document, worksheet, presentation, macros, email messages, or any other electronic document, digital signature adds authenticity.
A digital signature is an encrypted stamp of authentication that is developed electronically to ensure that no one can alter the information, originated initially. However, for digital signature, you need a signing certificate that confirms who you are.
Understanding signing certificate and certificate authority
When you want a digital signature, you need to get signing certification. A specifically defined certificate authority issues this certification that is equipped with your identity. It is just like your driver’s license to make sure that your identity has been secured.
When you send an electronic document to a specific person, you also send a public key along with your certificate. Normally, you need to renew this certification after a year. It helps the signer reestablish his identity.
While talking about certificate authority, it works as a notary public. They have the responsibility of issuing digital certificates to the signer. They also have the responsibility to verify the validity of the signer, and with that, track the process as well.
What assurances are provided by the certificate authority?
There are four types of assurances that an issuing authority offers to the signer. These are:
This assurance confirms that the signer is a signer.
When you sign digitally, no one can alter the content, which you have provided in the document.
Through this assurance, the parties get to know the origin from where the content has been signed. It means, if a signer denies any association with the signed document, the whole process will be null and void.
Timestamping is a feature that keeps the concerned authorities on toes, as they need to complete the process within the assigned time, date, and at a specific location. In this way, the validity of the notarization can be confirmed.
To fulfill all the above assurances, the experts recommend using a digital signature that follows a specific criterion in which the validity of the digital signature and the sanctity of the signing person are included.
More importantly, you need to confirm that the digital signature has the certificate, issued by an authorized issuing authority.
The concerned parties must remember that the availability of a valid timestamp proves that the document has a valid signature. Other requirements like age and revocation status can be ignored in this case.
The issued certificate to the signing publisher should be issued by an authentic certificate authority as well that helps the signer use time stamping the best tool for validation.
What are signature lines?
Defining the signature line is important in the context as well. You can resemble the signature line with the signature placeholder that we incorporate in the printed document. However, the difference is in functionality. When we incorporate the signature line in the word document, it means that we need to provide specific information of the signer.
It also consists of the instructions that a signer needs to follow. After preparing the signature line, the preparer sends the file to the signer with the instructions and a notification that requests to sign.
After that, the signer can incorporate a digital image to sign digitally, type the signatures according to the rules, defined above, and sign the document by using an inking feature to sign the document with the help of a tablet PC.
When the signer finishes his task, the visible digital signatures are added. At the same time, the system confirms the authentication of the signer’s identity.
To prevent modifications and alterations, we recommend making the document, read-only file.
How to reduce risk when you use digital signatures?
Using signature lines for Word documents is key to reduce risks. The reason is the next step that enforces the signer to use an electronic signature for electronic transactions. In this way, the signer can streamline the legal, professional, or sales contracts to record all the information about the timings, locations for future verification.
Using word document for preparing contracts and agreements is an old practice. However, when you incorporate a digital signature in the preparation, you make these documents valid, authentic, and legally viable.
Understanding the inclusion of digital signatures in these documents has become important now for the businesses, and to fulfill this purpose, this information will help you a lot.