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Tech how-to: Sign any document digitally

Think about what we had to go through to sign documents and send them back in olden times. If the person wasn’t in the same room, you probably had to print it out on paper, sign it with a pen, snail mail it or scan it on your PC and email it back.

Not to mention how time-consuming it was to sign and send a fax. Luckily, those days are long gone. Technology has brought the humble John Hancock into the digital age. Tap or click here to find out how to edit PDF files.

You probably already know that you can sign PDF files digitally. But those aren’t the only types of files that you can digitally sign. Let’s take a look at a couple more options that will help make life easier.

Signing PDF documents

The easiest way to sign a PDF document is to do it through Adobe Reader. Adobe built in a specific function for this, and all you need to do is upload your signature and place it on the page. Here is how you do it:

  • Open the PDF document that needs to be signed.
  • On the toolbar at the top, click on the fountain pen icon.
  • You will have two options here: adding your signature or adding your initials.
  • Adding your initials will place them on the page in a predetermined font.
  • To add your signature, click that option.
  • Here you’ll see three options: Type, Draw, or Image.
  • Type is to place your handwritten name and last name on the page. You have four fonts to choose from.
  • Draw allows you to use your mouse to trace out your signature.
  • Use Image to import your signature that you digitally stored on your computer. The easiest way to do this is by signing a piece of paper with a pen, scanning it and saving the file on your computer.
  • To save your signature, check the box that says Save signature and click Apply.
  • Place your chosen method of signing on the page and click Done.

Signing a Microsoft Office document

PDF documents aren’t the only files that can be signed digitally. You might be asked to sign a Microsoft Office document, which could be locked from making edits. There is an easy way to set up your signature for Office docs.

RELATED: This powerful free office program can replace Microsoft Office

For the purposes of signing only, we’ll assume that you received documents with a signature line already created on them. Here is how you sign the document:

  • Open the Word document that needs to be signed.
  • Right-click on the signature line and select Sign.
  • For a written-out signature, write your first and last name next to the X.
  • Just as with PDF files, you can also use an image of your signature. Click on Select Image and find the location on your computer where your signature image is stored.
  • Place the signature image over the line to sign.
  • For tablet users, you can add your signature with the inking feature.

Signing a Google Doc

Google’s online productivity suite includes Google Docs, the tech giant’s answer to Microsoft Office. Unsurprisingly, these too can be digitally signed. Here is how to do that:

  • Open the Google Doc file that needs to be signed.
  • Put your cursor on the spot where your signature needs to go.
  • On the menu bar, click Insert.
  • Click on Drawing, and then New.
  • The Drawing screen will open and then click Line.
  • Click Scribble to use your mouse to replicate your signature. If you have a touchscreen, you can also use your finger or a stylus.
  • Click Save and Close.

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