A scanned signature is a digital image of your handwritten signature. It can be used for various purposes, such as signing documents online or verifying your identity. In this blog post, we will discuss how to create a scanned signature and the benefits of doing so. We will also answer some frequently asked questions about scanned signatures.
Scanned, Electronic, and Digital Signatures
There are three types of signatures that are commonly used today: electronic signatures, digital signatures, and scanned signatures. All three of these signatures have their own advantages and disadvantages, and it is important to understand the difference between them before choosing a signature for your needs.
An electronic signature, also known as an e-signature, is a digital version of a handwritten signature. It can be created in a number of ways, including typing your name into a document or using a stylus to sign on a tablet. In contrast, a scanned signature is simply an image of your handwritten signature that has been digitized. This image can be inserted into a document in the same way that you would insert any other image.
When it comes to legal documents, electronic signatures are generally considered to be more binding than scanned signatures. This is because it is difficult to forge an electronic signature, and there is typically a record of when and where the signature was made. As such, businesses that deal with sensitive information or require legally binding agreements often prefer electronic signatures. However, scanned signatures can still be used for most purposes and are perfectly acceptable in many situations.
A digital signature, on the other hand, is a type of electronic signature that uses cryptography to ensure that the signature is unique and cannot be reproduced. Digital signatures are often used for high-security documents, such as financial transactions. One advantage of using a digital signature is that it is very difficult to forge. However, digital signatures can be more complex and time-consuming to create than e-signatures or even scanned ones.
Scanned Signature and Its Purpose
A scanned digital signature is simply an image of your handwritten signature that’s been scanned and saved as a computer file. Scanned signatures are commonly used to sign electronically-submitted documents, such as PDFs. They can also be used to sign contracts or other important documents that will be stored electronically.
While a scanned signature is not as secure as a biometric signature (two-factor authentication), it is still more secure than a typed name, which can be easily forged. In addition, scanned signatures are less likely to be rejected by electronic systems than typed signatures. For these reasons, scanned digital signatures are becoming increasingly popular for both personal and business use.
When should you use scanned signatures? Here are some examples of when it’s appropriate to utilize scanned signatures:
- When you need to sign a document but can’t be physically present to do so
- When you’re working with someone who’s in a different location and can’t meet in person
- When you want to keep a digital copy of your signature on file for future use
Creating a Scanned Signature
If you need to create a scanned signature, there are just a few basic steps you’ll need to follow.
Make your signature
When signing a document, the first thing to do is simply sign your name with your handwritten signature. Because the digital format is very likely to be reduced, it’s a good idea to make the signature larger than usual. It’s also a good idea to make many signatures so you have lots of alternatives. If you’re not sure how to make your signature look good, there are many online tutorials and examples that you can follow.
And be sure to use black ink so that your signature will be clear and easy to see.
Scan the document using a scanner or phone camera
When scanning a document, it’s important to make sure that the signature is in focus. The scanner’s resolution should be set to at least 300 DPI, and if you’re using a phone camera, be sure to hold the camera steady and use good lighting. If the signature is not in focus, it may not be able to be read or may appear blurry.
This can cause problems when trying to verify the document. Additionally, if the resolution is set too low, the scanned image may appear pixelated or grainy. By taking the time to ensure that the signature is in focus and the scanner’s resolution is set properly, you can avoid these issues and ensure that the document can be read clearly.
Open the scanned document in an image editing program
In order to crop the signature, open the document in an image editing program like Photoshop, GIMP, or Microsoft Paint. Then, use the cropping tool to select the area around the signature. Crop the image so that only your signature is visible. This will make it easier to insert into other documents later on.
Save the signature as a PNG file
Once you have cropped the signature, save it as a PNG or JPEG file. This will ensure that the signature maintains its quality when viewed on different devices.
Add your signature to the document
So the last step is to insert your image into a document.
If you don’t know how to do it, go over the detailed instructions.
You can resize the signature by clicking on it and dragging the corner handles. Once you are happy with how it looks, save the document.
Are Scanned Signatures Legally Binding
While there is no definitive answer, the general consensus is that scanned signatures are legally binding in most cases. The main reason for this is that digital signatures have the same legal status as handwritten signatures under US law. As long as the signature is reasonably clear and legible, it should be considered valid. In addition, many businesses now have policies in place that state that scanned signatures are acceptable. This means that, in practice, scanned signatures are often treated as equivalent to handwritten signatures.
However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, scanned signatures may not be accepted in court cases or when signing certain types of contracts. Overall, while there is no definitive answer to the question of whether scanned signatures are valid, in most cases they are legally binding and will be accepted by businesses.
Tips for Creating a Good Scanned Signature
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when creating a scanned signature:
- Make sure your signature is on a white background for best results.
- If you’re scanning your signature, use a scanner rather than taking a photo of it. This will help prevent distortion.
- Use high-quality paper when signing your name so that the scan comes out clean.
- Keep your signature within the crop area to avoid losing any part of it.
- Make sure the file format you save it in is compatible with the software you’ll be using in. For example, JPG files can be used in most word processing and design programs.
FAQs about Scanned Signatures
How do I scan my signature?
To scan your signature, you’ll need a scanner and scanning software like Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Acrobat Reader DC. Place your signed paper on the scanner bed and open the scanning software on your computer. Follow the prompts to scan the document and save it as a file on your computer.
What’s the best way to scan my signature?
For the best results, use a scanner with a resolution of at least 300 dpi (dots per inch). This will ensure that your signature comes out clear and legible when it’s digitized.
Is it legal to use a scanned signature?
In most cases, yes. A scanned signature is considered an electronic signature, which is legally binding in many situations. However, there may be some instances where a handwritten signature is still required (such as signing a contract). Be sure to check the requirements of whatever document you’re signing before using a scanned signature.
Do I need special software to create a scanned signature?
No. Any scanning or photo-editing software will work. However, there are some signature-specific programs available that may make the process easier.
What format should I save my scanned signature in?
The best format for a scanned signature is PNG, as this will keep the image quality high while still allowing it to be compressed. Sometimes JPEG format can degrade the quality of the image.
I don’t have a scanner. Can I just take a photo of my signature?
Yes, you can take a photo of your signature with a digital camera or smartphone. Just make sure the photo is clear and taken in good lighting. You may need to edit the image to make it clearer.