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How to create a scanned digital signature

If you regularly sign digital documents, the easiest way to do this is with a scanned digital signature. A scanned digital signature is a written signature that’s been scanned into an electronic format, like a PDF.

You can then save the image and easily embed it in electronic documents. You create the scanned digital signature once and then use it over and over again to sign contracts and other documents.

Creating a scanned digital signature is a faster and more efficient way of completing the document signing process. And it ensures that every signature is secure and complies with electronic signature laws.

6 steps to create a scanned digital signature

There are multiple ways you can go about creating a scanned digital signature, and it doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming.

Here are six steps you can take to create a scanned digital signature.

1. Sign the document

The first step is to simply sign a piece of paper with your handwritten signature. It’s a good idea to make the signature larger than you normally would because the digital format will likely shrink down. It’s also a good idea to create several signatures, so you have a few to choose from.

2. Scan the document

Once you’ve signed the piece of paper, you can scan the document. You’ll want to pay attention to the document resolution, or DPI.

Scanned images with a higher DPI will look more realistic, so it’s a good idea to choose a DPI of 600 or higher. You should always aim to have too many pixels as opposed to too few because this will help preserve the quality of the image.

3. Crop the image

Once you’ve scanned the signature and chosen the one that you think looks best, you’ll want to crop the image.

You may also need to adjust and move the signature so that it’s level on a horizontal signature line.

4. Paste the image in a new document

Once you’ve cropped the image of your signature, you can save it in a new document with a transparent background. You can edit the image file with a magic wand to remove any white that is still inside the document.

5. Save the file as a PNG

Next, you’ll want to save the file as a PNG. If the signature is saved as a PNG, it can easily be uploaded into most eSignature software. PNG files support transparency which makes them good for text and drawings. And it will protect the quality of the image better than JPG files.

6. Use the signature on contracts and documents

Now that you’ve saved the scanned digital signature, it will always be available for you to upload to contracts and other documents. This will help you sign documents and close deals faster.

Some people also like to add their scanned digital signature to their email signature for a more personal touch. Just make sure you send a few test emails so you know it looks the way you want it to.

Are scanned digital signatures valid?

Creating a scanned digital signature is one way you can speed up the document signing process. You create the scanned signature once and then can reuse it again and again on contracts and proposals.

But if you’re new to electronic signatures, then you may wonder if a scanned digital signature is valid to use. Fortunately, scanned digital signatures are acceptable on contracts and other electronic documents.

However, you do want to take the necessary precautions to avoid fraud. Fraud can happen when the signed document is altered after you entered your scanned signature. You need to have a way to prove that the other party changed some part of the contract after it was signed.

That’s why it’s always important to find the right eSignature software. Electronic signature software will have built-in anti-fraud technology that creates an audit trail so you can see if a document has been tampered with.

Bottom line on scanned signatures

It’s important to understand that creating a scanned digital signature is only one part of the document signing process. You also need to make sure that you’re using the right electronic signature software.

With the right software, you can create new contracts and proposals in minutes and eliminate bottlenecks in the approval process. Plus, you’ll know your contracts are secure and safe from fraud.

If you’re still looking for the right software for your business, why not try PandaDoc’s free eSign plan? This plan is always free to use and provides unlimited, legally-binding eSignatures for you and your entire team. You can create your free plan and get started right away.