This how-to will walk you through the creation of a digital signature file. Useful for signing documents on the fly and emailing them back and forth, which saves on postage and lessens paper usage.
The Constitution of the United States.pdf95 KB
Step 1: Make your Mark
You need to start with your signature on a sheet of paper. In the hopes of not being blatantly thiefed of my identity, I have elected to use John Adams as an example.
Step 2: Scan the Sig
You need some way to get this signature into the computer, an optical scanner is probably your best bet, but in dire circumstances, you could use a digital camera.
Step 3: Import the Scan to somewhere useful
I prefer to use MS Paint on a Windows machine, but its up to you. On a Mac, I've always scanned in Photoshop, but again, your choice.
For a more free flavor, once you have the scanned image, all the following steps can be done in Graphic Converter, a free program for OS X (and legacy systems, too).
Step 4: Save it in a useful format
Once your signature file is in the correct orientation, save it.
I find that the .PNG format is the most useful for signature files, but I am by no means an expert.
Step 5: Insert it into the document
You need a document that requires your signature, I suppose.
I most commonly am using Word, but there are plenty of other programs that can insert images.
Step 6: Protect Yourself
I suggest outputting only in a PDF format due to your signature being quite easily "re-appropriated" otherwise.
On OS X, just choose print and int he PDF pulldown menu, choose save as PDF.
On XP or similar, you'll need a PDF creation tool (try googling "XP PDF Creator" for some free ones, like that pictured). Rumor has it some versions of Word come with this as well.