Create your online signature.
Draw or type your online signature, save it, and use it on any document online or on your computer.
We often get questions about what an esignature is and how to sign documents online. Some of our most frequently asked questions are shown below.
#1: E-signing: Does typing your name on a form and clicking submit hold up as a legal signature?
No. There are a number of e-signature laws across the world, such as ESIGN and UETA, which define what constitute a legally binding esignature. Just typing a name on a form and clicking submit has several issues that prevent it being upheld in a court of law, these are:
- Anyone could type a name on a form – for it to be legally binding there must be a way to prove the typed name belongs to the person it represents. For example, in the ApproveMe esignature platform, we use a digital certificate to prove the person signing a document, is who they say they are. Digital certificates are issued by certificate authorities (CA); CA’s check who you are when they issue the certificate. The certificate then becomes a digital version of you.
- When you electronically sign a document online the document needs to be tied to the signature itself. This makes sure that if anything changes in the document, for example, someone changes a clause from “I will pay $1000” to “I will pay $100” the change will be spotted.
Simply typing your name into a document cannot tie the signature to the document. You need to have specialist software like ApproveMe to ‘hash’ the document content. Hashing the document creates a unique ‘fingerprint’ – if the document changes, you’ll be warned as your signature will become invalid and an event of the change will be captured.
#2: How can e-signatures or online signatures mean anything?
The introduction of e-signature laws that gave legal weight to electronic signatures added meaning to them. E-signature laws such as ESIGN and UETA in the USA, and EU Directive 1999/99/EC in Europe outlined the legal requirements of electronic signatures making them as valid as wet (handwritten) signatures.
But it wasn’t until the development of usable esignature software, like ApproveMe, that electronic signing came into its own. Specialist signing solutions allow you to make document signing part of a business process.
#3: What is the legal difference between a person’s initials and signature?
Adding initials to the pages of a contract is not a legally binding signature that shows you agree to the terms of the contract. The addition of initials on a page shows that you have read that page of the document. Adding initials is a good tool for preventing the inclusion of pages that have not been agreed – for example after a contract is signed. Adding an actual signature (whether ink on paper or electronic signature) is a statement of agreement to the terms and promises of the document / contract.
#4: Can a person have more than one type of signature?
You can have as many signatures as you like, but on any given document you should stick to the type of signature best suited to that document. So, a hard copy document would require a handwritten (wet) signature, and an electronic document signed online would require a legally binding esignature.
It may be that you require multiple signatories on a single document. In principle you could have a mix of wet and electronic signatures. However, in practice this is not ideal. You should always apply the same rules for the type of signature applied to all parties. This will remove any discrepancies between the signatures. For example, if esignature’s are applied, then audit rules, and document hashing methodologies are applied uniformly.
#5: What if someone can no longer write his or her signature?If you find that you can no longer write your signature, for example, you may become disabled and lose the use of your hand, there are alternatives that can be used. The trick it to have a notary or other legal entity ‘attest a mark’. That is an alternative to a wet signature is allowed for this individual. This could be an X, or a fingerprint, or some other mark. As long as a legal entity, such as a notary has attested that the individual is the person making the mark, it will be the equivalent of a hand written signature. If the person could use a computer, then an electronic signature would also be an option, as the sign documents online often involves a simple click or the addition of a mark.
#6: What is meant by a wet, digital and electronic signatureA wet signature is one made using a pen on hard copy paper A digital signature is the process by which a document is signed online. That is the software creating the digital signature performs a routine to create a signature. This usually involves creating a hash of the document content so that any changes can be easily identified. It also has a mechanism for then ‘signing’ that hashed content (usually using a digital certificate). An electronic signature can be anything that constitutes an online mark, like a symbol or an image of your signature. Electronic signatures don't have the security of a digital signature, as they don't create a hash of a document, or tie the signature to the document itself. Products, like ApproveMe which allow you to sign documents online, use a combination of the security of digital signature technology, with the ease of use of electronic signatures.
#7: Does my online signature have to be identical to my handwritten signature?No: In fact, the ESIGN e-signature law, which sets out the legal requirements for an electronic signature states that a signature can be: “an electronic sound, symbol, process attached to or logically associated with a contract or other record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record and be legally bound.”
The signature is special. It’s unique. It represents you. It’s personal. And it is by far the most intimate form of handwriting we do. Many experts believe that the way you sign your name could reveal who you are as a person in life and even in business.
Here are a few things that handwriting experts look for in determining your personality based on your signature alone:
- Small letters in your signature may be an indicator that you are shy, possibly quiet and withdrawn. A small signature does, however, say that you are meticulous and can stay focused on tasks that require a high level of concentration. If the letters are extremely tiny, this may be an indicator that you are stingy and a bit egotistical.
YOU’RE THRIFTY; RATIONAL AND SELF-DISCIPLINED
- Consistent and average sized letters indicate a well adjusted and adaptable individual.
YOU CAN BE DREAMY, INDEPENDENT, NAIVE, OUTSPOKEN AND LOUD.
- Larger than life letters are the trademark of am outspoken person with a very large self-conficence. Generally someone that loves attention. It’s been said before that you could be a bit dreamy and sometimes even naive.
ALL LETTERS ARE EQUAL IN SIZE
YOU ARE GENERALLY MODEST AND SHY.
- If all letters in your signature are equal in size, this generally indicates that you are a modest and shy person.
- Many handwriting experts believe that people who consistently have incoherent and/or illedible writing are arrogant and assume that everyone already knows (or rather should know) who they are.
ARROGANT AND YOU HAVE AN INFLATED SENSE OF SELF.
- The opposite can be said for people with easily readable signatures. You are open, honest, and you have nothing to hide becuase you are truly happy with yourself.
- Signatures that are over the top fancy and ornate are generally an indicator of a creative, boastful and passionate individual that loves attention.
YOU COULD BE A BOASTFUL AND INSINCERE PERSON.
- A line cutting through the middle of your signature could be an indicator of unhappiness and a person who is sensitive or extremely self-critical.
- A signature that is underlined could mean that you are selfish and have a sensitivity for recognition and status.
YOU MIGHT BE SELFISH AND NEED RECOGNITION.
- A signature with a line that’s a little bit above your name means you are generally a high achiever, you are ambitious and proud.
What would the handwriting experts say about your signature?
Vincent van Gogh
Edgar Allan Poe
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Online Signature FAQ
How can I create an online signature?
You can use ApproveMe’s easy online signature tool to create online signatures for use either within the ApproveMe WP E-Sign tool, or to take and use elsewhere on the web to customize your electronic signature. Use it in emails, on your website, on documents, ..wherever you’d like! You can draw a signature or type one out to use a generic looking signature as well.
How do I add a signature in Office 365 online?
Within the File tab, click Options. Go to the Mail section and click on Signatures. Within the Edit Signatures box create your signature by modifying/formatting your signature with images (like your custom signature via ApproveMe) and text, phone numbers, websites, etc. You can rename signatures, create multiple, and assign when each should be added to new emails or responses. Click Ok - and you’re done!
How do I add a signature to a document online?
Each tool you may use will vary, but with ApproveMe it’s as easy as having a signature saved in your account, and applying it to the location you’d like to sign when you’ve loaded a contract or document for signatures. Other tools online will have similar approaches where you sign or type your signature and click where you want it added to a document.
How can I make my handwritten signature online?
With ApproveMe’s online signature tool, you can simply use your mouse to “draw” your signature into the box provided, and it will be instantly converted into an online signature