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Electronic Signature

How to add an electronic signature to Google Docs?

From liquid wax seals to online signatures on PDFs, technology has come a long way. Signatures via google docs should ideally have been the next logical step in automating workflow since a lot of teams use Google Docs for cross-team collaboration. Unfortunately, this technological progress slowed down with the invention of the PDF 31 years ago. 

Even today, both independent contractors and CEOs continue to download PDF documents and add signatures to them manually. 

The global digital signature market is projected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 31.0%, so there’s never been a better time to get started.

But with many companies using Google Docs to collaborate across teams and processes, it’s common to have questions like, “how can I add signatures to a google doc?” and “are they legally binding?” 

This guide will answer all of these questions and more. Here’s what we’ll take a look at here:

1. Can I add a signature directly to a document in google docs? 

To put it simply—yes. It is similar to adding a signature to a PDF. And it’s a great idea too. In fact, you can reduce up to 90% of your processing errors by going digital.

But keep in mind, while you as an organization may send an invitation to a signer’s email account requesting signatures on a google doc, these signatures vary in legal binding and verification. Their legality depends on the country’s policies on e-signing. 

That being said, there are four ways to add signatures to Google Docs:

Method 1: Using the Google Docs drawing tool to draw a signature

Step 1: Go to the top left corner of your Google Doc and click on “Insert > Drawing > New.”

Step 2: Google Docs opens up a blank canvas where you can use the “Scribble” option in the “Line” drop-down menu to write your signature.

Step 3: Select “Save and Close”, and your signature appears wherever your cursor is. 

Method 2: Using a Google Doc signature add-on 

Step 1: In the top left corner, go to Extensions > Add-ons > Get add-ons

Step 2: Search for “esign” or “esignature” in the search bar and you’ll be presented with a host of options. Pick whichever ones work best. 

Pro tip: Searching for “esign” or “esignature” gives you more relevant results than “signature.”

Electronic signature options with google doc extensions

Step 3: Install whichever extension has caught your eye.

Step 4: Once you’ve installed it by following the instructions that pop up on your screen, access the extension by going to “Extensions” on the top left. 

Step 5: Add your name and choose one of the styles offered by the extension, or draw your signature manually. Some extensions also let you upload an image of your signature).

Step 6: Click the “Insert” signature button and add it to your document. 

Step 7: You can drag and readjust the signature as appears in your doc. 

Method 3: Inserting an image as a Google Doc signature

This method is simple—and a tad makeshift. 

Step 1: Sign a blank paper and take a picture of it.

Step 2: Upload this picture to your computer.

Step 3: Go to Insert > Image in the Google Docs menu bar and add the image where you need the signature. 

Just be aware that the legality of this way of signing can vary from country to country, so be sure to check local laws before using it. If you get the go ahead, it should look something like this at the end.

scanned scribbled signature to add to google doc as an image

Method 4: Using a cursive font to add a Google Doc signature

Use a cursive font to write your name or initials to make them stand out. 

While this might not be your actual signature, it acts as a good placeholder for the real one. The method is especially quick if you’re not looking for high-level security in your documents. 

Here’s a list of cursive fonts that Google Docs offers by default:

  • Caveat
  • Lobster 
  • Pacifico 

To add more fonts, click on “More fonts” from the font drop-down menu and pick one that suits your aesthetic or branding.

Google Docs addition cursive font alternatives

Now that you’ve successfully added your signature to your Google Doc, the question becomes, “is it legally binding?”

2. Will an e-signature turn google docs into contracts? 

It depends on the terms laid out in the contract, unless it’s a valid electronic signature service integrated with Google Docs, like Oneflow. If you do integrate your contracts, you can always use Google Docs to sign with full peace of mind that all of your contracts are safe, secure and binding.

3. How does this work in Oneflow? 

While all of these options to add a signature to google docs work, you may need a more easily verifiable and legally sound solution. 

This is where contract management software like Oneflow can help. When you sign a document with Oneflow, it automatically creates an online certificate with the date and time of signing. But that’s not all, you can use Oneflow throughout the entire lifecycle of your contract. So whether you’re creating contracts, or you have some coming up for renewal, Oneflow’s Google Docs integration can help.

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