Electronic documents can hold the same legal status as their traditional pen and paper predecessors. They’re most effective, however, if you have a good electronic signature capture method.

Using a scanner for e-signature capture

For this method of digital signature capture, sign a piece of paper several times. Use a dark, wide-tipped pen so the signature shows up well and you can pick your best version. Then scan your preferred signature. Save the scan as an image file, such as .png. Use software on your computer to tweak the image if you like. Once the image is saved, you should be able to add the image to your documents wherever you need it. You also can upload it to insert into documents when you use online signature capture and signing services like PDF.co.

Photo-based mobile signature capture

This e-signature capture method is similar to using a scanner. The difference is that you take a picture of your signature with the device’s camera, rather than scanning it. You can save the image right to your device or to a cloud service. Then insert it to whatever documents you need, using a web signature capture and signing service if needed.

Touchscreen, touchpad, and mouse online signature captures

Many apps and online signature services allow you to complete signature capture on desktop or mobile without the need for a scanner or camera. Simply find the «draw» option within the program or service you’re using. Then use your finger, mouse or a stylus to draw your signature. You often can erase the signature and try again if you don’t like it. A stylus is probably your best choice, as it’s most similar to a pen. The mouse is most awkward. Whichever you use, go slow and take your time. Speed tends to yield breaks and odd shapes, decreasing legibility.