Creating a transparent signature doesn’t mean that your electronic signature will be hidden from view.
Instead, it means that the background surrounding your signature is invisible.
This makes your handwritten signature look more professional and authentic when it’s used to sign a digital document.
In this article, we’ll show you how to create a transparent signature online that you can use to sign your digital documents.
Let’s jump in.
- 1 1. CreateMySignature
- 2 2. Google Draw
- 3 JPG vs PNG: What’s the difference?
- 4 Does a transparent signature actually matter?
- 5 How can I use my transparent signature to sign online documents?
- 6 How can I test to make sure my signature background is transparent?
- 7 What if I want to create a digital signature on my own?
- 8 Create secure online signatures and contracts with PandaDoc
With CreateMySignature (brought to you by PandaDoc) is an online tool designed to help you create transparent signatures online with minimal hassle.
You don’t need to sign up for anything to get a high-quality image file.
Just follow these steps to receive a transparent version of your handwritten signature in record time:
1. Head to CreateMySignature.com.
2. Select Draw signature.
This will allow you to create a downloadable image for use when signing .pdf files and digital documents inside major software tools like Google Docs and Microsoft Word.
3. Draw your signature using your mouse or trackpad.
For even greater control, you could use your finger or stylus by accessing the website via a mobile device (iPhone, iPad, or Android) and taking advantage of the device’s touchscreen.
4. When you’re happy with the result, click Download signature to download your new signature.
The image that downloads to your device will be a .png file with a transparent background.
You don’t need to do anything to make your new electronic signature transparent; all the hard work is already done.
To take your new signature for a test drive, open a document in Microsoft Word or Google Docs, and add your new e-signature to the file.
Change the background color. Notice that the background under your written signature changes with it.
You can also resize or reshape your signature image however you see fit, which is useful for signing in small spaces.
2. Google Draw
This approach isn’t as streamlined as the CreateMySignature process (above), but it’s still an easy way to create a signature with a transparent image background.
1. Head to the Google Draw website, or access Google Draw from your Google Drive by clicking the New Document button, followed by More > Google Drawings.
2. In the Google Draw toolbar, click or tap on the down arrow beside the Line tool(the fifth icon from the right) and select Scribble from the dropdown menu.
3. Draw your signature using a mouse, stylus, or trackpad.
You can also use a touchscreen device by accessing the website via a smartphone or tablet.
4. When finished, click File > Download > PNG Image (PNG).
This step is critical. If you select other formats, your new signature may have a white background!
Once you’ve downloaded your signature, you’re all set.
As with the results from CreateMySignature, you can test your new e-signature by adding it to a document and changing the background color.
JPG vs PNG: What’s the difference?
When it comes to electronic signatures, the main difference between these two formats comes down to their capabilities.
While JPG files support transparent backgrounds, JPGs don’t.
If you tried to create a transparent signature online and saved your work as a JPG file, the JPG would automatically fill any transparent background with white.
To create the most flexible signature for your signing needs, you’ll need to save it in a PNG format.
Does a transparent signature actually matter?
As a practical application, a signature with a transparent background is a helpful addition to your digital signing repertoire.
Having an electronic copy of your signature on hand allows you to create a signature stamp on many common signing platforms.
You upload your signature to the platform, then use that signature to sign .pdf documents (contracts, proposals, etc.) that are sent to you inside that system.
If you’re using a JPG file, you can replicate this effect as long as the white background attached to your signature image matches the color of the paper.
When this happens, the white background in your signature block will blend seamlessly with the page.
Unfortunately, this becomes an issue when your white background isn’t perfectly white (a common problem with scanned documents), if you need to sign with limited space, or if the background color of the contract is a different color than that of your signature file.
In all of these cases, using a JPG to sign might look unprofessional, but it’s important to note that using your signature image could still be considered legally binding if added to the page, regardless of how it looks to others.
Having a signature with a transparent background provides added flexibility and transparency to your signing process.
How can I use my transparent signature to sign online documents?
There are a few ways that you can use your new signature.
The simplest way is to upload your signature to any document that you want to sign and reposition it so that it fits on the signature line.
However, while documents signed in this way can be considered legally binding, we recommend using a dedicated signing platform when adding your signature to high-value contracts and legal documents.
These platforms produce digital signatures, which make contracts much easier to enforce and work to eliminate the possibility of fraud or tampering after the contract is complete.
While these services may cost, you can find free options to securely sign your documents. PandaDoc offers a Free eSign plan specifically for users who want to securely sign their documents.
When using a service like PandaDoc, you’ll be able to upload your new e-signature to the signing platform and use it for all your signed documents.
No more dragging and dropping. Upload it once and you’ll be able to access your signature every time you need it.
How can I test to make sure my signature background is transparent?
There are a few ways to do this, but the easiest way is to drag your signature into a Microsoft Word document or a Google Doc and change the background color.
If the background surrounding your signature changes color (not the signature itself), then the background is transparent.
On the other hand, if the background remains white, the signature wasn’t saved on a transparent background.
This is common with scanned signatures, which can sometimes be saved as a PNG file with a white background.
If you’re using a scanner to import your handwritten signature, your importing software may lack the capability to create a transparent background.
What if I want to create a digital signature on my own?
In the earlier days of the internet, you’d need semi-professional editing software to create a digital signature.
While several online solutions now exist to streamline this process, tools like Adobe Photoshop and GIMP still exist, so it’s still possible to create a signature using digital brushes and the magic wand or eraser tools for background removal.
However, we don’t recommend it. This tends to be a time-consuming and tedious process that achieves subpar results.
If you choose to go this route, just remember to save your final image as a PNG file rather than a JPG file when you’re done or the background of your signature file will automatically fill that transparent space with white.
Create secure online signatures and contracts with PandaDoc
Looking to go beyond a simple online signature image? PandaDoc has all the tools you need (including templates, watermarking tools, and more) to create incredible contracts, proposals, and other business documentation.
Our secure signing environment helps to ensure that every document signed through our platform is legally binding, and our design tools make it easy for businesses to build and edit critical sales documents on the fly.
Sign up for a free 14-day trial and discover how PandaDoc can revolutionize your digital signing process.
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