How to Create a Digital Signature in Word

Creating a Digital Signature in Word: A Step-by-Step Guide

A digital signature ensures the integrity and non-repudiation of documents. By attaching a digital signature to your Word documents, you can verify their authenticity and protect them from unauthorized modifications.

What is a Digital Signature?

A digital signature is a cryptographic technique that binds a person's identity to the content of a document. It guarantees the document's integrity, meaning any changes made to the file after signing will be detectable. It provides a higher level of security and confidence compared to traditional ink and electronic signatures

How to Make a Digital Signature Official?

To make your digital signatures official and recognized, you need to obtain a digital certificate from a trusted certificate authority (CA).

A digital certificate contains your public key and other identifying information, such as your name, email address, and organization. The CA vouches for your identity by digitally signing your certificate, lending credibility to your digital signature.

What Does a Digital Signature Guarantee?

  1. Authenticity: A digital signature proves the signer is genuine, and that the document has not been altered or tampered with since signing.
  2. Integrity: Any modifications made to a digitally signed document after the signature will invalidate the signature.
  3. Non-repudiation: With a digital signature, the signer cannot deny their involvement or claim forgery of the signature. It strengthens accountability and legal enforceability.

How to Add a Digital Signature to Word?

  1. Open the Word document you want to sign in Microsoft Word 365.
  2. Click on the "Insert" tab at the top of the screen. This tab contains tools for inserting different elements into your document.
  3. In the "Insert" tab, click on the "Signature Line" option in the "Text" group. It will open the Signature Setup dialog box.
  4. You can fill in your signature details in this Signature Setup box. Enter your name, title, and any instructions or additional information you want to include.
  5. Check the box for "Allow the signer to add comments in the Sign dialog box" to have comments from the signer.
  6. Check the box for "Show sign date in signature line" to display the date of the signing in the signature line.
  7. Click on the "OK" button to proceed. A signature line will appear on the document.
  8. To add your actual digital signature, click on the signature line. It will open the Sign dialog box.
  9. If you haven't obtained a digital certificate yet, a prompt will appear to acquire one. Follow the on-screen instructions to get your digital certificate from a trusted certificate authority (CA). The digital certificate contains your public key and identifies you as the signer.
  10. Once you have obtained your digital certificate, choose it from the list of available certificates in the Sign dialog box.
  11. Click the "Sign" button. The signature confirms the authenticity and integrity of the document.
  12. Finally, save the signed document.

Read More on How to Insert a Signature in a Word

How to Remove Digital Signatures from Word?

  1. Open the signed Word document. Initially, it will be uneditable after signing.
  2. Right-click on the signature and select "Remove Signature."
  3. Or click on the "Edit Anyway" prompted by Microsoft Word to remove the digital signature automatically.

How to Add Digital Signature to Word without a Digital Certificate or CA?

Few platforms or tools integrate seamlessly with Microsoft Office 365 Suite. The benefits of using an integrated digital signature technology include:

  • It saves you from the hassle of purchasing digital certificates at a comparably affordable price. 
  • It also provides additional features such as encrypting, tracking, proving, and managing without leaving the Word document. 
  • Digital signature tools also offer timestamped, tamper-proof evidence for your Word document that is legally enforceable if needed.  
  • You can also have the ability to turn your Word document into a template for future uses and save time.


Q: Are digital signatures legally binding?

Yes, digital signatures are legally binding in many countries and jurisdictions. They carry the same legal weight as traditional ink signatures.

Q: Can I create a digital signature in Word without a digital certificate?

No, you need a digital certificate from a trusted certificate authority. Or you must use a reputable digital signature tool or a third-party platform.

Q: Can I add multiple digital signatures to a Word document?

Yes, you can add multiple digital signatures to a Word document, ensuring the authenticity of each signer.