John Hancock

You’re away from home, but urgently need to sign some paperwork and fax it back. Not only that, but you have to scan and return an electronic copy.  That can be very frustrating if you don’t have access to a printer and/or scanner.


I recommend doing the following next time you’re close to a scanner (at home or at work):
  1. Write your signature a few times (with slight variations) on a piece of paper
  2. Scan the piece of paper
  3. Save the individual signatures as JPEG or GIF files.






You’re set!  Next time you need to submit a signed expense report or fax a letter or sign a PDF document, you can do all this from the comfort of your laptop.


Open the expense report (or whatever digital paperwork you need to sign), be it in MS Excel or Word or even PDF format, and add one of your JPEG/GIF signatures into it, size the signature appropriately and save the document as a PDF file. For Excel or Word, just import the signature file. For PDFs do the following:
  1. Open the PDF file to be signed.
  2. Under Tools click on “Fill and Sign”
  3. Select “Place Signature”
  4. (If doing this for the first time, you will need to update/change the saved signature)
  5. Place the signature
  6. Save the PDF file


Next, email the PDF file.


Next, marvel at the wonders of technology.
On a side note, the signature of John Hancock on the Declaration of Independence arguably is the most flamboyant and easily recognizable of all.  John Hancock died 222 years ago and was an American shipping magnate who became famous for his role in the American Revolution. He served as President of the Second Continental Congress, and later became the first post colonial governor of Massachusetts. (Source:

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