How to Scan Your Signature

Last Updated Oct 26, 2007 9:27 AM EDT

scanned-signature.jpgIt may sound crazy, but there are plenty of reasons to scan your signature and turn it into an image file. Chief among them is convenience: When you receive an electronic document (Word file, PDF, etc.) that requires your signature, it's a lot quicker and easier to paste in the scanned image than it is to print the document, sign it, and then fax it back. Productivity501 shows you how to scan your signature and remove the background so you can append it to just about any electronic document.

The author uses Photoshop to accomplish all this, but you can achieve the same results with open-source favorite GIMP (a robust image-editing program) or any image editor that supports transparent backgrounds. Be sure to check the comments below the post, as several readers have chimed in with recommendations for signature-scanning success.

At this point you're probably wondering about security: What if someone stole or hacked into your PC and found the signature file? That's a risk, but you can easily work around it by password-protecting the file and giving it an innocuous name, like 2007quarterlystats.jpg.
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    Rick Broida, a technology writer for more than 20 years, is the author of more than a dozen books. In addition to writing CNET's The Cheapskate blog, he contributes to CNET's iPhone Atlas.

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