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The "handwritten" signature at the end of each Ask Leo! newsletter is nothing more than a picture of a signature inserted into the email.

Do you put your signatures on newsletters in some special way as it reads as if the signatures have been on a sheet of paper?

In this excerpt from Answercast #88 I show how I put my signature in each newsletter so it looks like I signed it.

Signature at the end of newsletter

Actually, it's really simple. I took a "picture" of my signature.

In this particular case, I took a scan of my signature and converted that scan into a picture. It's a jpeg (I think it's a jpeg; it might be a png) but it's a jpeg just like any other picture.

It just happens to be a pure black and white picture that matches me having written out my first name.

Picture of signature in email

So that's really all it is. If you take a look at my article "How do I put a picture into a body of an email?" that's pretty much the exact same steps I'm taking here. Obviously in the newsletter I'm doing it in more of a production environment, since I'm doing this twice a week, but the bottom line is it is nothing more than a picture in an email.


(Transcript lightly edited for readability.)

Article C6248 - January 16, 2013 « »

Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

Mark J
January 16, 2013 10:01 AM

It's a PNG.

January 16, 2013 10:26 AM

That works in an email or word processing where you can space things, but how do you add a signature to a form? If you have a pic, it would cover lines and possibly other wording unless the signature was the exact right size and none of your signature went below the sig line.

Ken B
January 16, 2013 10:39 AM


What you need is an image format (such as PNG) which supports "transparency". Basically, rather than the image having a solid color as a background (which would cover anything under the image), the background is transparent, and anything under it shows through. (Just like a clear sheet of plastic on which you have drawn something.)

See, for example, the images at

January 16, 2013 4:59 PM

The only way you could put a picture in a form you are submitting is if the author of the form (the web designer) enabled HTML. Then you would have to have the image online someplace, and know the code to submit it.

Les Ashton
January 18, 2013 8:53 AM

Yup, I thought that this would be pretty swish, so I did a TIFF which looked like my best signature only-better; but it struck me that this could then be lifted-off by anyone who didn't have my best interests at heart, and used for other motives; so I scrubbed the whole lot of them (there were a half-dozen or so).

Charles James
January 18, 2013 9:17 AM

The issue of worrying about someone "lifting" your signature is a valid concern, but they could that with access to anything that has your signature, original or pasted. I often insert my signature on letters and document, and then send the recipient a password protected PDF version of the communication. We have to realize that there really is no real fail-safe security in cyberspace nor the real world unless you simply decide to be a part of neither.

January 18, 2013 9:48 AM

Charles and Les,
Seems like a good idea to only use your first name. That's what Leo does.

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