Electronic Signatures: Types, Tools, and Benefits

11 Sep, 2023
Paresh @Boloforms
9 min read
Electronic Signatures: Types, Tools, and Benefits

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In today's fast-paced digital world, electronic signatures have become a cornerstone of efficient document management. They offer a convenient and secure way to sign documents without the need for physical paperwork. In this article, we'll explore the various types of electronic signatures, guide you in choosing the right pen for electronic signatures, provide real-life electronic signature examples, and discuss the advantages of electronic signatures compared to handwritten ones.

What is an Electronic Signature?

An electronic signature, often referred to as an e-signature, is a digital representation of an individual's or organization's intent to sign contracts or other documents online. It signifies the commitment to the document and the assurance that it remains unaltered.

While electronic and digital signatures share the core objective of verifying the signer's identity and document integrity, their creation methods distinguish them. Electronic signatures are easily generated by entering one's name into an email or web form, whereas digital signatures involve more intricate software and technical skills. For documents requiring strong legal validity, opting for a digital signature is advisable for authentication. However, for routine transactions, electronic signatures typically suffice.

Types of Electronic Signatures

In the realm of electronic signatures, various types exist, each with its own characteristics and legal implications. Understanding these distinctions is crucial for navigating the digital document landscape effectively.

Standard Electronic Signatures:

  • These are the most common type and include a digital representation of a handwritten signature.
  • They are widely accepted for most routine transactions and hold legal validity in many jurisdictions.

Advanced Electronic Signatures (AES):

  • AES offer an extra layer of security by employing cryptographic techniques.
  • They provide higher assurance of the signer's identity and the document's integrity.
  • Commonly used for legal contracts and sensitive agreements.

Qualified Electronic Signatures (QES):

  • QES are the most secure type of electronic signatures, often backed by a certification authority.
  • They adhere to strict regulatory standards and are legally equivalent to handwritten signatures.
  • Ideal for highly regulated industries such as finance and healthcare.
  • The legal implications of electronic signatures vary depending on their type.
  • Standard electronic signatures are generally recognized but may face scrutiny in more complex legal matters.
  • Advanced electronic signatures offer a higher level of assurance and are widely accepted in legal proceedings.
  • Qualified electronic signatures, being the most secure, are upheld as equivalent to traditional handwritten signatures in legal contexts.

When to Opt for Electronic Signatures

In the digital age of business operations, a multitude of essential documents demand signatures. Traditionally, this involved the laborious process of printing out the document, adding a physical signature, and then scanning or faxing it for return. However, this cumbersome routine has significantly streamlined thanks to the introduction of electronic and digital signatures.

An electronic signature represents a digital counterpart of a physical signature, designed to endorse electronic documents. These electronic signatures, known for their ease of use and rapid processing, have become the preferred choice for remotely signing documents. When employed correctly, digital signatures emerge as a convenient and highly secure method for conducting online business transactions, saving time and effort.

The Significance of the Right Electronic Pen

Selecting the appropriate "pen for electronic signature" is pivotal as it directly influences the professionalism and authenticity of your digital autograph. It determines how smoothly the signing process unfolds and how accurately your signature is rendered on electronic documents. In essence, the right electronic pen ensures that your electronic signature remains a reliable and credible representation of your intent.

Tips for Choosing the Perfect Electronic Pen

When embarking on the journey of selecting the ideal pen for electronic signature, consider the following factors:

Compatibility: Ensure that the electronic pen is compatible with the software or platform you intend to use for electronic signatures.

Precision: Look for an electronic pen with precise and responsive features to ensure your signature appears neat and accurate.

Ease of Use: Opt for a pen that is user-friendly and comfortable to hold, allowing for a smooth and effortless signing experience.

Durability: Consider the build quality and durability of the electronic pen to ensure it lasts through multiple signing sessions.

Security: In situations where security is a concern, select a pen that offers additional security features such as encryption or biometric authentication.

Real-Life Electronic Signature Examples

To truly appreciate the versatility and practicality of electronic signatures, let's delve into real-life scenarios across diverse industries. These tangible electronic signature examples or eSign examples vividly demonstrate how this technology has become an integral part of modern business operations. Electronic Signatures Across Industries are as follows:

Finance: In the financial sector, clients use electronic signatures to approve loan agreements, investment documents, and financial disclosures.

Healthcare: Medical professionals rely on electronic signatures for patient consent forms, treatment plans, and medical records. Electronic signature in healthcare illustrate efficiency and accuracy in managing sensitive data.

Real Estate: Real estate transactions involve numerous documents. Electronic signatures simplify the process, allowing buyers and sellers to sign contracts, disclosures, and deeds digitally. These transform the way property transactions are conducted.

Legal: Attorneys use electronic signatures for legal documents, such as contracts, affidavits, and court filings. These showcase the legality and efficiency of digital signatures in the legal field.

Human Resources: HR departments utilize electronic signatures for onboarding paperwork, employee contracts, and confidentiality agreements. In HR demonstrate streamlined HR processes.

Education: Educational institutions employ electronic signatures for student enrollment, consent forms, and academic agreements. These electronic signature  highlight the convenience of digital signatures for educators and students alike.

Government: Government agencies use electronic signatures for permits, licenses, and official documents. eSign  in government operations underscore enhanced efficiency and reduced paperwork.

Comparing and Contrasting Electronic and Handwritten Signatures


  • Intent to Sign: Both electronic and handwritten signatures signify the signer's intent to commit to an agreement or document.
  • Legal Validity: Under various legal frameworks, both types of signatures can hold legal validity when executed correctly.


Creation Method:

  • Electronic Signatures: Generated digitally using devices like stylus pens, keyboards, or touchscreen interfaces.
  • Handwritten Signatures: Crafted manually with a pen or writing instrument on physical paper.


  • Electronic Signatures: Often employ additional authentication measures, such as passwords, PINs, or biometrics, to verify the signer's identity.
  • Handwritten Signatures: Rely primarily on the uniqueness and consistency of the signer's physical hand-drawn signature.

Efficiency and Convenience:

  • Electronic Signatures: Expedite the signing process, allowing for remote signing, faster document delivery, and easy archiving.
  • Handwritten Signatures: May require physical presence, slower processing, and manual storage.


  • Electronic Signatures: Can offer advanced security features like encryption, audit trails, and tamper-evident technology, enhancing document integrity.
  • Handwritten Signatures: Vulnerable to forgery and may lack comprehensive security features.

Environmental Impact:

  • Electronic Signatures: Contribute to paperless initiatives, reducing paper usage and environmental impact.
  • Handwritten Signatures: Often involve physical paper, leading to resource consumption and waste.

Legislative and Industry Compliance:

  • Electronic Signatures: Subject to specific legal and industry standards, such as eIDAS in Europe and the U.S. ESIGN Act.
  • Handwritten Signatures: Traditionally accepted but may require notarization or additional authentication in certain contexts.

Ultimately, the choice between electronic and handwritten signatures depends on the specific needs of a given situation. While electronic signatures offer efficiency, security, and environmental benefits, handwritten signatures maintain a personal touch and continue to have a place in various traditional settings.

Benefits of Personalized Electronic Signatures

Customizing your electronic signature yields numerous advantages for your digital document management and communication needs. A personalized electronic signature imbues documents with professionalism and trustworthiness, bolstering their credibility. It also serves as a branding opportunity, allowing you to reinforce your identity with elements like your name, title, or company logo. This uniqueness enhances document security, as personalized signatures are more challenging to replicate. Moreover, it streamlines processes, saving time through easy application to recurring documents. Consistency across digital interactions builds trust, and depending on your jurisdiction, a personalized signature can meet legal requirements for electronic agreements. Lastly, a personalized signature fosters genuine engagement, enhancing communication effectiveness. In essence, personalizing your electronic signature elevates your online presence and leaves a lasting impression in the digital realm.

How to Insert Electronic Signatures

Creating a digital signature in BoloForms is a breeze. You can draw your signature using a mouse or stylus, type your name in a preferred font, or even upload an image of your handwritten signature. Experiment with different styles until you find the one that suits you best.

Here's how it works:

Step 1: Open the PDF on BoloForms.com

Begin by logging in to your BoloForms.com account. Navigate to the menu and select "Sign in."
And upload the PDF which you want to get signed, to do so click on PDF.

Select PDF option

Step 2: Fill the details and Upload the PDF to get a digital wet signature

Firstly, enter the recipient's information into the designated fields. Once you've input all the necessary details, simply click the "Add" button to include this recipient in the list. To ensure your changes are retained, don't forget to press the "Save" button after you've finished making any modifications.

Enter Email and Name

Step 3: Upload the PDF

To upload your PDF, use the "Upload File" button. Alternatively,  you can drag-and-drop your file into the designated area labeled "Drop Here."
Then click on confirm.

Upload the pdf page

Step 4: Add the Signature Field

To include the signature field in your PDF, simply drag and drop it onto the document where you want the signature. Then, select the recipient's name and click "send."

select add field

Step 5: Digitally wet sign a document

Access the email you received and initiate the signing process by clicking on "Start Signing." This action will open the PDF document intended for electronic signature.

Start Signing

Step 6: Create a Digital Wet Signature

Our online wet signature generator offers two convenient methods for creating a wet signature. You can either use the "Upload Image" option, where you'll need a scanned image of your wet signature in PDF format, or opt for the "Draw" tab, which allows you to craft your signature using your mouse, digital pen, or stylus. If you need to make adjustments, the "Clear" button is there to help. Once you're content with the outcome, the application will save your signature as a digital image.

Give your signature

Customizing Electronic Signature in Forms

When working with forms, the ability to customize where your signature appears is crucial. BoloForms offers the flexibility to position your signature precisely where it's needed. Whether it's consent forms, petitions, or contracts, you can ensure your signature fits seamlessly.

Here's how:

Step 1: Accessing Your BoloForms Account

To get started, log in to your BoloForms.com account. Simply click on the "Sign in" option from the menu, and then proceed to create your own forms by selecting "Forms."

select form option to create forms

Step 2: Customizing Your Form

In the form creation process, you have the freedom to incorporate various fields, including a specialized Signature field designed for capturing E-Signatures.

customize your form

Step 3: Sharing Your Form for Electronic Signatures

After you've created and saved your form, sharing the link will present a layout that seamlessly integrates electronic signatures, making it simple and convenient for recipients to sign electronically.

You have the flexibility to initiate the signing process in two ways: either by signing directly using a stylus, mouse, or similar input method, or by uploading your existing signature. If needed, you can use the "Clear" button to erase and start over with your signature.

Give your signature


In closing, our exploration of electronic signatures has revealed a dynamic world of efficiency, security, and convenience. Key takeaways from this article include the versatility of electronic signatures across various industries, the advantages of personalizing your digital autograph, and the contrasts between electronic and handwritten signatures.

We've also emphasized the significance of choosing the right electronic pen and showcased practical examples of electronic signatures in action. Whether you're in finance, healthcare, real estate, or any other field, electronic signatures are revolutionizing the way we conduct business, making processes smoother and more secure.

As we conclude, we invite you to explore the electronic signature tools available, especially the signature tool offered on our website. It's a gateway to a world where your digital interactions become more efficient and trustworthy. Additionally, don't miss the opportunity to create your custom forms with BoloForms, further enhancing your digital document management. The future of document authentication is here, and it's time to embrace the ease and reliability of electronic signatures. Start your journey today and experience a new era of efficiency and security in your digital dealings.