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LibreOffice is a powerful, free tool for handling all your document needs. It's widely used worldwide for creating and editing documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. Signatures, however, are crucial in making documents official and trustworthy. Whether digital or handwritten, LibreOffice signature verifies the content and shows approval or agreement.

If you're looking for an alternative, PDFelement is another top choice. It offers similar features and is also user-friendly. In this article, we'll show you how to add signatures in LibreOffice and discuss how PDFelement can be a great alternative. Stay tuned to learn how easy and effective these tools can be!

In this article
    1. What Is a Digital Signature?
    2. What Is a Handwritten Signature?
    1. Digital Signature
    2. Handwritten Signature
    1. Adding a Signature Field To PDF
    2. Adding a Signature Image To PDF
    3. Inserting a Handwritten Signature To PDF
    4. Adding a Signature To PDF by Typing
  1. The Difference Between PDFelement and LibreOffice on Digital Signatures

Part 1. Understanding Digital and Handwritten Signatures

digital and handwritten signature

Signatures are a key part of documents. They show who agrees with the content. There are two main types: digital and handwritten signatures. Each type serves a special purpose.

What Is a Digital Signature?

A digital signature is a secure way to sign documents electronically. Unlike a simple scanned signature image, digital signatures use technology to confirm the signer's identity. They ensure that a document has not been changed after signing. This is done through encryption, which keeps the signature safe from tampering.

What Is a Handwritten Signature?

A handwritten signature is the traditional way of signing with a pen on paper. It shows your approval of a document. To use a handwritten signature in digital form, you can scan it or take a high-quality photo. This lets you use your handwritten signature on digital documents, too.

Both types of signatures help in confirming identity and ensuring document security. Whether digital or scanned, they are crucial in today's document management.

Part 2. Adding a Signature in LibreOffice

Adding your signature to documents in LibreOffice is a straightforward process. LibreOffice has you covered whether you need to include a digital signature for security or just want to insert your handwritten mark.

Digital Signature

To add a digital signature in LibreOffice, start by opening your document in LibreOffice Writer. If the document creator has already placed a signature line, you can sign directly on it.


Click on the signature line in your document. It's usually marked clearly.

open document

Right-click the signature line to open a menu. Select "Sign Signature Line" from this menu.

add signature line

A window will pop up. Here, you can type your name.

insert name

In the same window, click on "Select Certificate". This will open a new dialog box showing a list of your available certificates. Pick the one you want to use for this document.

select certificate

The certificate issuer is also at the bottom of the signature line. If the document creator has any specific instructions, they are near the signature area.


You can add comments about your signature.


If the signature line setup includes a date, it will automatically add today's date near your signature.

save document

Following these steps ensures that your digital signature is secure and verifiable, backed by encryption that confirms your identity and the document's integrity. This feature makes digital signing in LibreOffice a reliable tool for document authentication.

Handwritten Signature

Adding a handwritten signature to your LibreOffice documents can give them a personal touch. Here’s how to do it using LibreOffice Draw, part of the LibreOffice suite.


Sign your name on a clean sheet of paper. Make sure your signature is clear and bold.


Use a scanner to digitize your signature.


Open LibreOffice Draw and insert the scanned image of your signature.


Go to the menu and select ‘Insert’ followed by ‘Image’ to add your signature file to the document.

insert signature image

Click on the signature image to select it. Right-click the image, choose ‘Wrap,’ then select ‘In Background.

wrap in background image

Drag the image to where you want your signature to appear. Then, resize it by dragging the corners to make it fit perfectly, as needed.

edit the image

These steps can add a more personal and traditional touch to your digital documents. This simple process adds authenticity to your signed documents.

Part 3. Using Wondershare PDFelement for Signatures

pdfelement esignature

Wondershare PDFelement is a versatile tool that helps users handle PDF documents. It is especially useful for adding signatures to PDFs, which is crucial in business. Digital signatures in PDFs are secure, professional, and legally binding. This makes PDFelement an excellent choice for anyone needing to sign documents electronically.

Here’s a detailed guide on how to insert both digital and handwritten signatures using PDFelement:

A. Adding a Signature Field To PDF

  1. Open your PDF in PDFelement.
  2. Go to the ‘Form’ menu.
  3. Choose ‘Digital Signature Field’ to add a signature space.
  4. Drag the signature field to the desired location in your document and press Enter.
adding signature field

B. Adding a Signature Image To PDF

  1. Open the PDF you want to sign if you have a scanned signature image.
  2. Navigate to ‘Comments’ > ‘Handwriting Signature’ > ‘Create.’
  3. Click ‘Upload’ to add your signature image.
  4. Select ‘Choose Image,’ find your signature file, and click ‘OK’ to insert it into the PDF.
  5. Adjust the placement and size of the signature as needed.

adding signature image

C. Inserting a Handwritten Signature To PDF

  1. Select ' Draw ' in the ‘Add Signature’ window in PDFelement.
  2. Use your mouse or touchpad to draw your signature.
  3. Customize the color and size of your signature if desired.
  4. When finished, place the signature in the designated field on your PDF.
adding signature drawing

D. Adding a Signature To PDF by Typing

  1. In the same ‘Add Signature’ window, choose ‘Type.’
  2. Type your name and select from over 50 cursive fonts available.
  3. Customize your typed signature’s style and color to match your preferences.
  4. Insert the typed signature into your PDF where needed.

adding signature by typing

Use PDFelement’s ‘Request eSign’ feature to send documents to others for signing. Enter the email addresses of the signers and send out your request. You can track the signing progress online.

For more secure signing, add a certificate-based digital signature. Go to the ‘Protect’ menu, click ‘Sign Document,’ and follow the prompts to create a new signature ID or use an existing one. Once set up, you can easily add this signature to your PDF.

With these steps, PDFelement simplifies the process of adding various types of signatures to your PDF documents, ensuring they are secure and verifiable.

Part 4. The Difference Between PDFelement and LibreOffice on Digital Signatures

Both PDFelement and LibreOffice offer useful tools for signing digital documents, but they differ in functionality and user experience.

Signature Features

  • LibreOffice: Allows you to add digital signatures to documents and includes basic encryption to secure the signature. It's suitable for simple signing tasks.
  • PDFelement: Offers a broader range of signature options. Add images, draw signatures directly, or type them in with customizable fonts. It also supports certificate-based digital signatures, which provide extra security.


  • LibreOffice: Adding a signature is straightforward but can be limited if you need more advanced features like sending documents for others to sign.
  • PDFelement: Designed with a more intuitive interface for handling signatures. It makes adding different types of signatures easier and provides clear instructions for each step.

PDFelement stands out with its comprehensive PDF support. It includes features like online e-sign capabilities, where you can send documents to others to sign electronically. This feature is particularly useful for businesses that need to handle document signings frequently and remotely.

While LibreOffice covers basic digital signing needs, PDFelement offers a more robust solution with advanced features like online signing and enhanced security. This makes PDFelement a better choice for users who require more flexibility and security with their digital documents.


LibreOffice and PDFelement offer tools for adding document signatures but cater to different needs. LibreOffice provides basic digital signature capabilities suitable for simple tasks. On the other hand, PDFelement excels with a wider range of signature options and added features like online signing and enhanced security. When choosing a tool for digital document management and signature integration, consider the features most important for your needs. If you require advanced security and flexibility, PDFelement might be the better choice. For straightforward document signing, LibreOffice could suffice. Choose the tool that best aligns with your document-handling requirements.

People Also Ask

  • 1. How can I ensure my digital signature is legally binding when using LibreOffice?
    Use a digital certificate from a trusted Certificate Authority (CA) to ensure your digital signature is legally binding in LibreOffice. When you sign a document in LibreOffice, choose the digital signature feature and select a certified digital ID. This ID proves your identity and secures the document. Always check your local laws to understand what makes a digital signature legally valid, as this can vary by location.
  • 2. Can I use a scanned image of my handwritten signature in LibreOffice documents?
    You can use a scanned image of your handwritten signature in LibreOffice documents. First, scan your signature and save it as an image file. Then, open your document in LibreOffice, go to the ‘Insert’ menu, select ‘Image,’ and choose your scanned signature image. Place and resize the signature as needed. Remember, while this method adds your signature visually, it doesn’t provide the same security features as a digital signature.
  • 3. What are the advantages of using PDFelement over LibreOffice for signing PDF documents?
    PDFelement offers more features for signing PDFs compared to LibreOffice. It supports various types of signatures, including images drawn and typed. PDFelement also allows you to send documents for electronic signatures online, which is ideal for remote or large-scale document handling. Its user interface is designed specifically for managing PDFs, making it more intuitive for these tasks. Additionally, PDFelement includes advanced security options like certificate-based signatures, adding an extra layer of authenticity and protection.
Audrey Goodwin
Audrey Goodwin May 22, 24
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12 years of talent acquired in the software industry working with large publishers. Public speaker and author of several eBooks on technical writing and editing.