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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    I would like to make a template of my written signature that I could place on letters prior to printing them or when setting up a mail merge. Is this possible? Any help greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Yes it is possible and easy enough to do.

    First you need to write your signature (with a black pen) on a nice clean piece of paper and then scan that signature. If you don't have a scanner then you can also take a photo of it with a digital camera.

    With the scan/photo you should crop the signature as closely as possible and save it as a two colour bitmap (black and white) to keep the file size as small as possible.
    Now, add the picture to a Word document by using Insert > Picture (in Word 2007 or 2010).

    I usually use a transparent bitmap so I can float it on the page and have it appear that it overlies text on the page. You can recolour the graphic if you want it to appear as if you signed with a blue pen.
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

  3. #3
    Star Lounger
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    Hi Noel

    What program you are using for your mail merges? That may have some impact to the guidelines. The proggie should accept images in some format and preferably have options to move and scale them, too. E.g. MS Word would do fine for that purpose.

    For a general rule of thumb I'd suggest using a scanned image of your signature (in jpg file format, which is most widely supported). It's easy enough to do, if you have a decent scanner. If don't have one of your own, maybe you can find someone to do the scanning for you.

    There's some possible pitfalls to be aware of when using jpg, viz the image size, resolution and compression ratio, all of which may affect the final print quality. In short, the scan should be done in adequately high resolution (at least 400 dpi), and the jpg compression at good or best quality. That's my opinion. On the other side, some programs import images using screen resolution (usually 72 dpi) and resizing (or the lack of it) may thus become a problem. If any of this does or doesn't make sense to you, please let us know, maybe I or someone else here can instruct you further.

  4. #4
    New Lounger
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    Thank you both for the help. The one thing I don't know how to do now is to make my scanned signature bitmap into a transparent one. I have Photoshop 7 but only limited skills in using it I also use Word 2007. Cheers, Noel

  5. #5
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    If you save the scan as a JPG then you can't make it transparent since that file format doesn't support transparency.

    If you save it as a two colour PNG (my recommended format for a signature) then you can save the graphic with transparency using either the alpha channel or the second indexed colour (white?). You could also save the scan as a GIF which is another bitmap format that supports transparency.

    In Photoshop you use the Image>Mode>Indexed colour to convert the scan to two colours. Then use the magic wand to select the white areas and delete them so you see the checkerboard background in those transparent areas. Then SaveAs to PNG.
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

  6. #6
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    While an image with a transparent background gives you the most flexibility, Word allows you to place your signature "behind" text. Using that option, as long as the background of the signature and page are both white, you should be fine.

  7. #7
    New Lounger
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    Thanks again, my problem is now solved. Regards, Noel

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