Use the Pens Tab in Word to Quickly “Pen” Your Signature

The Pens tab can be added to the Word 2010/2013 Ribbon. This will allow you to easily “pen” your signature to a Word document.Pens Tab in Word

Below is an example of a signature line you might want to add your signature to.

Example of Sign a Document in Word

The fist step in adding the Pens tab is to right click the ribbon and select “Customize the Ribbon” Then from the “Choose commands from” drop down choose the Tool Tabs. Click the Pens tab below the ink tool then click add.

Customize the Ribbon in Word

Once you click OK you will have the pens tab to work with. Click the pen style you like and your cursor pointer turns into a drawing tool. To get the normal selection arrow back, click the “Select Objects” command.

Final Example of Signed Word Document


About Steve Chase

I want to help you work in your business, so you can work on your business. I want to help you achieve your goals and help you have a successful small business journey. I understand that keeping up with the latest technology and cloud based computer trends can be difficult, when youโ€™re running your day to day business. But, it is crucial that you keep up with the technology and best understand your options, in order to thrive in this new era of online business. I can help you discover the right software and tools for your business, train your team on how to use them, and mentor you to best serve and delight your customers. My certifications include: QuickBooks ProAdvisor, Microsoft Office Specialist Master, and OntraPort Certified Consultant. Please contact me on my new website at
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24 Responses to Use the Pens Tab in Word to Quickly “Pen” Your Signature

  1. Sarah Weigert says:

    This is great! However, I look like a third grader wrote it. Is it just a matter of practice?

  2. bruce wilson says:

    any chance this can work with Word 2007 ?

    • Steve Chase says:

      I just looked and found the Ink Tools – Pen Tools available. You won’t be able to make it into a new tab because Office 2007 did not support that feature. You could however, add the pen tool to the Quick Access Toolbar.

  3. Charlie Johnson says:

    Steve – thanks for the informative article. When I use the Pen feature in Word 2010 on an HP EliteBook, the signature disappears when converted to PDF. Do you have any ideas why it does not display? I have custom stamps applied to the page and they display in the PDF, just not the signature. The EliteBook is a touch screen device that users can draw their signatures on the screen. In my case, the final output is PDF, so this is a concern.
    Charlie Johnson

  4. walid shihab says:

    I followed the steps and got the “pen” tab.All the features are grey, however, so I cannot select the pen nevertheless colors. Any idea how can i solve this “grey” issue

    • Steve Chase says:

      I have seen this happen before on one of my computers. I don’t know if there is a solution unless you try a different computer or tablet. I think it has to do with the video card?


  5. MIguel says:

    Hi Steve,
    In Office 2013 (Excel and Word), the Pens tab buttons (color, eraser, etc) are disabled.
    How I can activate?, it is a bug of the program?
    Thanks in advance

  6. Lyndsy says:

    I wrote a signature in “Paint”, copied and pasted to Word doc and voila! Pens tab was no longer grayed out!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. memhca says:

    Hi Steve, Great feature. My PENS icon was grey too AND the colors did not work but when I chose a line width, the cursor was enabled ! Thought folks would like to know.

  8. April Flathers says:

    Hi Steve, I have an HP Elite x2 tablet… when I sign the signature line in tablet mode (touch screen or stylus) the signature font is really small and illegible. I have google searched everywhere…

    • April Flathers says:

      How come it wont save “true” to the size signed? Are there formatting settings I can change? Is this a word issue, or my tablet?

  9. April Flathers says:

    I guess you need to know what version of word I have, lol – Word 2013

    Thanks in advance.

    • Steve Chase says:

      Hey April, I’m not sure if it is a version thing as I think it has to do with the actual paper size. Most likely, you would have a letter and you are working with a width of 8.5 inches. So you signature would copy over from the exact size. You can change the page size dimensions from the page setup menu which is available from the Page Layout tab. Hope this helps.

  10. E.M. Henry says:

    Thanks Steve for helping me access the pens. I am having the same issue that a few others are having with the whole section being grayed out. I have word 2013 on an Asus laptop. The only way I was able to get a cursor is when I chose a line thickness, but everything else doesn’t work. I’ve read above about others having the same issue, so this comment is to anyone that has any answers as to why this is happening and hopefully a solution.


  11. Liran says:

    Hi Steve, thank you for the post.
    Is there a way to limit the signature field in the document?
    I am creating a form and wish that a recipient can sign in a specific location on the document.
    When using the pen-tablet it is a bit frustrating due to the fact that the tablet reflects the size of the screen – in this way when trying to sign on the tablet it can appear on the text of the form and you have to hover with the pen til you get to the right location.
    I want that the tablet will reflect a specific signature field in word, or if there is a way to set an inking area in the form.

    Thanks in advance,

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