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I have a small task that involves trying to get a signature using LaTeX fonts. I want to be able to make the signature look as handwritten as possible (pen/marker) using the LaTeX fonts.

Also like to control the location place of the signature on the horizontal line (i.e., placing it in the front, middle, or towards the end of the line.

Also, to mention, it would be nice to be able to get the text to go through the line and come back above the line just how a typical signature would resemble.

This is an example of what I would like for the output signature:

Example Signature:1

Below is how I would like it to be instead of having the X in front of the signature.

Example Signature:2

share|improve this question
If I understand your question correctly, you're also looking for a way to write the signature itself in LaTeX (as opposed to scanning your real signature). You might find a suitable font, that might come somewhat close to your actual signature, at The LaTeX Font Catalogue, Calligraphical and Handwritten fonts. – doncherry Aug 18 '11 at 12:19
@doncherry: Hahaha, Thanks, thats exactly what I was going to do. It's funny because when I clicked the link it was the same exact site I posted as an answer for someone recently looking for fonts. But right, I will use a different font that favors a real signature, but need the signature to go (on and through) the horizontal line just like a real signature would most likely do in (most) cases. – night owl Aug 18 '11 at 12:39
I really like this question of yours, I'm just slightly hesitant to upvote it because the wording isn't really clear. Do you think you could rewrite it, simply describing what you want to get and perhaps providing a picture of the desired result? If you're having trouble, I'll gladly look over it afterwards. – doncherry Aug 18 '11 at 15:52
@Don: I'm glad you like my question (me too), I will gladly take the suggestions and revise my wording and add that picture to the mix so folks can get a clear idea behind the words exactly. – night owl Aug 19 '11 at 13:57
up vote 17 down vote accepted

Here are some options using the soul package for underlining, hardcoding a couple of spaces ~ before and after the signature, and using different fonts from The LaTeX Font Catalogue. I'm particularly proud of the middle name Quegpylf that I coined to have many descenders, i.e. letters going below the baseline.


\usepackage{soul}% for the underlining 
\usepackage[doublespacing]{setspace}% just to set the samples further apart

\usepackage{emerald}% for 1-4
\usepackage{frcursive}% for 5
\usepackage{inslrmin}% for 6



JD: {\ECFJD\setul{0.1ex}{}\ul{~~John Quegpylf Doe~~}}

Skeetch: {\ECFSkeetch\setul{0.1ex}{}\ul{~~John Quegpylf Doe~~}}

Teen Spirit: {\ECFTeenSpirit\setul{-0.1ex}{0.3pt}\ul{~~John Quegpylf Doe~~}}

Tall Paul: {\ECFTallPaul\setul{0.15ex}{}\ul{~~John Quegpylf Doe~~}}

French Cursive: {\cursive\setul{0.1ex}{}\ul{~~John Quegpylf Doe~~}}

Insular Minuscule: {\iminfamily\setul{0.1ex}{}\ul{~~John Quegpylf Doe~~}}



As Ulrike pointed out, you can raise and lower the underlines using \setul{}{}. The first argument changes the underline depth (which means distance to the baseline afaik), the second one the underline thickness, which I altered for Teen Spirit. You can play around with these values to your liking.

On another note, if you don't like any of these fonts, you could as well use XeLaTeX and choose any font on your system. For help read Using XeLaTeX instead of pdfLaTeX and Frequently loaded packages: Differences between pdfLaTeX and XeLaTeX.

share|improve this answer
You can set the depth of the line with \setul and \setuldepth, see documentation of soul. \raisebox works but you must protect it with braces: \ul{{\raisebox{-2pt}{~~John Quegpylf Doe~~}}} – Ulrike Fischer Aug 18 '11 at 14:19
@Ulrike: Thanks! I just edited my answer accordingly. I chose \setul because it seems more reasonable to move the underline toward the text than to move the text (and thus the baseline) toward the underline, e.g. in case there's more text in the same line. – doncherry Aug 18 '11 at 15:00
Even though this reasoning doesn't quite apply for Teen Spirit, which is just oddly proportioned. – doncherry Aug 18 '11 at 15:11
@Don: Thank You Thank You Thank You. I think this was the best answer I ever received yet here on {TeX}. You were able to decode exactly what I envisioned through my poorly descriptive information I provided and still made it work. +1... FTW. :) – night owl Aug 19 '11 at 13:56

Use Signature\hspace{0.5cm} \rule[-3pt]{1.5in}{0.5pt}

or with package array


then the signature goes on top of the word.

share|improve this answer
@Herbet: Thanks. Could you specify or make clearer exactly where one would put their name in that line? – night owl Aug 18 '11 at 11:38
on the right rule or alternatively above the rule. I'll update my answer – Herbert Aug 18 '11 at 11:55
@Herbet: Your Signature\hspace{0.5cm} \rule[-3pt]{1.5in}{0.5pt} does not render anything in which the way I described, unless I am doing wrong. What I was asking was could you show where the name would actually go such as: Signature\hspace{0.5cm} \rule[-3pt]{1.5in}{0.5pt}{Name here}. I wanted the name to be written on top on the line using LaTeX text, not by an actual hand signature. And also, the revision put up was not quite it either. That is just simply taking signature and moving it under the hline. – night owl Aug 18 '11 at 12:23
@Herbet: I will edit my post later today with a picture example of what I am trying to accomplish. – night owl Aug 19 '11 at 13:58
@nightowl: btw, it's HerbeRt ;). Didn't matter in this case though, since the first three letters suffice for a notification, but generally you don't need to do the @xxx thing if you're addressing the author of a post, they'll be notified automatically. – doncherry Aug 19 '11 at 14:10

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