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For signatures on Wikipedia see Wikipedia:Sign your posts on talk pages

A signature is a usually stylized version of someone's name written on documents as a proof of identity, like a seal, but handwritten.

Signatures may be witnessed and recorded in the presence of a Notary Public.

The traditional function of a signature is evidential: it is to give evidence of (a) the provenance of the document; and (b) the intention of an individual with regard to that document. For example, the role of a signature in many consumer contracts is not to provide evidence of the identity of the contracting party, but rather to provide evidence of deliberation and informed consent.

Text automatically appended to E-mail and Newsgroup messages, usually including a name, contact info, and sometimes quotes and ASCII Art, is also called a signature. See Signature block.

A signature can be referred to in many ways, including the term "John Hancock", after the first of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

The sheet of paper that travels through a printing press which is later cut into separate pages is also referred to as a signature.

Signatures are also known as autographs, particularly in the context of autograph collecting.

See also: Authentication, Digital signature