I made a file named 1.txt. It has three lines of text.
I ran "gpg --clear-sign 1.txt". That created a file named 1.txt.asc. When I opened the file in Notepad, it was readable. It had the three lines of text followed by the digital signature.
I ran "gpg --sign 1.txt". That created a file 1.txt.gpg. When I opened that file in Notepad, it was illegible. There wasn't a set of random characters that looked like a signature; it looked a binary file that Notepad couldn't parse as text.
My understanding of "digital signing" lines up with the first example. The original file is unmodified. An encrypted hash is added. This verifies the signer's identity without encrypting the data.
The second option looks more like encryption. Without access to the user's keypair, I can't view the file at all.
Am I mistaken here? With "gpg --sign", is there a way to view the file without access to the signer's public key?