Sign PDF Documents in Preview on a Mac

One often encounters a situation where we would like to sign a document that we have received over email & send it across back. Or it may just be the case that we have created a PDF document & now need to sign it & send it back. This post illustrates how we can do this without printing the document.

This feature is built into the ‘Preview’ application. There may be other applications that do this, but the advantage that ‘Preview’ has over other applications is that it is built into the OS.

The first step is to create a whole new signature that is saved with ‘Preview’

  1. Open the ‘Preview’ application.
  2. Launch the preferences window. This can be done using the comma keys or by clicking on Preview > Preferences in the toolbar, which is located at the topmost corner of the screen.1
  3. Click on the signatures tab.2
  4. Click on the create signature button.3
  5. You will see a window for capturing the signature that comes up. This window turns on the built-in iSight camera for capturing the signature.4
  6. Sign the signature you want on a blank white paper. Hold the white paper in such a way that the signature appears just above the white line. You should see a preview in the signature preview window.7
  7. Once you are satisfied with the signature preview click the accept button. You should see your signature listed in the signature tab. More signatures can be added if needed.9

Thats it. Now you have successfully added a signature to the ‘Preview’ application.

Now that we have added the signature lets use it.

  1. Open a PDF document in ‘Preview’.5
  2. In the toolbar located at the top of the screen click Tools > Annotate > Signature. A new toolbar will appear.6
  3. Click on the blue ‘S’ located on the toolbar. Select the signature you want, in case you have multiple signature.
  4. Drag the crosshair arrow at the place where you want the signature. You will see your signature come up. You can fine-tune the location & size of the signature by dragging the edges or moving the image with the mouse.
  5. Once you are done. Save the document.8

Done! You have now successfully signed a PDF document. You can now do this on any other document you wish. Once you have added a signature to the ‘Preview’ application you can use it again & again.