Create and Store Your Signature
Perhaps your lawyer sent you an important PDF document to sign, or you need to authorize an increase in the school lunch allocation for your suddenly growth-spurting teen-aged son.
Whatever the reason may be, you don’t need to print the PDF you received, sign it the old-fashioned way with an ink pen, and scan it back onto your computer before sending it along its way. Digitally signing a PDF in macOS is far more convenient. And saves trees. Yay!
So… here’s how to sign a PDF
Open the PDF you need to sign with Preview (located in your Applications folder). Show the Markup Toolbar by clicking the pen icon near the top right-hand corner by the search bar:
You can also select “View > Show Markup Toolbar,” or use the keyboard shortcut ⇧ Shift + ⌘ Command + A to… well… show the Markup Toolbar.
If you haven’t yet created a digital signature, follow these steps…
- Select “Tools > Annotate > Signature > Manage Signatures,” or click on the icon that looks like a squiggly “Jn.” Although it might actually be “Jim.” It’s kinda hard to tell, so we will have to live with that mystery for now.
- Select “Camera” from the signature pop-up menu.
- Sign your name on a white sheet of paper and hold it up to the camera. Once your Mac has noticed that your signature has become aligned with the horizontal line, it will scan and save your signature on a transparent background. Alternatively, if the Mac you are using is equipped with a Trackpad, you can choose this option instead and sign your name directly on the Trackpad with just a finger. Preferably your own.
- Click “Done” and your signature will be available to use in any PDF you open with Preview. Simply follow the above steps to open the Signature Pane and select your signature. It will plop onto your document and you can move it to where you’d like.
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