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3 Ways to Create a Signature on a Mac

The Mac offers a variety of ways to capture your John Hancock. To sign PDFs, you can capture your signature using your trackpad, the built-in camera on your Mac, or your iPhone or iPad.

In the Preview app on your Mac, click the Show Markup Toolbar button Preview Markup icon – it looks like a crayon or pen. If the Markup toolbar isn’t showing, click the View option and select Show Markup Tool.

The view menu in macOS Preview app

There are a variety of ways to create a signature

Now you’ll see a Create Signature option in the tool bar. It looks like, well, a signature. Click it. 

macOS Preview signature tool

1. Trackpad

To create a signature using your trackpad, click Trackpad, click the text as prompted, sign your name on the trackpad using your finger, press any key, then click Done. Don’t like the results? Click Clear, then do it again.

macOS Preview app trackpad signature

Note: If your Mac has a Force Touch trackpad, you can press your finger more firmly on the trackpad to sign with a heavier, darker line.

2. Camera

To create a signature using your Mac’s built-in camera, click Camera. Hold your signature (on white paper) facing the camera so that your signature is level with the blue line in the window. When your signature appears in the window, click Done. 

macOS Preview app camera signature

3. iPhone/iPad

To create a signature using your iPhone or iPad, click Select Device to choose which iOS or iPadOS device you want to use. On your device, use your finger or an Apple Pencil (iPad only) to sign your name, then click Done. 

macOS Preview app iphone signature

Once you have results to your liking, you can click the Sign button again, then click the signature to add it to your PDF. Choose the signature you want to use, drag it to where you want it, then use the handles to adjust the size.

Save your signature in iCloud

If you use iCloud Drive, your signatures are saved and made available on other Macs with iCloud Drive enabled (and have access to your account.)

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Contributing Author
Dennis has over 40 years of journalism experience and has written hundreds of articles. For the past 20-plus years, he's been an online journalist, covering mainly Apple Inc. He's written for MacCentral, MacWorld, MacMinute, Macsimum News, Apple Daily Report, and is now contributing editor at Apple World Today.
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  • And there is also the most important and reliable digital signature made with applications like Adobe Acrobat (commercial and reader) that uses a digital certificate. Contrary to the other ones, it cannot be forged or falsified.

  • Is there a way to save it for re-use?

    I do not see a way to use an existing captured signature either.