In our tech-driven world, you may need to sign a contract or form digitally from time to time. You can do this on your Mac using the Preview app—no additional third-party apps required.
Along with your signature, you can use your initials to sign documents and also manage multiple signatures using Preview. Whether a PDF file or a document in image format, here’s how to sign it in Preview.
First, select the document or image you want to sign. There are many ways to do this. For example, you can find a document saved to your desktop or locate the document in Finder.
Next, hold Control on your keyboard and click the document. In the shortcut menu, move your cursor to “Open With” and pick “Preview” in the pop-out menu.
With your document in Preview, you can use any saved signatures you have or create a new one.
To open your signatures, do one of the following:
Method One: Select Tools > Annotate > Signature from the menu bar. In the pop-out menu, you’ll see any signatures you’ve saved and can select one to insert it.
Alternatively, choose “Manage Signatures” to create a new one which opens the Markup tool directly to the signature options described next.
Method Two: Click the Markup icon in the Preview toolbar (looks like a pen with a circle around it). If the toolbar is condensed, select the double arrows on the right and then pick “Markup.”
Go to the Markup toolbar and pick the Sign button. If you have any saved signatures, you’ll see them in the drop-down menu, along with the option to create a signature.
Either choose a signature or click “Create Signature” and follow the next set of steps.
You can create a signature in Preview using your trackpad, your Mac’s camera, or your iPhone or iPad. Review the process for each to see which method you prefer.
Pick “Trackpad” in the pop-up window. Select the spot that shows “Click Here to Begin,” and then draw your signature or initials on your trackpad using your finger. When you finish, press any key on your keyboard.
If you don’t like the signature, click “Clear” and then try again. When you’re happy with it, you can optionally choose a Description in the drop-down box.
This allows you to tag the signature with Full Name, Given Name, Initials, or another option. You can also pick “Custom” and enter whatever text you like.
When you finish, select “Done” to save the signature. Then, use the Sign button in the toolbar to insert the signature you just created.
Signing your name legibly on your trackpad can be a bit challenging. Another option to consider is using your Mac’s camera.
Sign your name on a white piece of paper and select “Camera” in the pop-up window. Hold the paper up to your Mac’s camera so that your signature is level (or close to it) with the line in the frame of the window.
You’ll then see your signature appear in that window. If you want to redo it, select “Clear” and repeat the process until you’re happy with it. Then, optionally select a Description and click “Done” when you finish.
Use the Sign button in the toolbar to insert your new signature into the document.
One more way to create a signature in Preview is using your synced iPhone or iPad. This is a good method if you find it easier to write on your iPhone screen or if you have an Apple Pencil to use with your iPad.
Pick “iPhone or iPad” in the pop-up window and optionally add a description before you begin. Click “Select Device” and choose the one you want from the list.
Grab your device and write your signature in the window that appears on it. You’ll also see the signature display in the window on your Mac as you create it.
To redo the signature, select “Clear” on your mobile device or your Mac and try again. Then, select “Done” on either device when you finish.
To finish up, use the Sign button in the toolbar to pick and insert the signature you just captured.
Tip: To delete a saved signature in Preview, hover your cursor over it and then click the “X” to the right.
After inserting your signature or initials, a text box will appear. If you need your signature to be larger or smaller, drag a corner of the signature box to resize it.
To move the signature, select the text box and then drag and drop it where you want it.
When you finish, you can save the signed document and print or email it as needed.
Signing a document in Preview on Mac is easy. Since you can create more than one, you can save your full name, first name or nickname, and initials. Then, pop the one you need into your document.
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