After locating your document, hold Control on your keyboard and click it. Move your cursor to Open With > Preview. Once your document opens, select the Markup tool in the toolbar. Next, click the Sign button to select a signature. You can also create your own signature by clicking "Create Signature."

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.

Open Your Document 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.

Preview in the Open With menu on Mac

Access the Signatures in Preview

With your document in Preview, you can use any saved signatures you have or create a new one. 

RELATED: How to Sign PDFs on iPhone, iPad, and Mac

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.

Signatures in the Preview > Tools menu

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.”

Markup in the Preview toolbar

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.

Sign button in the Markup toolbar in Preview

Create a Signature in the Preview App

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.

RELATED: How to Drag Windows on Your Mac Trackpad without Clicking

Use Your Trackpad

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.

Descriptions for a Trackpad signature

When you finish, select “Done” to save the signature. Then, use the Sign button in the toolbar to insert the signature you just created.

Trackpad signature in the Sign menu

Use Your Camera

Signing your name legibly on your trackpad can be a bit challenging. Another option to consider is using your Mac’s camera. 

RELATED: Mac Camera Not Working? Here's How to Fix It

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. 

Paper held up to a Mac camera for a signature

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.

Signature from the Camera on Mac

Use the Sign button in the toolbar to insert your new signature into the document.

Camera signature in the Sign menu

Use Your iPhone or iPad

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.

RELATED: How to Connect an Apple Pencil to an 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.

Select the device for a mobile signature

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.

Signature on iPad for Mac

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.

Signature on Mac from an iPad

To finish up, use the Sign button in the toolbar to pick and insert the signature you just captured.

iPad signature in the Sign menu

Tip: To delete a saved signature in Preview, hover your cursor over it and then click the “X” to the right.

Adjust Your Signature in the Document

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.

Resize a signature in Preview

To move the signature, select the text box and then drag and drop it where you want it.

Move a signature in Preview

When you finish, you can save the signed document and print or email it as needed.

Signature in Preview

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.

Profile Photo for Sandy Writtenhouse Sandy Writtenhouse
With her B.S. in Information Technology, Sandy worked for many years in the IT industry as a Project Manager, Department Manager, and PMO Lead. She learned how technology can enrich both professional and personal lives by using the right tools. And, she has shared those suggestions and how-tos on many websites over time. With thousands of articles under her belt, Sandy strives to help others use technology to their advantage.
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