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How to Sign a PDF in the macOS Preview

Here is a problem that occurs too often. Someone will send you a PDF that requires your written signature and a date, but you would like to complete it without having to print it out, fill it in, and then scan it back into your computer. Often, editable PDF files can contain form fields that you can easily click online and fill out. Even if it is just a static image PDF document, you can still complete it without a printer or scanner.

As expected, this task is easiest on a Mac with the Preview application for viewing images and PDFs. The first time you add your written signature to a PDF file, you'll need to do some preparatory steps, but then it's easy. In this how-to, adding a signature will be treated with a few words to input your name and date. For users familiar with Adobe software, you will also learn how to add a signature in Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Take a picture of your signature

  PDF preview

First write your name On a white piece of paper, preferably with a dark felt-tip pen, open your PDF in the macOS Preview. Open the markup toolbar by clicking the button immediately to the left of the search box (or, in the View drop-down list, click Show Markup Toolbar). Click the icon that looks like a signature to enable the signature tool, and then click Create Signature.

At this point, you can create a signature using your computer's touchpad or take a picture with the camera. The latter we recommend for accuracy. Just click the Camera tab to open a view from your camera. Keep your written signature to the camera and make sure it complies with the screen policy. Click Done to capture the image, and a small image of your signature appears in the Signature menu.

Apply Your Signature with the Mac Preview App

Now just click on the image and your signature will appear in the PDF, ready to be moved and resized until you find it exactly there are where you want it to be. The signature image is transparent. The text and fields in the PDF file remain visible underneath. Save your document and this way your signature will be embedded in the PDF file.

If the computer is shared by more than one person, or you need to sign a form on behalf of someone else, you can save multiple signatures in the preview. In the Signature tool, click the Create Signature button and add the required signatures. You can delete existing signatures by clicking the Delete button to the right of the thumbnail or Tools> Comment> Signature> Manage signatures.

  PDF Character Preview

] How to Edit a PDF Document

To include your name, date, and information in the PDF document to enter, go back to the markup toolbar and click on the text tool. A box with the word "text" will open in the middle of your document. Drag it to a blank area on the page, select the word "text" and replace it with the text that you really want to add to your PDF. Select the text you entered and click the Text Style button and change the font, size, and color as desired. Then drag the field to where it is contained in your form.

The most important element of this process is that the text you input is a PDF comment and can be modified or removed by anyone who opens the file. If you want to embed the text permanently in the PDF document, use the roundabout method described at the end of our guide to editing PDF files.

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