fountain pen and a signature

Did You Know?: Digitally Sign PDFs with Apple’s Preview App

Whenever I hear that I need to sign and return a document, there’s always a moment of panic since I don’t have a printer at home and don’t want to go to a copy shop just to print one thing. That’s why digital signature services have usually been useful. Then again, these services often also require you to create an account and, in some cases, pay if you’re using it more than a time or two. Luckily, if you have a Mac computer, there may be an even easier way to digitally sign documents — and you likely already have the app it takes to do so.

In Preview (Mac’s default app for viewing photos and other files such as PDFs), you can create and use digital signatures. To do this, go to Tools, select Annotate, and then Signature. This is where you’ll be able to apply signatures you’ve already made but, when you’re first creating, you’ll choose Manage Signatures.

There are actually a few different ways you can load a signature into Preview. First, you can use your trackpad — which honestly feels like an Etch A Sketch. In other words, it’s not a great option if you want your signature to resemble anything realistic.

A second option is a better one: using an iPhone or iPad to sign. I was impressed that, after selecting my iPhone as the device I wanted to sign on, the signature interface loaded on my phone even through the lock screen. Then, nearly immediately after I signed, the image was ready on my laptop. Surprisingly, this method worked pretty darn well and resulted in a totally passable signature. However, there’s still one other option to mention.

If you want to digitize an analog version of your signature, Preview also makes it easy to do so. By selecting Camera, you’ll be able to hold up a piece of paper with your John Hancock on it and the app will scan it. It even does the mirroring for you so that it comes out the right way.

Once you’ve captured a signature you’re happy with, simply save it and it will be available when you need it. You can also create and save multiple signatures, so this could be useful for spousal signatures or perhaps initialing.

Although this isn’t a new feature by any means, I’m willing to bet there are at least a few people who don’t even realize this helpful option exists — or forget about it like I occasionally (albeit temporarily) do. So, the next time you need to sign a digital document, give one of these Preview options a shot!

Author

Kyle Burbank

Founder ~ Moneyat30
Kyle is a freelance writer - including being the head writer for Fioney.com. He also serves as editorial director for the Disney fan site LaughingPlace.com and the founder of Money@30.com. In 2015, Kyle and his wife Bekah moved from Los Angeles to Springfield MO in pursuit of greater financial freedom. Together, the pair enjoy travel, coffee, and spending time with their dog Rigby. Additionally, as of 2023, they become first-time homeowners.

Other Articles by Kyle Burbank

Solis 1 and Solis 5G WiFi devices

Solis's Memorial Day Hotspot Sale is Perfect for Summer Travel

If you're heading overseas this summer, you might find it helpful to have a mobile hotspot with global data at your disposal. So, in what is certainly no coincidence, Solis is having a Memorial Day Weekend sale. As a result, you can currently score discounted hotspots as well as data...
airplane tickets and globe with an airplane

My Initial Experience in the Overwhelming World of Travel Hacking

Over the past few years, my wife and I have had the good fortune of getting to enjoy an increasing amount of travel. This includes heading to domestic locations such as Los Angeles for the D23 Expo and Orlando to visiting Walt Disney World, as well as international travels to Paris, Hong...
bed in MGM Grand King room

Travel Tuesday: MGM Grand King Room Review Revisited

It's been a while since I've added to my Las Vegas Content Bonanza™. Well, that's also because it had been some time since I last had a chance to visit Sin City. But, back in January for CES, that changed. This time around, I spent a week at the MGM...
The "Email" field is empty, you must enter some text to proceed.The text you entered in the "Email" field appears to be invalid, please edit it and try again
Get Posts in Your Inbox
Featured Articles
Solis 1 and Solis 5G WiFi devices

Solis's Memorial Day Hotspot Sale is Perfect for Summer Travel

If you're heading overseas this summer, you might find it helpful to have a mobile hotspot with global data at your disposal. So, in what is certainly no coincidence, Solis is having a Memorial Day Weekend sale. As a result, you can currently score discounted hotspots as well as data...
airplane tickets and globe with an airplane

My Initial Experience in the Overwhelming World of Travel Hacking

Over the past few years, my wife and I have had the good fortune of getting to enjoy an increasing amount of travel. This includes heading to domestic locations such as Los Angeles for the D23 Expo and Orlando to visiting Walt Disney World, as well as international travels to Paris, Hong...
bed in MGM Grand King room

Travel Tuesday: MGM Grand King Room Review Revisited

It's been a while since I've added to my Las Vegas Content Bonanza™. Well, that's also because it had been some time since I last had a chance to visit Sin City. But, back in January for CES, that changed. This time around, I spent a week at the MGM...
Go Brewing cans of NA beer

Go Brewing - My New Favorite Non-Alcoholic Beer?

About a year ago, I started taking an interest in non-alcoholic beer after discovering Athletic. While I've never been a big beer drinker, I have long been curious about the craft beer scene and, honestly, may have even been a bit jealous of how my wife got to try all...