How many times have you received a PDF document and needed to sign it, but either the sender didn’t make the PDF interactive/editable or you don’t know where to find a tool to make it possible to add that chicken scratch of an autograph?
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I don’t know about you, but even as a freelance author it happens to me regularly. Whether it’s contracts, agreements or any number of documents, I’m always having to add my signature. When I happen to have one of my Macbooks handy, the process of adding a signature is not only built-in, it’s pretty easy to do (once you know where to look).
Let me show you how this is done.
What you’ll need
This feature has been around, lurking in the background, for some time (since macOS Lion). So as long as your macOS-powered device is up-to-date, you should be good to go. You’ll also need a PDF document to sign (which you probably have in abundance).
With everything at the ready, let’s sign some documents.
How to sign a PDF in macOS
The tool you’ll be using is Preview. Locate the PDF you need to sign in Finder and then double-click it to open the document in Preview. In the toolbar, locate the Markup icon (the upward-pointing pen tip–Figure A).
When the Markup toolbar opens, you’ll notice a small signature icon drop-down (Figure B).
Once the signature tool opens (Figure C), you have two options:
- Use the trackpad to sign your document.
- Use the camera to snap a photo of your signature.
As anyone reading this probably knows, creating a signature on a trackpad can be a challenge. Although you’ll find it considerably easier if you have a stylus, you might be so inclined to sign a piece of paper, hold the paper up to the camera, and snap a photo to be used as your signature.
No matter the route you take, select it from the tab (either Trackpad or Camera) and then create your signature. If you mess up the signature, hit the Delete key on your keyboard to start over. Once you’ve successfully captured your signature, hit any key on your keyboard, select a description from the drop-down, and click Done.
From the signature drop-down, your newly generated autograph should appear. Click that signature and it’ll appear in the document. You can then drag the signature to wherever it’s needed (Figure D).
The signature object can be moved and enlarged to perfectly fit the needs of the document.
And that’s all there is to add a signature to a PDF document in macOS Preview. Keep this handy feature in mind the next time you’re sent a PDF document for signing, as it’ll keep you from having to print out the document, scan it, and then copy the scanned file to your desktop/laptop and send it back.
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