Use Mac OSX Lion and Preview to digitally sign you PDF Documents

One great little feature that seems to have gone unnoticed is the ability to add a digital signature to PDFs. This functionality is built right into OS X Lion. This is done using Preview and your Mac’s built-in iSight camera to grab the image. You can then put your signature on PDFs that you need to send with your signature attached.

First, let’s get our signature all setup.

  1. Launch Preview.
  2. Click the Preview Menu and go to Preferences.
  3. Click on Signatures and then Create Signature.
  4. With your signature written on a white piece of paper (I used a yellow post it and it worked just fine), hold it up to the camera.
  5. Try to line up the signature with the blue line and get it straight.
  6. Once you are satisfied, click Accept.

Now you can take that signature and put it on PDF documents using Preview. You can also have many signatures stored, for all your personalities.

Now, here’s how to use that new signature.

  1. Open the PDF you want to sign.
  2. Click on the annotations button (it looks like a pencil).
  3. Then click the Signatures button.
Now click in the document where you want the signature to go. You now have a signed PDF document, with your actual signature on it. Save your PDF and send it away. This method will save you paper and ink because you will no longer have to print out the PDF and sign it. And it will be time saving because you won’t have to scan it back in again. So go get your signature setup, it will only take a couple minutes now, but will save you lots of minutes in the future.