Portable Document Format (PDF) is one of the most used document formats in the world, and every now and then it’s widely used. Students happen to be a large group of PDF users for class notes, lectures, and lab manuals and so on, however, offices are another big user base for PDF files as well. As the paper-less office culture is now growing big, a lot of corporate offices are ditching papers for good and their dependency on PDF files is now higher than ever before. Big bosses now sign on PDFs and not on actual papers, and thus knowing how to sign on a PDF using a Macintosh computer is quite necessary. Learn how to sign a PDF Document on Mac without any app.

sign a pdf on mac

Why Would Signing a PDF Electronically be Necessary?

Say you have just received a PDF format bill for some office purchase you made earlier a month, and without your signature, the money will not be sanctioned. In a paperless office setup, nobody will provide you with an actual pen and paper, nor there be any physical setup to pass on a signed paper up to higher authorities. Using a Macintosh computer, one can easily sign a PDF. The Markup feature comes useful, also apps like Adobe Acrobat would be able to provide such option as a native feature.

Steps to Sign a PDF Document on Mac with Preview

sign pdf document on mac
Use Preview app to Sign a PDF Document on Mac

Macbooks have trackpad on them, where one would be able to write a signature using their fingertips. However, a mouse would also do the job. If one needs to sign documents very frequently then buying a writing surface like a Wacom pad would be very useful.

For a Macbook or other Macintosh computer with a trackpad:

  1. Using the Finder app, look for the file you want to put a signature on.
  2. Once you find the file, right click on it and through the Open With menu, click on Preview.
  3. The Markup button doesn’t go by a written title, thus you’ll have to find the icon. On the top right corner, the Search bar is placed and the first icon towards the left side from the Search bad is the Markup button.
  4. The Markup toolbar has a set of tools, click on the ‘Signature’ tool and when a window appears on the display, click on ‘Click Here to Begin’.
  5. The little window is the place where you put your signature in. Using your trackpad or mouse, write the signature.
  6. Once the signature is done, click done.
  7. The signature will be saved and it will be on the screen. This signature could be dragged around and placed on a PDF document, wherever necessary.
  8. Once you are satisfied with the preview, click on ‘File’ on the top right corner and click on ‘Export as PDF’.
sign a pdf in preview
Sign PDF Document on Mac and Export it as PDF

Now save the file to a directory you prefer. The PDF file will be saved with your signature on it.

Sign PDF Document on Mac Without Trackpad

First, put your signature on a white paper. Using the Markup tool, click on Signature and select ‘Camera’ instead of the trackpad, which is usually selected by default. Using the camera on your Macintosh computer, take the photo of the signature on a white paper and Macintosh will automatically detect the signature. The rest of the process is similar to the with-trackpad method.

Conclusion: Using these two ways, a Macintosh user can sign on a PDF without using any third party apps. For a much easier approach, you much pick a paid software as well.

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Stephan Popov
When iDevice users experience problems with the iOS software or unlocking, it is not uncommon for their lives to unravel. My passion is providing answers to your problems. I help iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch users by recommending fixes for common iOS bugs and tools that improves your experience. I conduct in-depth research for every topic i cover on this blog, to ensure that I cover everything Apple users need to troubleshoot their issues. When not writing for UnlockBoot, i enjoy swimming in my backyard pool. P.S. i prefers the Maldives for holidays. Connect with me on Facebook, Google Plus and Twitter.