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This smart Mac tip allows you to sign PDFs in less than a minute



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Your Mac already has everything you need to quickly sign a document.


Oscar Gutierrez / CNET

Working from home during a global pandemic has quite a few challenges. From managing your children's screen time or finding time to run errands for essentials to learning new methods of getting your work done without all the normal tools you had at your disposal in your office.

Something as simple as signing a PDF or other document quickly turns into a tedious process of printing, singing, scanning and then emailing – and at the end of it all you have a piece of paper that you no longer have need.

However, there is good news. If you own a Mac you can use the built-in preview app to sign a document in a minute, after going through the initial installation process – this is one of my favorite hidden features on Mac . The first step is to enter your signature on your Mac (more below). After that, select the signature you saved every time and your Mac will apply it to the document to be signed. Easy.

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Add your signature with just a few clicks.


Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Entering your digital signature on your Mac

1. Open your document in Preview .

2. Click on the icon Pen .

3. Click the button Signature .

4. Select Create Signature .

Apple syncs your signature with your iCloud account, so it's available in Preview on any Mac you've signed in with your Apple ID.

You have three options to create a digital version of your signature:

  • Trackpad : Select this option if you want to write your signature with your finger on the trackpad of your Mac.
  • Camera : Draw a piece of paper and then hold it against your Mac's camera. Preview recognizes and digitizes your text.
  • iPhone : Select this option to write your signature on the nearby iPhone screen.
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Move and resize your signature as you add it to your document.


Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / CNET

How to Add Your Signature to a PDF

Now that the installation is complete, your signature is now in the system and you will see how fast Preview is when signing documents.

While your document is open in Preview, follow the same process we just described, except click on your signature after clicking the signature button.

A small box with your signature is displayed in the document, which you can then drag and resize. After you have created your signature, you can save the document and then share it.

I just timed how long it takes to open a document and click the appropriate buttons to add a signature, and I was able to get it done in less than a minute, and that includes also add the date by hitting the add text button in Example.

Now that you have mastered signed documents at record speed, you should check out even more hidden Mac tips . New to Mac? Here is what to do after extracting it . And don't forget that iTunes is dead, but that doesn't mean you can't sync your iPhone to your computer. Here's how .

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