How to Sign PDF on Mac Using 2 Free and Easy Methods

Last updated on March 21, 2023

Summary :

How to sign PDF on Mac? This post provides 2 free ways. Learn how to add a digital signature to a PDF on Mac with Preview or PDFgear.

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How to Sign on PDF on Mac

How to Sign on PDF on Mac

If you need to send a PDF document to someone and you are asked to sign it, you can sign the PDF digitally. In this post, you will learn how to sign PDF on Mac with the built-in free PDF tool Preview. A top third-party free PDF signature tool named PDFgear is also introduced to help you easily realize the task. Still, you can also try some free online PDF signing tools to add a digital signature to the PDF file. Check the detailed information below.

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How to Sign PDF on Mac Using Preview

On a Mac, you can use a preinstalled app named Preview to easily add electronic signatures to PDF documents. The Preview app is the default viewer and editor for PDF files and images on your Mac. Learn how to use Preview to sign your PDF files on Mac below.

Using Trackpad

Step 1. You can double-click the target PDF file and it will open in Preview. Alternatively, you can right-click the target PDF file, select Open With and select Preview (default) to open the PDF with the Mac Preview app.

Step 2. Next, you can click the Show Markup Toolbar button if you don’t see the markup toolbar.

Tip: The Markup Tools in Preview in hidden by default. It will automatically show after you make some edits to PDFs or images. Alternatively, you can also manually show or hide Markup Tools in Preview by clicking Show Markup Tools or Hide Markup Tools icon.

Step 3. Now should see the markup toolbar is located under the standard toolbar. Click the Signature icon and select the Create Signature option.

How to Sign a PDF in Preview on Mac

How to Sign a PDF in Preview on Mac

Step 4. Select the Trackpad option, and hit the Click Here to Begin button.

Step 5. Then you can use the trackpad to create and record your signature. Sign your name on the trackpad with your finger and click Done if you are satisfied. If you are not satisfied with the signature, you can click Cancel and create the signature again.

Create Your Signature

Create Your Signature

Step 6. The signature is automatically saved. You can click the Signature icon again on the toolbar and select the signature you have created to insert it into the PDF. You can move or resize the signature to fit it in the appropriate position in the document.

Using Camera

Step 1. Follow the same steps 1-3 introduced above to open the Create Signature window in Preview.

Step 2. Select the Camera option.

Step 3. Next, you can use a pen to sign your name on white paper and hold the signature in front of your Mac computer camera. The Preview app will create a digital signature based on the signature on the paper.

Step 4. After the signature is shown in the signature window, you can click Done to save it. If you are not satisfied with it, you can click Cancel and repeat the steps to create the signature again.

Step 5. Insert the signature into your PDF file and place it in the desired location.

Use Camera to Create a Signature

Use the Camera to Create a Signature

Tip: You can create and store multiple signatures in Preview on your Mac. To delete a saved signature in the Preview app on your Mac, you can click the Signature button and move your mouse to the target signature and click X next to it to delete it.

How to Sign PDF on Mac Using PDFgear Desktop

Instead of using Preview to sign a PDF document on Mac, you can also use some third-party free PDF signature tools to create an electronic signature for your PDF. Here we take PDFgear as an example.

PDFgear is an all-in-one free PDF software suite. It includes a PDF signature feature that allows you to easily sign a PDF for free. It lets you draw/write a signature or upload an image to create your electronic signature. PDFgear complies with the latest e-signature laws: ESIGN and eIDAS. Electronically signed documents with PDFgear are safe, legal, and secure.

Aside from signing PDF files, PDFgear also lets you edit PDF files, convert files from/to PDF, fill in a PDF form, merge/split PDFs, create/read/annotate PDFs, and more.

PDFgear is available for Mac, Windows, and iOS. Download and install PDFgear on your Mac computer and check the steps below for how to sign PDF on Mac with PDFgear.

Step 1. Open the PDFgear desktop app on your Mac. Click the Open File button to select and load your PDF file.

Open a PDF File

Open a PDF File

Step 2. Click the Insert option on the toolbar and select Signature > Create Signature to open the Create Signature window.

Select the Signature

Select the Signature

Step 3. Select an option to make a signature. You can click Write and write a signature or click Picture to upload a picture to create an electronic signature.

Create a Signature for the PDF

Create a Signature for the PDF

Step 4. Click OK to save the signature and insert it into the target location of the PDF file. Save the PDF file.

How to Sign a PDF Online for Free

To sign a PDF on your Mac, you can also use some professional free online PDF signature tools. You may try SmallPDF, Sejda Sign PDF, iLovePDF, DigiSigner, PDF24 Tools, Soda PDF, etc.

How to Sign PDF on Mac with Digital Signature Certificate

On your Mac, you can also use the Keychain Access app to create a self-signed certificate. A certificate-based signature identifies the person signing the document and contains encrypted unique information of the signer and is trusted by others. Learn how to create self-signed certificates by using Keychain Access on Mac below.

  1. Open the Keychain Access app on your Mac computer.
  2. Click as the following: Keychain Access > Certificate Assistant > Create a Certificate.
  3. Type a name for the certificate and choose the type of identity and certificate.
  4. Click Create > Done to save the self-signed certificate on your Mac.

Advantages of Electronic PDF Signature

Compared with a handwritten signature, an electronic signature saves much time. You don’t need to print it out, sign it, and scan it. You can just sign the PDF document on your device, anytime and anywhere you want. You can fast email the signed document to the target person or multiple recipients without waiting. It is more convenient and faster.

Many professional PDF signing tools can automatically save the signature images to let you easily sign documents next time. This is very helpful especially if you have many PDF documents, contracts, agreements, invoices, or other types of files to sign. Besides, these tools let you freely customize your signature. You can use the customized signature in various documents.


How to sign PDF on Mac? This post introduces two ways, namely, using Preview and PDFgear to sign a PDF document. A detailed guide is included. Hope it helps.

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