How to Sign PDF on Mac Using 3 Free and Easy Methods

Summary :

Wondering how to sign a PDF on your Mac? No worries! I got you covered with 3 free options. You can easily add a digital signature to your PDF using Preview or PDFgear. Let’s dive in and get you signing those documents like a pro!

Table of Contents

How to Sign on PDF on Mac

How to Sign on PDF on Mac

Are you still printing out the document, signing it, faxing it, and then providing feedback? Not only is this time-consuming, but it’s also not eco-friendly.

Consider going paperless and providing your feedback digitally for a more efficient and environmentally conscious approach.

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, and even edit signed PDFs.

How To Sign PDF on Mac Free

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 PDF Editor is an all-in-one free PDF software suite that is available for Mac, Windows, and iOS. It includes a PDF signature feature that allows you to sign a PDF for free. It lets you draw/write a signature or upload an image to create your electronic signature.

Free PDF Signature Software

Fill out, edit existing text, and sign on PDF documents for free.

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.

Download and install PDFgear on your Mac computer then check the steps below for how to sign PDF on Mac with PDFgear.

Step 1. Open the PDFgear 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 Edit > Select the Signature button > Hit Create Signature.

Select the Signature

Select the Signature

Step 3. There are 3 options for you to add a signature: add a picture, type it with the keyboard, and write the signature using the mouse.

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

Save the PDF File


If you need to add a signature on multiple pages, you can click Signature > select Place on Multiple Page > set page number.

At the same time, PDFgear also supports you to fix the signature so that it cannot be changed by clicking the Flatten, Delete button to help you remove the signature.

Other Options Supported on PDFgear

Other Options Supported on PDFgear

How to Sign a PDF Online for Free

There is a great free online PDF signature tool called PFDgear that can help you get the job done, to easily fill out and sign PDF online. This professional tool makes it easy to sign your PDF online hassle-free.

Step 1. Go to PDFgear online editor > Click Choose files to upload a PDF.

Upload Your PDF to PDFgear

Upload Your PDF to PDFgear

Step 2. Navigate to Add or Edit annotations > Click the Add Signature button > Select ADD SIGNATURE

Step 3.  Also, you have 3 options to add the signature: draw your name with the mouse, type it using the keyboard, and upload it by browsing the picture on your device.

Create a Signature Online

Create a Signature Online

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 quickly 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 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, right-click the target PDF file > Select Open With > Choose Preview 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.

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 the Show Markup Tools or Hide Markup Tools icon.

Step 3. Now 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 > Hit the Click Here to Begin button.

Step 5. 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. Click the Signature icon again on the toolbar > Select the signature you have created > 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. Use a pen to sign your name on white paper > 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, 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

You can create and store multiple signatures in Preview on your Mac.

To delete a saved signature in the Preview app on your Mac, click the Signature button > Move your mouse to the target signature > Hit X next to it to delete it.

Using iPhone or iPad

Step 1. Go to Settings > General Handoff > Toggle it ON to turn on all continuity features on your iPhone and iPad.

Step 2. Sign in to the same Apple ID on your macOS device, iPhone, and iPad.

Step 3. Then in the Create Signature window, you can see an option: iPhone or iPad.

Step 4. Select iPhone or iPad, and a prompt will appear on your iPhone or iPad asking you to sign your name using your finger or Apple pencil.

Step 5. Sign your name on your iPhone or iPad screen, and it will instantly appear as a signature in the document on your macOS device.

Use Your iPhone or iPad to Create a Signature

Use Your iPhone or iPad to Create a Signature

Remember to ensure your devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network and are in close proximity for this feature to work seamlessly.

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 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 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.


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

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