Signing Electronic Documents with Preview (minimum: Lion)

Scenario: You need to sign and send a contract quickly so your client could start processing your payment soon. Your client has told you it's okay for now to just scan the signed contract and email it to them, to further facilitate the processing. Now you could facilitate this even further through Preview and your built-in webcam (iSight).

Before proceeding, you'll need the following:
  • A digital file of the contract, converted to PDF. 
  • Your signature on a clean sheet of paper. 

The steps:
  1. In Preview, click Preview > Preferences > Signatures > Create Signature. Your iSight web camera will activate.
  2. Hold your signature up against the camera and position it along the blue line. 
  3. Click Accept if you're satisfied with the capture. Preview will even drop out the background, so you get a signature with a transparent background. You could paste this on your contract without worrying about covering the other text embedded in the PDF file.
  4. Open your PDF contract and click Annotate (ie, pencil icon) > Signature (ie, the italicized and underlined "S").  Choose the signature you just captured. 
  5. The Annotate and Signature icons
  6. Your cursor changes to crosshairs. Click at the point where you wish to insert your signature. Resize the signature to suit your taste, and that's it. 
  7. As a final step, I usually "flatten" this PDF to make sure that the signature is embedded into the document. Just click File > Print > PDF > Save as PDF. This will flatten the file and ensures that your signature is no longer just an annotation that could be deleted.


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