Over the last decade, and particularly during the last year of pandemic life, documents have become more likely to arrive in email or as downloads than on paper. If you need to return a signed document on paper, it’s easy to print and sign it before popping it in the mailbox. But what if you need to send it back via email or another online method? You could print, sign, scan, and return the scanned document, but that’s both tedious and wasteful.
Happily, Apple has made it easy to digitize your signature such that you can quickly apply it to digital documents without them ever hitting paper. It’s not difficult to set up, and once your signature is in the system, it remains available for repeated use. Even better, it syncs automatically to all your other Apple devices signed in to the same iCloud account, so it’s available wherever you need it. The process varies a little depending on which Apple devices you have available.
You can create a signature on an iPad or iPhone with your finger or a rubber-tipped stylus, but you’ll get the best results with an Apple Pencil on an iPad. Follow these steps:
On a Mac, you create signatures in Preview in one of several different ways. You’ll get the best results from using the camera to scan your signature on a piece of paper, with an iPad and Apple Pencil as the next best. The trackpad approach is the least successful.
Although most of us have only one signature, Apple lets you create and sync as many signatures as you like. That could be useful if you have to sign documents for your boss or a member of your family (with their permission, of course).
Once you’ve digitized your signature, you can add it to any PDF form that you receive, either using Markup from an iPhone or iPad share sheet, or in Preview or the Markup tools on a Mac.
Social Media: Did you know that Apple makes it easy to digitize your signature so you can sign digital documents without having to print them first? Use these instructions to make your signature available on all your Apple devices.