New! Add your Scanned Signature to Pages Mail and More with High Sierra


We’re seeing huge traffic pointing to our original Post from a few years back on how to add your scanned signature to all your favorite docs. To avoid further confusion converting how to do so in Lion we’re updating with a new post on how to do it right in MacOS High Sierra. Yay!

We see other sites suggesting you take screen shots and inserting those. No! Resolution and cropping issues abound. Do it this way.

One thing first. We are not going into how to put your signature into the Mac. You’ve probably already done that. You just want the quick solution on how to now put your already saved signature into Pages, Word, Acrobat or any other non-Apple program in a convenient way. If you don’t already have your signature scanned into the Mac, head to the original post from way back when to get it in the Mac then come back here. Here’s the original post here.

Ready? Here we go. When you save your scanned signature to the Mac it is available in Apple Preview to add to documents you can open with To add that signature to other documents you’ll need to access it in Preview.


Preview can’t open a blank page. Instead open any .pdf file you have around. In the Preview Open dialog, type .pdf in the search window. Open any pdf file.

Then go to Edit > Insert blank page. You don’t want to copy any image from the pdf so insert a blank page.

Scroll down to the blank page. Then go to Tools > Annotate > Signatures and insert your signature on the blank page. You do have your signature already in Preview, Right? If not, get it there by reading the original post.

Now the signature is in a blank page.You can’t copy, drag it off the page or insert it into other docs. Apple put this security feature in so someone can’t steal your sig.

Now the secret part. Hold down Option Key and Choose File Menu > Save As. Save changes to Save As with the Option key down. Choose png or jpeg as the file type. Set the resolution to 80 or above. The higher the resolution, the tighter the file alas, also the larger the file size. Experiment with different resolutions but start with 80 dpi. Save the File to your Desktop. We’re deleting it after we get the sig.

Now from the Annotate toolbar choose the Rectangle Selection tool. Second from left, dotted rectangle. Drag a rectangle as tight as you can crop to the sig. Now Copy it to the clipboard. Switch to Pages, Word, etc and paste. Done. You can delete the file you saved to the Desktop now.

Added bonus. In Mail open your Manage Signatures, Create a new signature entry and paste it there for instant handwritten signatures you can add to your mail.

Note: do NOT add your legal signature to all the emails you send out to strangers. Think what they might do with it! Instead do this process of capturing your signature again with something more casual like first name only.

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