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10.7: Optimizing annotated signature for Preview files Apps
Preview in Lion adds the ability to annotate a PDF document with an image of your signature.

WIth Lion you can add an image of your signature to a PDF file. This allows you to send a signed PDF form without having to fax it. There are some tricks to getting a good signature image. Here's what to do:
  • Open Preview » Preferences » Signatures. Press + to add a new signature. A Signature Capture window will then open.
  • Use a Sharpie or other broad dark marker to sign your name very large on a blank 8.5" x 11" sheet of printer paper.
  • Be sure there is plenty of light on the page as you hold it in front of the camera. Do not let shadows fall within the viewing area. Don't use paper that has writing on the reverse side.
  • Hold one finger over the Enter button as you move the paper toward the camera. Align the signature along the blue line and hit Enter when you see the signature you want.
You can have multiple signatures. For example, create a signature with your middle name. In addition to your signature you can create handwritten symbols such as check marks, faces, or phrases.

Paste the signature into a document by selecting View » View Annotations Toolbar, then selecting the Signature tool, click on the signature you want to use, then click on the document where you want the signature to appear.

[crarko adds: This is a very welcome, if somewhat overdue, addition to Preview.]
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10.7: Optimizing annotated signature for Preview files | 10 comments | Create New Account
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10.7: Optimizing annotated signature for Preview files
Authored by: EldRick on Aug 04, '11 08:31:59AM

I'd sure prefer to supply a scanned signature file, rather than struggling to get a decent photo using the camera.

Does anyone know the file format and location for these "signatures"?



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Binary blob in com.apple.Preview.signatures ?
Authored by: lullabud on Aug 04, '11 10:00:49AM

It appears to be a binary blob in the file ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.Preview/Data/Library/Preferences/com.apple.Preview.signatures.plist



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10.7: Optimizing annotated signature for Preview files
Authored by: vsilves on Aug 04, '11 07:50:43PM

Lion's Preview does not simply take a picture of the signed paper you put in front of the FaceTime camera. Rather, it performs some kind of real time image processing that results in a nicely extracted signature with transparent background and well defined signature lines. It generates a much better signature than I had scanned manually before Lion and it took me a fraction of the time with Lion. I was also able to show my coworkers how to use this feature, something that was impossible for me before Lion...



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10.7: Optimizing annotated signature for Preview files
Authored by: MtnBiker on Aug 06, '11 07:38:55AM

I've been using a signature for years to paste into documents. Created transparent background in Photoshop and saved as a png. But can the binary blob be created from my existing sig?

For example, I don't write many checks and run out of deposit slips, so I created a file with "Please deposit in the acct. of xx and the account no." and then the signature. Run the check through my printer and put in an envelope. My handwriting is bad and there's the possibility of illegible account nos. Also fill in scanned forms and paste in sig. and email since I don't have a FAX.

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Hermosa Beach, CA USA



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10.7: Optimizing annotated signature for Preview files
Authored by: sipatel on Aug 11, '11 04:32:18AM

I have two signatures, a short one and a long one, and both are at 45 to the top/bottom paper edges.

I've been using both signatures for my documents for 10+ years -- scanned them in, resized in Photoshop and saved as TIFF. As most of my documents requiring a signature are produced in DTP applications, it's easy to just insert and export the document to a PDF. Pages is now my default for letter writing and works just as well.

Signatures in Preview can also be captured under the Annotations menu with open documents, but works only with built-in iSight cameras. I use a Mac Pro with a Creative HD webcam, and although the Preview > Preferences > method opens a scanning window, the quality is very poor.



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10.7: Optimizing annotated signature for Preview files
Authored by: jomiku on Aug 04, '11 02:21:47PM

You don't have to be careful about where you hold the signature. The software seems to identify the existence of writing and picks it up. You don't have to hold the paper completely still when you take the picture. This process surprised me with its ease of use.



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10.7: Optimizing annotated signature for Preview files
Authored by: jhpadilla on Aug 04, '11 08:37:33PM

Is there ANY way to extract the signatura images as vector graphics for use in other apps??

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PowerBook G4 12"/1.33/SuperDrive/10.3.9/768 MB ram



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10.7: Optimizing annotated signature for Preview files
Authored by: jksellors on Aug 06, '11 03:13:17AM

You can copy the signature from the Preview preferences Signature pane to TextEdit or Pages etc.
You can save it as a png file using GraphicConverter. File/New/Image using Clipboard



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10.7: Optimizing annotated signature for Preview files
Authored by: Hamo on Aug 09, '11 06:23:49AM

The app Formulate Pro (free) works well for inserting signatures (and more) into PDF's.

http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/19911/formulatepro



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10.7: Optimizing annotated signature for Preview files
Authored by: zebrum on Apr 26, '13 09:43:47AM

amazing app recommendation, doesn't screw up the text like Adobe Illustrator does!



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