macOS Catalina's Preview App Lets You Sign Documents on Mac Using iPhone or iPad

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 6, 2019.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    In macOS Catalina, the Preview app has a new feature that makes it easier to sign PDFs and other documents by leveraging an iPhone or an iPad running the iOS 13/iPadOS operating system.

    Rather than using the Trackpad to create a signature, or scanning a piece of paper, you can connect to your iPhone or iPad to sign there using either a finger or an Apple Pencil.


    In the Preview app, under Tools > Annotate > Signature > Manage Signatures > Create Signatures, there is a new option to choose to create a signature with an iOS device. Clicking on this option lets you select an available iPhone or iPad to use.


    Devices running iOS 12 will show up in this list, but creating a signature only works on a device running iOS 13. Selecting an iPhone or iPad with iOS 13 will pop up a simple signature interface on the device in question, where you can sign with a finger on the iPhone or a finger or Apple Pencil on iPad.


    After you've signed, tap the done button, and your signature is instantly made available in the Preview app as an option to be inserted into your documents.


    We needed to have the devices unlocked to get the signature interface to pop up, but this may be a bug that will be addressed in a later beta.

    You can already sign PDFs right on the iPhone or iPad using Markup features, but the new Preview option is a useful, streamlined way to get a signature on a document if you start the process using a Mac.

    Article Link: macOS Catalina's Preview App Lets You Sign Documents on Mac Using iPhone or iPad
  2. mihike macrumors member

    Mar 30, 2016
    I still don’t understand why Apple is so afraid of touchscreens on Macs when they are so good with them on mobile devices. It’s so much easier just to sign on the screen. Goofy workarounds like this should be unnecessary for the prices Apple charges.
  3. alexandr macrumors 6502a


    Nov 11, 2005
  4. gsurf123 macrumors regular

    Jun 1, 2017
    I guess there some people who do not know that similar functionality is built into Preview already. You can go to the Tools->Annotate->Manage Signatures to create a signature. Once you have one saved you can insert it into a document. You can use the camera or trackpad to create one.

    It is obviously not as good as this new functionality, but it is easy to use and works well for now. It saved a lot of time by removing ending the Print -> Sign -> Scan -> Merge back into PDF cycle.
  5. TMRJIJ macrumors 68040


    Dec 12, 2011
    South Carolina, United States
    I can list many reasons why Apple shouldn't put touchscreens on Macs but you probably already heard them before and disagreed.
  6. BootsWalking, Jun 6, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2019

    BootsWalking macrumors 65816

    Feb 1, 2014
    Apple is blurring the lines between iOS and Mac in terms of functionality and cross-utility. It’s a brilliant strategy to leverage their success with iOS and encourage even more people into the Mac fold. Looking back I think the recent plateauing of iPhone sales is probably the best thing that could’ve happened to Apple users - it’s forced Apple to reevaluate their entire product line and look for ways to improve synergy and platform lock-in to increase company-wide revenue.
  7. Contact_Feanor macrumors member


    Jun 7, 2017
    The image of the iPhone has an interface that says: "sign your name using your finger or pencil."; is that a real screenshot? a doctored image? If it's a screenshot, is it a mistake in iOS 13 or a sign that pencil support for (maybe the next) iPhone is finally coming with iOS 13?
  8. macjunk(ie) macrumors 6502a

    Aug 12, 2009
    This is so thoughtful of Apple!

    Argh...they keep it making it tougher to leave.
  9. Omega Mac macrumors 6502

    Aug 16, 2013
    It's here!!!

    I knew sidecar wasn't going to be limited to iPad, I logged in just after having this thought and saw this story first it even had no comments! BINGO!

    This is what I've been waiting for, this is the entrée to where all your touch surfaces work in unison with your MacBooks or desktops. I've posted about it in the past. It was coming. You could tell from some of Tim's comments some time ago.

    Imagine if you will you have whatever macOS 'puter and 4 x iPads, you might be musician or producer - now you can create a touch mixing deck in a line, or a square or any shape you like with as many iOS powered touch surfaces, you have modular UI expansion on the GO!...DJ's might like this, for live mixing but that's really narrow and obvious usages scenarios.

    In my view if the right apps come along harmonising multiple iOS powered surfaces it will open up incredible new modes of working and interacting and including games and AR!

    This WWDC to me feels like APPLE have finally caught up with any loss of time and drag caused by managing the APPLE HQ build and move, it's like they're more focused than we've seen in a long time - so I'm going to call this the pipeline delivered! ;)
  10. MisterSavage macrumors 6502a


    Nov 10, 2018
    On the Mac I was so pleasantly surprised how easy it was to capture my signature with the iSight camera. I can't get my signature right at all using my finger.
  11. TheShadowKnows! macrumors 6502a


    Sep 30, 2014
    National Capital Region
    That is all well and good.
    But this analog signing method is just last century.

    macOS under the Preview app. should support signing using digital signatures, even if one does not own a certified public-key/private-key pair (thus, signing with self as the certificate authority).​
  12. JPSaltzman macrumors regular


    Jun 5, 2011
    Wow, the Newton returns! Prepare for hilarity and such to ensue at any party.... Using my fingernail or a stencil on any credit-card reader's touchscreen usually results in half of my signature appearing. And sometimes only after repeated attempts. I've learned just to squiggle a scrawl and that's perfectly okay with the touchscreen. So much for security.
  13. blacktape242 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2010
    Sacramento, CA
  14. sahajesh macrumors regular

    Dec 12, 2004
    Because digital signatures are used everywhere, of course.
  15. BWhaler macrumors 68030


    Jan 8, 2003
    iOS 13 just keeps getting better and better. I’m really looking forward to it.
  16. code-m macrumors 65816


    Apr 13, 2006
    I always wondered why we were not able to do this when signing within Preview app was initially introduced. It just made sense, glad the oversight has been fixed.
  17. Bin Cook macrumors 6502

    Jun 16, 2018
    If my £2500 iMac screen ends up looking like my iPhone screen (fingerprints and all) I’m not sure I’d be loving my purchase very long.

    Just avoiding that outcome is reason enough not to so touchscreen Macs.
  18. koruki macrumors 65816


    Aug 16, 2009
    New Zealand
    the signature workflow is my fav feature on Mac OS, I don't know why its so hard for MS to have something even remotely similar, not to mention how hard it is to anything with PDF on windows without going full Adobe suite.
  19. TheShadowKnows! macrumors 6502a


    Sep 30, 2014
    National Capital Region
    [Dude, do some research before replying misguided opinion.]

    Digital signatures are visible and when applied to a physical document, their appearance is similar to an analog signature, except they are indisputable.

    Visible Digital Signatures
    Allow a single user or multiple users to digitally sign a single document. The signatures appear on the document in the same way as signatures are applied on a physical document

  20. sahajesh macrumors regular

    Dec 12, 2004
    Try it.

    Sit at your desk, start typing and then lift one arm and touch the screen, swipe etc as if it’s for real. Move your arm back to the keyboard for more typing etc.

    Now report back what you think of a vertically aligned touchscreen surface two feet or so in front of you.

    Touchscreens works best when they are very close and your arm isn’t perpendicular to your body.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 6, 2019 ---
    There is a difference between a visible digital signature and a truly digital signature with certified keys etc. From the context of the post, it seemed like the latter, dude.
  21. raghu8912 macrumors 6502

    Dec 5, 2016
    San Jose
    I have asked my friends how have laptops with touchscreens at work, how many times they use touch screen on laptop, the response was its fancy for first 2 weeks then they never touched it.
    Another reason I don't like touch screens in laptops is its difficult to make an OS that is both touch friendly and Keyboard/mouse input, it will end up being not good for either.
  22. 341328 Suspended

    Jul 18, 2009
    can this be used on web page forms that use "canvas"?
  23. gsurf123 macrumors regular

    Jun 1, 2017
    Maybe, but most documents requiring a signature don't require or need a digital one.
  24. moabal macrumors regular

    Jun 22, 2010
    This is never going to take off in professional cases. This is why we have DocuSign etc.
  25. samcow macrumors regular

    Oct 20, 2015
    Ah yes, just have to "Tools > Annotate > Signature > Manage Signatures > Create Signatures"

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