If you have a PDF document which requires your signature, such as a Claim for Reimbursement, Leave Request form, or Attendance document, it can be much easier to add your signature directly to the PDF itself and return it through email, instead of printing the document out and signing it physically.

You can do this using the Preview application which is already on your MacBook. There are a few steps required to set up your signature in Preview the very first time, and after that signing a document only requires a few clicks to add your signature.

Set Up Your Signature in the Preview App

Here is a brief video of the process, with more detailed instructions below.

Note: These steps are only necessary once, to create and save your signature. After that, signing a PDF is much faster.

1. First, you will need to sign your name, very large, on a blank white sheet of paper. Save this sheet for later.

2. Find and open any PDF file on your MacBook. The PDF should open using the Preview app; double-check that you see Preview in the very top-left corner of your screen.

3. In the toolbar at the top of the PDF window, look for the Show Markup Toolbar button:

4. Click this button to reveal a second row of tools. These tools can be used to annotate or edit the PDF.

5. Look for the Sign button, which is in the middle of this second toolbar:

6. Click the Sign button. A pop-out will appear where you can create a signature using your finger on the trackpad. However, I recommend instead clicking Camera, and importing the written signature you created in step 1.

7. Hold your signed piece of paper up in front of your laptop's built-in camera, until the signature sits above the blue line. When the camera recognizes your signature, it will appear in black. When you're happy with how your signature looks, click Done.

You may need to move the paper around, or adjust the lighting in the room, in order for your signature to be recognized. It works best when the room's main light is coming from behind the laptop, and without overhead ceiling lights. If your signature doesn't look correct, click the Clear button to try again.

8. Your signature will now appear in the pop-out below the Signature button. You can add more signatures by clicking Create Signature, or you you can add your signature to the current document by clicking on the signature.

Your signature will now be saved in the Preview app, and you can use it again on any PDF in the future.

Add your Signature to a PDF

After setting up your signature the first time, you can now easily add your signature to any PDF. Open a PDF, click the Show Markup Button, click Signature, then click your name. You can move your signature around and resize it to fit correctly on the PDF.

Finally, once your signature is in the right place on the document, remember to save the PDF. You can now send the signed PDF through email or submit it to a website.