Add a Signature to PDFs in OS X Lion, One of Many Updates to Preview.app

Posted in Apps, OS X on 10/06/2011 by James Britton

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The update of Preview.app in OS X Lion will feature the ability to insert a signature into a PDF, hopefully rendering the fax machine completely extinct.

To insert a signature, simply sign a sheet of paper and hold it up to your FaceTime camera. Preview will process the image and render it into a “pen-perfect signature annotation.” Consequently, Apple has co-opted one of the best features of SmileOnMyMac’s PDFpen [Mac App Store, $59.99]. Fortunately for that developer, PDFpen is still a compelling program since it also features the ability to make corrections to a PDF, perform optical character recognition on scans making text editable along with the ability to remove sensitive information from a PDF.

The updated OS X Lion version of Preview offers many more updates along with the e-signature feature. As with other Lion apps, there will be a full-screen mode which scales documents to match the screen resolution along with Auto Save and Versions support. Smart Magnify will focus magnification on a specific area without zooming the entire document. Search has also improved by becoming contextual. Preview will display the text surrounding the search term and give a thumbnail view of the page where the search term occurs. One of the nicest new features is the ability to preview, open and search iWork and most Microsoft Office documents. This beats having to fire up Office, or even purchase it in the first place. Finally, Preview offers improved notes with clearly drawn lines to the referenced location, shadow and highlight controls for better image visibility and improved copy and paste by bringing along embedded PDF images that are selected with the text.

Check out more cool new features of OS X Lion here and here.


James Britton

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James Britton

James first bit into Apple when his mom and dad bought an Apple IIe in 1986. He switched to Wintel in the mid 90s when Apple was in a tailspin and back again to an iBook in 2005 when things were looking brighter. Hopefully there is no turning back to the dark side now.

If you're a hard core fanboy, you can follow James' antics on twitter or personal blog.