Don't know how to sign documents on Mac? We teach you — 2022

Signing documents is a task that has always been done on paper and with a pen. But this is already a thing of the past, since with technology it is no longer necessary to print the document to sign it, but rather you can resort to signing digitally. In this article we tell you all the ways to do it with your computer.

The importance of making digital signatures

In the technological era in which we find ourselves, it is really important to know how to sign documents with the Mac. Little by little, paper is disappearing and it is less and less necessary to have to go to a physical office to sign a document on paper and with ballpoint pen That is why you must be aware of all the ways that may exist to sign a document in a completely legal way.

On the Mac, as we will see below, different ways of signing can be presented. One that is through Preview where the freehand doodle is done. But this has a big drawback: it is not a legal document. What really matters is having a legally signed document and this is achieved only with a digital signature using the electronic DNI or a digital certificate. That is why below we show you how you can carry out such an important process on your Mac.

Make a signature in preview

macOS has a tool that makes it possible to make a signature on a document in PDF format. In this case, the mouse itself can be used to sign by hand with the mouse. mouse or trackpad , but also with iPhone or iPad. The problem you have is that these signatures they are not completely legal. Although they can be done, if it is a legal document it has no validity, since it cannot be known if it was you who signed it. That is why we are facing a really simple method that will only work to sign in an environment that is not formal. Below we show you the different ways you will have to sign in Preview.

Sign with iPhone or iPad

To facilitate signature tracing, you can choose to export signatures from other devices in the ecosystem. This is important, since a touch screen is not integrated among the features of the Mac, so it can be difficult to make the signatures in a correct way. That is why both the iPhone or the iPad can be used to make the signatures and send them to the Mac and the Preview program. The only requirement that is established to be able to enjoy this functionality is to have at least the macOS Catalina version installed. In order to include this signature, you simply have to follow these steps:

  • Open the document you want to sign with 'Preview'.
  • At the top follow the path Tool > Annotate > Signature > Manage Signatures > Create Signatures.
  • Among the options that will appear, you simply have to choose the section that says 'iPhone or iPad'.

Import pdf signatures mac ipad iphone

It is essential that both computers are connected to the same Wi-Fi network so that they are fully synchronized. In addition, also to improve this task, it is recommended that they are logged in using the same Apple ID. On the iPhone or iPad, a blank screen will appear to be able to make a signature with your finger by pressing the send button in this case. In the case of the iPad, to have greater precision, you can use the Apple Pencil to have a more realistic feeling of writing on a simple sheet of paper.

This can be included in the program's own interface, being able to access it from the scribble that acts as a signature next to the marking tool. In this section you can choose the way in which you want to create your new signature.

Sign with mouse or trackpad

If you don't have an iPhone or an iPad nearby to be able to make this type of signatures in a simple way, you can use the mouse or the trackpad. The biggest inconvenience that can arise is that it is much more difficult to sign. It is not possible to have an adequate line by having to press the button and make the outline in a clear way. This will also cause a certain tremor in the signature and it will not be completely perfect, although for an emergency or a quick signature it can always be useful. To be able to enter the signature through this system, you simply have to follow the following steps:

  • Open the document you want to sign with 'Preview'.
  • At the top follow the path Tool > Annotate > Signature > Manage Signatures > Create Signatures.
  • Among the options that appear you will see the section 'mouse and trackpad'.

Magic Trackpad 2

From this moment on, as in the previous case, a blank box will appear on the iPad where you can place the cursor. By clicking on the main button and sliding the peripheral you will be able to see how the signature begins to be drawn, which you can always rectify by erasing and starting over.

Store signatures in Preview

All the signatures that are made in the way that we have previously commented, will be stored in Preview. In this way they will always be available to sign any type of document that needs some attention. As we have mentioned before, you can make use of the quick access to the signatures that is found in the dial bar.

By pressing you will see a list with the different signatures that are in the program. By clicking on them you can specifically establish the place where you want the signature to be placed. In addition, you can also adjust the size of the signature so that it occupies exactly what you want.

Perform digital and legal signature on Mac

If you want to make a completely legal signature on a PDF or Word document, you need a digital certificate. This is a file that can be obtained from any public body and that identifies you on the network. But you can also get it thanks to the chip that is integrated into all Spanish IDs. This contains all the information about your identity and can be read by your computer in a very simple way.

Physical items you must have

Reading the electronic ID or 3.0 requires a very specific accessory. This is connected directly to the Mac and you simply have to enter the card to be able to access its information. In the market you can find many different models and at variable prices. If you are a person who needs to do a lot of paperwork through the internet, it is really important that you have a reader of this type in your possession.


This is an essential step to be able to use the certificates it contains and identify you. Although a configuration process must be carried out, which will be discussed below. It is always important to keep in mind that the reader must be compatible with macOS, since sometimes you can find models that are only compatible with Windows and that require very specific software, something that does not interest us in this situation.

How to use the electronic DNI

As we have mentioned before, just inserting the DNI in the reader is not enough for it to work. A configuration must be carried out in advance in which all the necessary files are installed so that the digital certificates can be exported. In this sense, the following steps must be followed:

  1. Access with Safari to the website of the Spanish National Police .
  2. On this page you will find different .dmg files that you can download. You will have to choose the most suitable one depending on the hardware or the operating system that you have installed on your Mac.
  3. Install the .dmg file that you have previously downloaded by following all the steps that you will see.

This will ensure that all the necessary files are present to carry out a subsequent configuration and use the certificate in the browser and also on the Mac itself. It is necessary for it to work in the browser to subsequently issue the FNMT digital certificate. For this, Safari cannot be used as it is not fully compatible. The recommended thing in these cases is to download and use the Mozilla browser, something that you can easily do. Once you have this browser, you simply have to follow these steps:

  1. Go to Preferences > Advanced > Certificates > Security Devices.
  2. Click Upload.
  3. In module name we must specify PKCS 11.
  4. Find the file in the path Library / Libpkcs11-dnie / lib / and charge it.
  5. Next, follow the path Preferences > Advanced > Certificates > View certificates > Authorities.
  6. Click on Import.
  7. Navigate to the path / Library / Libpkcs11-dnie .
  8. Check the certificate and the three boxes that will appear.
  9. Click on accept.

install certificate

From now on, when you are asked for legal identification on a web page, you can use Firefox with your electronic DNI in the reader to identify yourself. From this moment on, you will be asked for your DNI code offered by the National Police when issuing the document for the first time or when renewing it. This is a security code that only you will know and that you must never reveal.

Get your FNMT digital certificate

Apart from being able to identify yourself with your electronic DNI, you can also obtain a file that will be your digital certificate. In this way you will not need to have the reader connected, but with this certificate you will automatically be able to sign the documents as we will comment below. We always recommend requesting this certificate through the National Currency and Stamp Factory, the FNMT. To carry out this process, simply follow the following steps:

  1. At first, you will need to download two programs: the FNMT-RCM configurator and the AutoSignature program , following the links that we leave you.
  2. When installing it, it is important to always keep your browsers closed for it to be fully effective.
  3. Enter the electronic DNI in the card reader connected to your Mac.
  4. Access the FNMT website to request the certificate. You must choose your identification through electronic DNI.
  5. Complete the requested data such as the email or the password that you want to establish for the certificate.
  6. Sign the application with the pop-up window that will appear.
  7. Go to your email and access the mail that you will have received from the FNMT.
  8. Access the hyperlink that will be inside this email, and enter your ID number as well as the request code that you will have received in the email.

mac digital certificate

From here you will see how a file with a .p12 extension begins to download in your browser. This should be kept extremely well, since it can be used to always identify you. You can install it on any browser or device that supports the storage of certificates of this type.

How to sign the documents

Once you have access to the DNI chip or you have a digital certificate, as we have previously mentioned, you must resort to the official ministry program called AutoFirma . This can be downloaded to the Mac from the official website of the Ministry of Economic Affairs. As soon as you open it, you will be asked to drag the file you want to sign, or you will simply search for it thanks to the browser. Once this is done, the configuration can be carried out, which highlights the following:

  • Integrate a specific logo of the company which makes the signature.
  • View the signature in a specific space, thus added to the certificate that the document itself will have and that will verify that it is signed by you.

car company

Download AutoSignature

In the latter case, the name that appears on the DNI, the identification number and also the authority that is carrying out the certification, which in most cases will be the FNMT, will be included in the space that you choose. Once you have chosen the space where you want the signature to take place, you can choose the certificate you want to use. In this case, you can choose the electronic DNI inserted in the reader or a digital certificate. Obviously, to confirm the operation you must enter the encryption password. Once all this is done, you will have a document in which your digital signature will appear and which will be completely legal for all the procedures you need to carry out.