Tools for Transparency: Capture Your Signature with OS X Preview


It’s often the case that your signature is required for various documents, whether paper or PDF, to carry out your work. I would personally prefer to skip the process of printing, signing and then rescanning or faxing documents if it can be helped, and I bet you would, too.

A colleague alerted me to the fact that the Preview app in Lion, the latest version of Apple’s OS X, was catered to folks like us: Using the built-in iSight program, Preview makes it easy to capture your signature and apply it to a PDF form. This allows you to skip the printing, scanning and faxing of anything requiring your signature, so long as you already have a PDF of the form you need.

TUAW — a.k.a. “The Unofficial Apple Weblog” — does a great job of breaking down how this feature works:

Lion’s version of Preview comes with a built-in signature scanner that makes signing documents far simpler. In the Annotations toolbar you now have an option to create a signature from your Mac’s built-in iSight camera. All you need to do is use black ink to sign a piece of white paper, align your signature toward the camera using the onscreen guides, and take a snapshot of the signature.

As TUAW notes, it’s solid step in the direction of a truly paperless office.

(h/t from our own Joshua Hatch)