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  1. #1
    Adding a signature to Preview on Mac Mini running Mojave

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    Adding a signature to Preview on Mac Mini running Mojave
    Hello all

    can anyone help with this? I have just upgraded from an iMac Sierra to Mac Mini Mojave.

    I would like to get various signatures into Preview on the Mini. I have spoken with Apple about transferring from the iMac to the Mini but it did not work.

    I saw that Catlina offers the option to use your iPad but I do not want to upgrade the Mini; and I'm not buying a webcam just for this. I also want to use the Preview encryption features so no scanned images either.

    Is there a work around?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Adding a signature to Preview on Mac Mini running Mojave
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    I would like to get various signatures into Preview on the Mini.
    What does that mean? What are these "signatures" you want to see in Preview? What is it you are trying to do with these "signatures?" What did Apple say to do and what happened when you did it? What do you mean by "it did not work?"
    Jake

  3. #3
    Adding a signature to Preview on Mac Mini running Mojave
    pm-r's Avatar
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    I would like to get various signatures into Preview on the Mini.

    I can do this easily using Mavericks, so unless Apple may have removed the feature its easily doable.w
    If you need help, Go to Preview's Help window, and they should have a topic somewhere in there.

    What you should end up with is the signatures available from within preview that you can paste into whatever document you might be using.

    I believe that I created some of mine by signing a piece of white paper and holding it up to the isight camera of my iMac.

    Once saved, they will be available like this:

    Screen Shot 2020-05-14 at 7.58.22 PM.png




    Of course, for you to get them into your mini, you will need to use a scanner or borrow a digital camera etc.

    I have no idea where the files may be stored if that's what you were asking in order to transfer them.

    PS:
    If you are working with a PDF that contains sensitive or personal information, Preview gives you the option to encrypt and lock it with a password. To do this, go to the export option and choose PDF in the Format option menu. Once that is selected, check the Encrypt box. This will prompt you to create a password.
    Advanced Features in Preview for Mac | CityMac

    EDIT:
    If you have your signatures available on your older iMac you can export them if they are available to you:
    Exporting signatures from Preview
    Exporting signatures from Preview — sebnash





    - Patrick
    ======
    Last edited by pm-r; 05-14-2020 at 11:30 PM.

  4. #4
    Adding a signature to Preview on Mac Mini running Mojave
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    Patrick, that article on exporting signatures is from 6 years ago, the current Preview no longer has the Signature tab in Preferences. So unless the Mojave version of Preview was before that change, that won't work. Also, the reference to where the signatures are stored in a plist is also no longer correct. I did a quick search in my Catalina system and did not find it anywhere using FAF. Apple must have changed how it works since the article
    Jake

  5. #5
    Adding a signature to Preview on Mac Mini running Mojave
    Slydude's Avatar
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    I think this method is current enough to work.

    I can wire anything directly into anything. Iím the Professor

    Prof Hubert Farnsworth

    Mac-Forums Facebook page

  6. #6
    Adding a signature to Preview on Mac Mini running Mojave

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    I have used Preview in Sierra and added signatures using the camera option (sign a piece of paper and hold it up to the camera).

    The current Apple instructions offer 3 ways: use the camera; use a trackpad; use an iPhone or iPad. I don’t have a camera as I’m using a Mini and I don’t use a trackpad. I do have an iPad but this option is only available in Catalina.

    Using signatures in Preview is an excellent way to sign PDFs without having to print and scan the document ie - it can all be done electronically.

  7. #7
    Adding a signature to Preview on Mac Mini running Mojave
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    I have tried to find a way to get a signature into the Mini, with no success. Preview does not seem to be able to import a signature from an image, only, as you said, through trackpad, camera or iPad (if you have Catalina). I think you are going to have to find either a camera to attach to the Mini, or a trackpad.

    EDIT: What did Apple have you try that did not work?
    Jake

  8. #8
    Adding a signature to Preview on Mac Mini running Mojave
    pm-r's Avatar
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    I have used Preview in Sierra and added signatures using the camera option (sign a piece of paper and hold it up to the camera).

    Do you have a backup of that System and then use its "Signature images" that Preview used, where ever they happened to get stored, and move it to where it would be expected to be used with the more recent OS X version, whereever that happens to be???

    But getting and using a cheap USB type WebCam just might be easier and a lot quicker in the long run. And preferably one with a short focal length so as to keep the signature in reasonable focus.


    Does Apple allow a scanner to be used to get/copy a Signature that can be used with Preview???I



    EDIT:
    Or do you have a friend with an iMac you could take a shot of the signature(s) with its isight camera and mail it to yourself???

    But I'm still not sure where you would put it for Preview's access if there is no import option.
    What does Preview's Help say about that... If anything... Or did they forget about the option???






    - Patrick
    ======
    Last edited by pm-r; 05-15-2020 at 12:51 PM.

  9. #9
    Adding a signature to Preview on Mac Mini running Mojave
    krs's Avatar
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    When we had to sign a lot of pdf's, we just scanned the signature, saved in an image file with a transparent background and pasted that into the pdf.

    I find that the requirement that one needs a track pad or camera to create a signature is pretty ridiculous.

  10. #10
    Adding a signature to Preview on Mac Mini running Mojave
    pm-r's Avatar
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    I find that the requirement that one needs a track pad or camera to create a signature is pretty ridiculous.


    +1!!! I would tend to agree.

    Especially if this is being attempted with a later "New and Improved" MacOS Version!!!

    If those really are the newest and only allowed requirements, I would say that Apple is going backwards or really losing it.






    - Patrick
    ======

  11. #11
    Adding a signature to Preview on Mac Mini running Mojave
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    @Patrick, the problem with trying to restore the previous signatures is that they were stored in a plist that is no longer used, as far as I have been able to determine. I have a sig set up, but the plist where it was stored is no longer there. And that means the location has changed to something unknown, or at least not obvious. To try to find where it might be, I added a bogus signature to my signatures, then immediately invoked Find Any File to search for any file changed in the last 5 minutes, and found com.apple.Preview.plist as the ONLY one with an obvious Preview name. I found the plist at ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.Preview/Data/Library/com.apple.Preview.plist . In the plist are sections labelled "AnnotationKit" which have sections for data that are encrypted. Unfortunately, in my plist there are THREE of these AnnotationKits but I only have two signatures, so I don't have any clue what is what. So even if @janeserky could create the signature on another Mac, there doesn't seem to be a way to replace that section of her plist with the plist created elsewhere. And if it is encrypted, that may also cause problems with permissions and usages, etc.

    Using signatures is "handy" but very risky. If you don't put good security on your Mac and if you use signatures, then anyone with access to your system can "sign" just about any document they may need, even a contract committing you to some obligation you may or may not want. So if you want to use signatures, have a really secure login name and password on the Mac before you do so. I don't think Apple is going backwards by having some restrictions on where signature files originate. By restricting the creation to trackpad or camera on the Mac, at least there is some minor assurance that the signature is accurate, if you have a good password on the system.

    Frankly, I plan to delete the signatures, now that I realize it transferred over in the update. I don't need/want it and it is very risky to have about.
    Jake

  12. #12
    Adding a signature to Preview on Mac Mini running Mojave
    pm-r's Avatar
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    @Patrick, the problem with trying to restore the previous signatures is that they were stored in a plist that is no longer used, as far as I have been able to determine.

    All very interesting Jake, and thanks for the info.




    - Patrick
    ======

  13. #13
    Adding a signature to Preview on Mac Mini running Mojave
    krs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacInWin View Post
    Using signatures is "handy" but very risky. If you don't put good security on your Mac and if you use signatures, then anyone with access to your system can "sign" just about any document they may need, even a contract committing you to some obligation you may or may not want.
    Agree fully.

    I always wondered if a signature like that, or signing on a tablet which hasbecome very common for deliveries, is even legally valid and enforceable.

    Once a company has your signature like that, basically a 'soft' copy, they can apply it anywhere.

    The only saving grace that I see is that my signature on a tablet, done usually with ones finger, doesn't even remotely look like my real signature.

  14. #14
    Adding a signature to Preview on Mac Mini running Mojave

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    Jake, Apple advised my to copy all of the Preview preferences from my iMac to the Mini ie - ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.Preview/Data/Library/Preferences. They did not know if this would work - it was only a possibility. It did not work.

    And thanks for testing where signatures are stored.

    Patrick - there are a number of articles on the web advising how to copy the Preview.Signatures.pslist and associated keychain information to a new Mac. This would copy the signature plus the encryption. There is no Preview.Signatures.pslist in Sierra as Jake has stated. Apple changed the design of Preview and how it manages signatures prior to Sierra. I assume that’s why Apple Support suggested copying all the Preferences.

    Yes, I could use a scanner; I also still have my Sierra iMac; so I could create a scanned copy or a photo but there is no mechanism to get it into Preview so that it’s encrypted. And I don’t really want my signature easily available.

    Well it seems like I’m out of luck. I guess my options are to:
    1. sign and scan as required,
    2. maybe save my signature in a protected file eg - a disk image

    Having your signature available is a risk but you can always delete it from Preview after using it.

    Besides don’t you store other sensitive files on your Mac? Doesn’t this all boil down to having good security?

  15. #15
    Adding a signature to Preview on Mac Mini running Mojave
    krs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by janeserky View Post
    Yes, I could use a scanner; I also still have my Sierra iMac; so I could create a scanned copy or a photo but there is no mechanism to get it into Preview so that it’s encrypted. And I don’t really want my signature easily available.
    I never used the signature option in Preview, but I don't understand where the encrypted part comes in after you applied that signature to a document.
    Once you sign a document that way, anyone who received it can just copy your signature using Grab or a similar tool and sign other documents with your signature.
    I don't see how that is any more secure than scanning the signature and pasting that into the document.

    It's not a secure signature like this:
    What is a digital signature, how it works | Adobe Sign

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