• How to edit a PDF with the macOS built-in application “Preview.”

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    I hope this is useful to others:

    Today I had a contract that I needed to sign and date before returning it to the other party.
    This meant signing and dating it at the end of the last of six pages.

    Signing and dating a document this long or even longer without using PDF software with editing capability has involved a long and tedious procedure for me, since Adobe Acrobat went “Cloud” and I stopped using it, unless I installed some new application, or did things the hard way — I had thought.

    But now I started thinking: I could do it, as has become usual for me, the hard way: scan each page into a separate PDF, print and then sign and date the last page PDF, scan the result and put this in a new one-page PDF, and then put all these one-page PDFs together and email back to the other party the resulting continuous and complete PDF document …

    But let’s see first what other options might be there.
    Starting by finding out what I can do with “Preview”, a multiple use application for viewing files and editing pictures, etc. that comes built in macOS and it has been around for a very long time.

    So looking around I found these two articles that showed me how the same thing can be done much more easily than what I was considering, even with hundreds of pages-long PDF documents, because essentially some functions in Preview can be used to edit PDFs, by adding text (in this case the signing date), or placing signatures, as well as deleting and, or adding pages.

    Below are the links to these two articles.

    To add/remove pages with Preview:


    I signed and dated the document this way:

    But there is, it seems (I have not tried it) a different way to sign and date to a document with Preview:



    What I actually did today, after reading those articles, was a mix of the old and familiar and the (to me) new:

    (1) In my all-in-one HP inkjet printer scanned the last page, the one to be signed and dated. with the printer’s “Easy Scan” application. I saved the scan as PDF, using the scan application’s option for doing this. I then printed the one-page PDF just created. (*)

    I signed and dated the printed last page by hand in the appropriate places.

    (2) I scanned, as before, the now signed and dated page with the HP “Easy Scan” application and saved it as PDF, using the app option for doing this.

    Now I proceeded as explained in the “makeuseof” Webpage:

    (3) I opened the original PDF and I deleted its last page (still not signed or dated) and replaced it with the one-page PDF with my signature and the signing date.
    This amounted to:
    (a) In Preview’s “View” drop down menu, opening the icon’s sidebar
    (b) Dragging the icon of the signed last page I had created as explained already, and dropping it just before the bottom icon of the original, unsigned last page of the PDF.
    (c) Choosing in the sidebar with the cursor the unsigned page, still the last one, and pressing “Delete” in the keyboard. The unsigned page vanished, but the signed one was still there and now was the last one in the PDF document, as it should be.
    (d) Probably not necessary, but just in case, I used Comand+S to save the now signed and dated PDF.

    Now I had a PDF of the whole contract signed and dated and ready to email back to the other party.

    (*) I might have saved myself time and trouble using the more direct method for signing, dating and adding text explained in the updf.com Webpage. I just did take the extra steps I did because I have never used this other, unfamiliar method, and I preferred not to experiment when signing an important document.

    Ex-Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7); since mid-2017 using also macOS. Presently on Monterey 12.15 & sometimes running also Linux (Mint).

    MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
    Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
    macOS Monterey; browsers: Waterfox "Current", Vivaldi and (now and then) Chrome; security apps. Intego AV

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