I recently bought a MacBook Air and I am not being able to capture a signature in a white sheet of paper with camera, as it was possible in previous machines and mac OS versions. Does someone have a hint on how to solve this?

  • 1
    I can confirm that, as at 2019-03-11, this doesn't work for me on Mojave 10.4.3, no matter I do. I see a clear image but it just doesn't work anymore, at any distance with any amount of light. I sometimes get the odd dot here and there, just briefly but nothing else. It always used to work effortlessly, before. I hope this is helpful. Perhaps reference this comment to Apple tech support to show them that it's not only you.
    – Bryan
    Mar 10 '19 at 21:16

When you select the camera on the Preview.app, It should open the camera up. You need keep some distance between the FaceTime camera and the white paper only then Preview.app will pick it up. If it's kept too close, the signature will not be picked up.

enter image description here

  • 6
    Also, get more light on it. Turn so you & your paper face the window, so the camera has its back to the light.
    – Tetsujin
    Nov 23 '18 at 7:20
  • same here. you just need more lighiting and try and keep some distance and also place the signature above the line Oct 9 '19 at 12:23
  • I'd just say this is just a scrap implementation. The Trackpad option isn't working at all. I got one signature via the camera but when I tried to get a replacement it did not accept any more. Oh Apple...
    – qwerty_so
    Jun 17 '20 at 18:12
  • It worked for me only after I pointed flash light from my cellphone on the paper. A lot of light is needed apparently.
    – tj-recess
    Dec 30 '20 at 23:37

It was not working with me in the beginning, but the problem solved when I had a spot light points in parallel between the laptop screen and the paper. Max light is needed apparently.


As other have mentioned in the comments, it really seems to need a lot of light on the paper (probably so it can see the contrast). Much more than you would normally need for doing FaceTime call for example.

Place a strong light source behind your MacBook/webcam (e.g. room light, window, or flashlight) so that its light falls strongly on the paper with the signature. Then slowly move the paper towards the camera.

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