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I am trying to add a signature to the Preview using Tools > Annotate > Signature > Manage Signatures

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I then click on Create Signature

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Note that I need to use a camera-ready picture of a handwritten signature - (not mouse created). So in the dialog I choose "Camera", then put the page with signature in front of the camera and click Done

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But then the "new" signature is not created: the same single entry is still there (which I did years ago in a much older version of macOS).

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Why is a new signature not being created? I am on Big Sur.

Update Here is what is in my Keychain Access

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3 Answers 3

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Perhaps the storage of signatures is corrupted.

Try quitting Preview and deleting the ‘Signature Annotation Privacy’ entries in Keychain Access if you don't mind losing the one you already have.

Previously, the signatures were stored in Preview's container. You can try printing or deleting the store using read or delete in

defaults read ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.Preview/Data/Library/Preferences/com.apple.Preview.signatures
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  • You had briefly shown a command line approach - that actually seemed promising. I'll also look at this Privacy procedure Oct 2, 2021 at 11:22
  • Sorry for the ninja edit. The command line approach was outdated, after I saw it list 2 but I actually have 3 set up in Preview, so then discovered 3 entries in Keychain Access. Preview used to store the signatures in its container, but now uses AnnotationKit and stores them securely in the Keychain.
    – grg
    Oct 2, 2021 at 11:23
  • interesting sleuthing. i'm working through your Keychain approach now Oct 2, 2021 at 11:25
  • Where in the Keychain Access ? Under "Local items" I do not see _Signature Annotation Privacy" entries; am I looking in the correct place? Type that I see: "application password", "internet password", "Web form password". Oct 2, 2021 at 11:29
  • @West Mine are in the iCloud keychain; the search should find across any keychain. Perhaps that's an issue though, if you've got one signature set up and it's not in this list, it's like they haven't been migrated properly from the container store to the keychain. I haven't added a signature in many years but they show up in Keychain all with the same ‘date modified’. I've put back the information about Preview's signature store plist.
    – grg
    Oct 2, 2021 at 11:32
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So, on Big Sur 11.6 and Preview 11.0

If you click on the sign button then you get the X to delete the signature which you can then replace.

Now it seems to let me create several having created and replaced one…

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  • Thanks - I already deleted about six entries and had retried adding a new one- no dice. How did you go about it? I put the signature up to the macbook camera, pressed "Done" and then .. nothing .. the new signature did not show up in the list. Oct 2, 2021 at 11:14
  • @WestCoastProjects I wrote those examples on the trackpad - there are 3 options for entering…
    – Solar Mike
    Oct 2, 2021 at 19:14
  • OK but I need to do it from a camera. Oct 2, 2021 at 19:27
  • @WestCoastProjects as I mentioned, there are 3 methods for entry.
    – Solar Mike
    Oct 2, 2021 at 19:28
  • I saw that: the non camera methods are not meeting my requirements: I use Preview to sign official and financial documents that need a camera-ready version of my written signature. I have just updated the question to this effect. Oct 2, 2021 at 19:30
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I can not make use of the "Trackpad" or "iPhone" options - but only the Camera one:

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However on a hunch based on commentary by @grg about possible corruption and @SolarMike about trying other signature methods I went ahead and added a Trackpad based signature anyways. That was successful. I then promptly deleted it - since successful or not that form of signature is of no use to me.

But an apparent side effect is that the Camera based signature subsequently succeeded!

Maybe getting the Trackpad in there (even if immediately deleting) fixed some kind of corruption or confusion in the storage of the signatures.

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  • Then perhaps you could consider that since I did the trackpad method FIRST and subsequently tested the others as I pointed out in my comments on my answer it shows I had made it work before you finally got around to it.
    – Solar Mike
    Oct 2, 2021 at 19:54
  • I added that @SolarMike Oct 2, 2021 at 19:56

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