I added some signatures in Apple Preview. How can I change the order of the signatures? Rearranging via drag & drop is not working.

1 Answer 1


The signatures are stored in the keychain. Open Keychain and find your signatures (just search for 'signature'). They should be called Signature Annotation Privacy.

These signatures are binary .plist files, encoded in base64. In the files there is stored a date and this is the creation date. We can change that date to today and then it will be the first signature show in Preview:

  1. Double click the signature you want to bring to the top in Keychain and click on "Show password" (enter your admin password).
  2. Copy the whole text in the textfield and save it on your Desktop in signature.txt.
  3. Open Terminal and type in: base64 --decode ~/Desktop/signature.txt > ~/Desktop/signature.plist
  4. Convert the signature to xml file with: plutil -convert xml1 ~/Desktop/signature.plist
  5. Open the .plist-file in TextEdit. Search for <key>NS.time</key>.
  6. The time stored here is a time interval since 01.01.2001. So we need to get the actual time interval between 01.01.2001 and today. You can do it in Swift with print(Date().timeIntervalSinceReferenceDate)
  7. Change the date value in the .plist file.
  8. Convert it back to binary with plutil -convert binary1 ~/Desktop/signature.plist
  9. Encode it to base64: base64 ~/Desktop/signature.plist > newSignature.txt
  10. Take the new base64 string and save it to the Keychain.
  • at some point base64 requires '-i' flag to read input file. Besides this, works flawlessly, thank you very much for sharing!
    – Anaderi
    Mar 22 at 4:45

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