I have scanned my signature and can insert it just fine, but at the wrong angle!

How can I rotate it (90 deg)?

7 Answers 7


I've been having the same problem, but I solved it by opening the pdf file in Preview, hitting File > Duplicate, then adding the signature in the newly created file. This corrects the orientation of the file so that Preview can identify lines and you can just click on them with the signature tool (from the Annotate/Edit toolbar) and add your signature.


You can also rotate signatures and other annotations, like text boxes or rectangles, by arbitrary angles:

Hold the Command ⌘ key and do a rotation gesture with two fingers on a trackpad.

As far as I know this only works with trackpads and is undocumented. It works on macOS High Sierra.

This is from a related question on AskDifferent: How do you rotate inserts in Apple Mac OS preview 7?

  • 1
    Why is this not the accepted answer! Works like a charm Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 11:50
  • 1
    I can confirm that on Big Sur rotating a signature with fingers on the trackpad works even without Command ⌘ being pressed. Just select the signature first. But correcting page orientation fixes the cause instead, so that you should not need to rotate the singantue at all. Commented Jun 22, 2021 at 14:23

This thread addresses the problem best:


Basically the issue is with Acrobat formatting scanned PDFs in a way that makes Preview think it is rotated.

The answer above about exporting to a new PDF and then trying to insert a scanned signature in the new PDF via Preview's annotation tools works to fix the problem.

  • The link is dead now. Commented Jun 22, 2021 at 13:36

To rotate the whole image:

  • Open the image file in Preview
  • Click "Tools" in the menubar
  • Click "Rotate Left" or "Rotate Right"

To rotate only part of the image

  • Open the image file in Preview
  • Select the signature part
  • Hit Command-x to cut or Command-c to copy
  • Hit Command-n to make a new file from the cut or copied part
  • Click "Tools" in the menubar
  • Click "Rotate Left" or "Rotate Right"
  • Hit Command-a to select all
  • Hit Command-c to Copy
  • In the first document, hit command-v to paste the rotated part
  • Copy and paste small background-colored areas to fill in where the original signature was
  • Thanks, David - but that rotates the PDF File - not the signature :(
    – rassom
    Commented Dec 18, 2012 at 13:21
  • Have fixed. Try now. Commented Dec 19, 2012 at 3:40
  • Hi David. Thanks for wanting to help but still not working. Are you aware that Preview has a built-in signature annotation tool? (Open preview, open a PDF file, choose Tools -> Annotate -> Signature) I think you're referring to rotation normal images in preview, not signatures (which cannot be copied by commanda-x or command-c). The signatures are added by going to Preferences (still in Preview) -> Signatures.
    – rassom
    Commented Dec 19, 2012 at 11:04

I ran into this problem and found that I could work around it with File > Export…. After closing the original and opening the exported version, the signature orientation was correct.


I ended up scanning a new signature in sideways via the camera. So now I have a rotated signature and a normal one should the issue come up again.

Hopefully Apple fixes this at some point.


I did not export it but I copied the signature on a blank Pages document. I found that after I closed it, and reopened it, the orientation was correct.

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