Signature: Sign Your Digital Documents

I don’t think that I’m alone in the annoyance I feel when I’m asked to sign something over the Internet. This usually means having to to print PDFs so that I can sign them, after which I have to then re-scan them. Even though it’s a situation that we don’t encounter too often, it still happens from time to time, which means from time to time, we want to pull all of our hair out. For example, as a freelancer, I sometimes have clients who ask me to sign contracts in order to begin work for certain old-fashioned websites.

Today we are reviewing an app called Signature. The makers behind this app want to help you sign these documents without having to print or scan anything. How does it do it? Let’s see.

Getting Started

Getting Started

Getting Started

If you can get past the unfortunate icon and pay the reasonable price of $2.99 for the app, the first time that you run it you’ll see a small window pointing you in the direction of your menu bar, which is where Signature will live. Unfortunately, there are no real instructions on how to use the app, nor is there any information about the different features that it has. It’s not that the app is complicated, but a few hints on how to use it would be useful initially. The only useful information I found on how to use the app is buried deep in the “Help” menu. This information should point you in the right direction so that you can get those documents signed.

Signing documents


Alright, so let’s say you get emailed a PDF that you need to sign. How would you go about using Signature to help you with this? Clicking the menu bar icon will show you a menu with a handful of options such as, “Sign It” and “Sign It – Advanced”. The first of these will let you simply sign something and that’s it. However, the advanced option gives you a lot more choices, like picking out colors and sizes for the brushes.

Whether you choose the advanced or normal mode, the processes will be essentially the same. You will be able to digitally make a resemblance of your written signature by clicking and dragging inside the Signature window. If you’ve ever tried doing this -with a mouse or a trackpad- you will be familiar with the final results: stiff hieroglyphics that look nothing like handwriting at all. Still, and that’s not really the app’s fault. The description of the app on the Mac App Store says that you can use “pens” as well as the mouse/trackpad. Obviously, users with drawing tablets will fare much better.

After you are happy with your signature, you can press “Enter” to save the current image on the window to your clipboard. You can then paste the image and even resize it to fit any document you would like. You also have the option of saving it as a .png file.

“Active” Mode


There is one very useful (although it is very hard to get used to) feature that is not advertised under the “Help” menu or on the description of the app. It is called “Active” and you can activate it by double clicking the window in which you sign. A sign saying “Active” will pop-up, and if you click it your cursor will disappear. After that, any gesture that you make will be counted as if you were signing. So, it’s basically a way of signing without having to keep the trackpad/mouse clicked while you move your finger or mouse around. While it may not sound very impressive, this feature is very useful, especially if you are using a trackpad.

The Shortcomings

As far as shortcomings go, the first thing that must be mentioned is the unsightliness of this app. From the icons, to the fonts and backgrounds, everything looks fairly unprofessional. It’s not that attractiveness is the most important part of an app, but beauty is a standard in most Mac apps. In addition, the few instructions that you find within the app tend to be written in poor English. Again, this is a drawback that is not relevant to the functionality of the app, but it does throw off a little bit.

Now, outside of the aesthetic flaws, there are some small, yet important, details that are missing from this app. If added, I believe these details would help the app become more useful and efficient. For example, some sort of line-smoothing feature would be very beneficial. Lots of iPad drawing and handwriting apps do this and it helps immensely with readability accuracy. Support for formats other than .png would also be useful for some people. Other than these few small details, I can’t imagine a way to improve this app.

Conclusion

Overall, it’s important for you to know what you are getting into when you buy this app. It isn’t a new amazing way of creating “real” signatures on your computer. It does nothing that simple image editors like Gimp or Paint can’t do.

What it does do is give you easy and quick access to creating a “drawing” that resembles your signature and copying it somewhere else with ease and speed. Whether you are comfortable paying $3 dollars for that is entirely up to you. Personally, I think the app is a great concept, but it could have used better execution.


Summary

Signature is an easy and fast way for you to create signatures to be used in documents like PDFs.

7
  • Jeffrey

    Preview in Lion can now capture your signature from FaceTime camera as well.

  • Neil

    Might have been useful to note in the review that Preview in Mac OS X 10.7 has signature “scanning” (using the built-in FaceTime camera) integrated. Works really well and much less unwieldy than this app appears to be.

    http://www.google.ca/search?gcx=w&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=+signature+preview+lion&qscrl=1

  • http://cheekymonkeymedia.ca Rick

    I just created a stamp in adobe acrobat with my signature, it is super easy to do and makes signing or initialing documents fast.

    • B30

      Me too (Acrobat stamp), it’s really easy, and very handy.

  • Michael

    If you are using Lion adding a signature is buit in to Preview and it does a pretty good job.

  • Maria Rodriguez

    Jorge,

    Really disappointed we share the same last name. It seems to me you are intentionally writing a bad review here. Signature is nothing like your description in the review. I use the app daily and it has saved me a tonne of time. The images you are presenting are in no way representing the abilities of the app. let me guess you reviewed the app without using a Trackpad? It is your duty as a reviewer to present the product in a truthful manner, this review is very dishonest and so far from the truth that I needed to speak out.

    Shameful

  • Martin Sterling

    Mr Rodriguez,

    I can’t believe you published this review. What you are describing isn’t even close to reality. As a journalist you have the obligation to write something that at least resembles the truth. Signature has been the number one business app for a very long time now. That should have been your first clue that your review is totally out to lunch. Your second major (major) blunder is the fact that this app doesn’t have the ability to sign a PDF! Oooops! Your entire article keeps talking about signing a PDF. I bitched about this to the developers and they promised me it will be released with the next update.

    I publish magazines and if you published this review working for me, I would fire you immediately. The screenshots you provide in your article are so rudimentary that I also believe your intention was to bash this app.

    Please remember you are own hurting your reputation writing a piece like this.

    Not good.

    • http://about.me/jorgerdz Jorge Rodriguez

      I’m sorry you didn’t like my review, but I can guarantee you it is anything but dishonest. What you see in the review is my experience with the app, and from the App Store reviews I’m guessing I’m not the only one who expected it to perform better. The screenshots are what I got from trying to sign something with my trackpad, and I even tried to tweak and re-do my signature a few times to make it look pretty.

      • Martin Sterling

        Jorge, you are kidding right? The images you presented don’t even indicate an attempt at a Signature! It looks like a five year old trying to spell something. Please stop reviewing apps if you are only spending five minutes researching them and if you are dishonest about the content.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQlgX_JGJGk Jonathan Daurio

    Did you review the same app I have done. Here is a video review I have done on Signature. You all should check it out.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQlgX_JGJGk Jonathan Daurio

    Click my avatar to redirect to my video review on Signature on YouTube.

    • The Slapster

      Excellent review! I don’t have a need for anything like this at the moment, but it’s a much better way to show the features than screenshots & text descriptions. Subscribed to your channel also!

      • Miguel Suarez

        Jonathan, thanks for posting your video here. I just bought Signature and it is really good. A video like this puts the app to the test. It looks to me like you reviewed an older version?
        Wow your videos are quite impressive> Subscribed to your channel as well.

  • jason

    I am also really taken back by the unprofesionalism of this review. The app description in this review is nowhere near ” Signature”. Nothing matches up! The reviewer is talking about signing a document and in his screenshots he signs like someone who is just learning how to spell. Not sure how this mess happened but the review is really sending a false message to readers about an app that really is quite good.

  • http://www.makinghealth24.com makinghealth

    I know the content is very important for user.

  • Mikk

    Estonians are way ahead of this. We have digital signaturing down to an ID-Card and a simple app that allows you to ACTUALLY digitally sign any document on your laptop/computer. You can physically buy a house, get a job, sing in to a university and much more for a lot less of a hassle because you can manage all your documents at home instead of running from one place to another.

    Nice app, but not suited for a real world signature giving scenario.
    M.

    • Dyeann Littlejohn

      what app is this?

  • walter jupp

    I am actually very surprised this review was actually published. It is so far from reality that it makes me really ask what the motivation was to post a condemning review like this. Signature may have trackpad quirks (not necessarily the apps fault)
    but the app works very effectively. I agree with the others posting, that the childlike attempts of Jorge trying to PRINT a signature indicate something else is going on here. This is not right.

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