Signature Pad with HTML5

I was recently asked to create a signature pad for desktop and mobile browsers to save customer signatures. The solution included using the <canvas> element and adding event listeners for both mouse and touch events to draw the signature lines on the canvas.

First thing is we have to create a canvas element.

<canvas id="canvas" width="500" height="100" style="border: 1px solid #ccc;"></canvas>

Next we declare our variables and add the event listeners.

var canvasWidth = 400;                           //canvas width
var canvasHeight = 60;                           //canvas height
var canvas = document.getElementById('canvas');  //canvas element
var context = canvas.getContext("2d");           //context element
var clickX = new Array();
var clickY = new Array();
var clickDrag = new Array();
var paint;
canvas.addEventListener("mousedown", mouseDown, false);
canvas.addEventListener("mousemove", mouseXY, false);
document.body.addEventListener("mouseup", mouseUp, false);
//For mobile
canvas.addEventListener("touchstart", mouseDown, false);
canvas.addEventListener("touchmove", mouseXY, true);
canvas.addEventListener("touchend", mouseUp, false);
document.body.addEventListener("touchcancel", mouseUp, false);

To draw on a canvas you first have to create a path. Then move from one point (x,y), draw a line to another point and then fill the line so it becomes visible on the canvas.

function draw() {
     context.clearRect(0, 0, canvas.width, canvas.height); // Clears the canvas

     context.strokeStyle = "#000000";  //set the "ink" color
     context.lineJoin = "miter";       //line join
     context.lineWidth = 2;            //"ink" width

     for (var i = 0; i < clickX.length; i++) {
          context.beginPath();                               //create a path
          if (clickDrag[i] && i) {
               context.moveTo(clickX[i - 1], clickY[i - 1]);  //move to
          } else {
               context.moveTo(clickX[i] - 1, clickY[i]);      //move to
          context.lineTo(clickX[i], clickY[i]);              //draw a line
          context.stroke();                                  //filled with "ink"
          context.closePath();                               //close path

The MouseDown/TouchStart event is used to save that the mouse was pressed, store the current X and Y coordinates of the mouse and begin drawing.

function mouseDown(e)
     var mouseX = e.pageX - this.offsetLeft;
     var mouseY = e.pageY - this.offsetTop;

     paint = true;
     addClick(e.pageX - this.offsetLeft, e.pageY - this.offsetTop);

In the MouseUp/TouchEnd event, we save that the mouse was released.

function mouseUp() {
     paint = false;

Last we finish up with the MouseMove/TouchMove event. This handler has to do the following: check if the mouse is pressed, if it is pressed then draw a line from previous coordinates to current coordinates.

function mouseXY(e) {
     if (paint) {
          addClick(e.pageX - this.offsetLeft, e.pageY - this.offsetTop, true);

Source Code:

5 thoughts on “Signature Pad with HTML5

  1. Looks great so far on my page! Having an issue with the mouse offset. the line is drawn about 120×90 px away from my cursor…any thoughts?

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