How to sign a PDF using your iPhone

Did you know the iPhone offers an easy way to sign PDFs?  I find in my practice that I often need a client to review and sign a document. This can sometimes cause issues for my clients as they don’t have easy access to a printer and scanner. This can add delay to getting a project completed. Thankfully, there’s an easy solution on the iPhone.

Enter the iPhone

Thankfully, many of my clients use iPhones. By utilizing the iPhone’s Mail app and the Markup feature (more background at iPhoneJD) your clients can easily review and sign documents. Note, this is not a post on the legality of electronic signatures.

Step 1: Open the Attachment

In iOS mail, tap to download and then open the PDF attachment. Once the PDF is open, look in the lower right hand corner of your device. You will see an icon that looks like a tool box.

Step 2: Open the Toolbox

Tap on the toolbox. The PDF is now in edit mode. Tools appear along the bottom of your screen. Tap the one that looks like a signature.

If you haven’t created a signature yet, do so now. It’s pretty easy to draw your signature or initials with your finger. Your iPhone can save the signature for reuse later.

Step 3: Size and Place

Your signature should appear in the middle of the screen. You can resize the signature by dragging one of the corners near the blue dot. You can move the signature to the appropriate place by tapping and holding and then dragging the signature to the signature line of the PDF.

Tip – if it doesn’t work, tap in the white area not on the signature. Then, tap the signature box again and retry. With a little practice, you’ll get used to how it works. Take your time and keep at it.

Step 4: Add the Date

There is often a date field that needs to be completed on signed documents. Thankfully, this can be handled as well. Simply tap on the “T” to type in the date (or use a text expansion tool to add it for you automatically).

Then, click on the “AA” near the right side of the screen. This allows you to change and/or resize the font. Make the font size look appropriate for your document. Then, drag and place the date like before.

Step 5: Click Done

Once you are satisfied with how the document looks, click done. The PDF is attached to a ready to send email. Enter the appropriate information in the to: and Subject: fields and your signed PDF is on its way.


Here are the step by step screenshots for how this works on your iPhone:


It is amazing that some of these features are present on the iPhone. I often find myself utilizing the iPhone for PDF related tasks that I cannot perform on my Windows computer (at least without high-priced software). Just today I used PDF Expert to rotate pages and combine PDFs into one document on my iPhone. It’s nice having an office in my pocket.

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