iOS Tip – Signing PDFs

A few weeks ago my wife and I were out of town when we were contacted by someone who needed us to sign documents. My first thought was that we would have to have them sent by email, print them, sign them, then Fax them back. I found, however, that I had a much more elegant solution already on my iOS 10 iPad.


The solution was to use Quick Look. This is a built in capability to your iOS device. NO additional Apps are needed to ‘sign’ a PDF document. Let’s say you received a document by email that you need to sign and return. Open the document in Mail and wait for the document to download. In the example above on my Mac I created a simple form using TextEdit, exported it as a PDF, then emailed it to myself. I opened the email on my iPad and the PDF attachment was displayed in the body of the email as soon as it was downloaded.


(1) To electronically apply my signature I touched and held the body of the form on the iPad which caused the menu shown above to pop up. Note that Quick Look is shown to the right in the second row of icons. Touching the Quick Look icon opens the PDF.


(2) Now if you click on the toolbox icon shown in the top right hand corner, this will open the Markup editor.


(3) At the bottom center of the Markup editor screen is an icon that looks like script writing. Click it.


(4) This will bring up a list of previously created signatures, as well as the ability to add or remove signatures from the list. If you click on the “Add or Remove Signature” button a box will open and you can use your finger to create a signature.


(5) When you hit “Done” the newly created signature will be added to the list and you will be returned to the Markup editor page with the signature ready to be positioned in the document. If you just want to reuse a previously created signature, just select it from the list shown in (4).


(6) Resize the signature image as needed by touching a corner (the blue dots) and dragging the signature image to resize.


(7) Position where needed by placing your finger on the signature image and dragging it to where you want it in the document. When you are satisfied, click on the “Done” button in the upper right hand corner. This will close the Markup editor and you will be ready to email the modified document.

This same process works much the same way on your iPhone as well.

This process allowed my wife and I to both sign documents and return them from our room in a Houston hotel. This isn’t something that comes up every day, but it is nice to know that Apple has the capability built in if it is needed.

See my other iOS articles


2 thoughts on “iOS Tip – Signing PDFs”

  1. Thanks, John! Didn’t know you could use Text Edit to create a form. You did that part on your mac laptop, right? I’ll experiment. Cool tip.


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