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How to edit a PDF document on an iPhone or iPad
In this current fast-moving world, you need to be able to create, view, and edit documents on your smart device while on the go. The standard preferred document format these days is most definitely Adobe PDF. They’re easy to open, and the files are always formatted perfectly. But how do you edit a PDF document on an iPhone or iPad? We’ve already covered how to make a PDF document on an iOS device, how to edit a PDF on Android, and how to sign a PDF document, but how about typing feedback, inserting a printed signature, adding and removing pages, and more?
To edit a PDF document on an iPhone or iPad, use the built-in iOS Files app. After opening the PDF, long-press on a page, and editing options will appear. Alternatively, you can use the Adobe Acrobat Reader app, but most features are paid.
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iOS Files app
Many basic PDF editing features can be found in the built-in iOS Files app. Download or upload the PDF to the Files app and tap on it to open it.
When the PDF is open, swipe with one finger from the left side of the screen. This will reveal the thumbnails of all the PDF file pages.
Hold your finger on the page you want to edit, and a menu will appear.
iOS Files app PDF editing options
- Copy — the page copy will be inserted at that point in the file.
- Rotate left — this will rotate the page to the left.
- Rotate right — this will rotate the page to the right.
- Insert Blank Page — this will add a blank page where you can add anything you need to.
- Insert from File — if you have another file in the Files app, you can add that to the currently open PDF.
- Scan Pages — alternatively, if you need to scan something into the PDF, this will slot it into the right place.
- Delete — this deletes the chosen page.
If you want to type a text comment or add a printed signature, tap the icon at the bottom right. It’s a pencil pointing to a rectangle with three dots.
This will then make a blue plus circle appear. Tap that.
Now choose whether you want to add text or add a signature. Note this is not an electronic signature — it’s a printed signature. Be mindful of that when “signing” documents.
If you choose the text box, one will appear on-screen. Your keyboard will pop up, and you can type your comments. The box can be resized and moved around the screen to be positioned wherever you need it to go. You can also tap inside the text box to get formatting options.
If you choose the signature option, tap Add or Remove Signature. Alternatively, if you already have a printed signature saved, it will show it. Tap it to add it to the PDF.
Once on-screen, you can resize the box to make the signature bigger or smaller. You can also reposition it to put it where you want it.
To save your changes, tap Done at the top. Once saved, tap Done again to exit the document. You can now use the Share menu to send your edited PDF document out if need be.
Adobe Acrobat Reader app
A second possible alternative is the Adobe Acrobat Reader app. Since Adobe invented the PDF, you can expect its app to have everything you could possibly want. Unfortunately, though, only a couple of features seem to be free. You have to pay for the rest — including editing PDFs — after a 7-day free trial. It sure isn’t cheap. But if you are likely to need it a lot, you may be able to persuade your boss to buy it for you. Or if you’re self-employed, it will be a tax write-off.
One of the free features is being able to comment, so let’s look at that. You can also sign a document for free. Anything with a blue star next to it is a paid feature.
In true Google Docs style, you can highlight elements on the page and attach comments to them. These will then be saved, and you can send the edited document to someone else.
If you want to add a printed signature to the document, the app provides you with a screen to scribble a signature with your finger. It will then place the signature on the page for you, and you can move it to the right place.