Not all that long ago, the only way to sign a PDF on iPhone or iPad was to open it in a third-party PDF app. With the arrival of iOS 9, though, you can put your John Hancock directly on a PDF attached to any Mail message.
Even better, you trace arrows and circles on the PDF, add notes, paste in a magnifying glass, and more.
How to sign a PDF on iPhone or iPad: getting started
First, open a PDF in a Mail message, then tap the little toolkit button in the bottom-right corner of the screen. Don’t see the toolkit button? Tap the PDF to make it appear.
At the bottom of the display, you should now see four new “markup” buttons: one for tracing lines, another that’ll add a magnifying glass to the PDF, a third for adding text, and a fourth for pasting in your signature.
Trace your signature
Let’s try the signature button: tap it, and (assuming you’ve never used this feature before) you’ll be prompted to trace a new signature with your fingertip.
Once you tap “Done,” the signature will appear on the PDF in a box with a “handle” on each corner. Tap, hold, and drag the signature to move it into place, or tap and drag a handle to re-size the signature.
When you’ve got the signature just the way you want it, tap anywhere on the PDF to make the blue editing box disappear. You can always tap the signature again to tweak it, make a copy, or delete it.
Draw arrows or lines
Now, tap the first markup button to draw some lines. You’ll get a choice of eight colors and three brush sizes, and you’ll also get the option to smooth out any uneven brush strokes.
Want to make important words or details in the PDF pop off the screen? Tap the magnifying glass button, then drag the circle over the spot you want to call attention to.
Add some text
Last but not least, tap the text button to add text to the PDF. When you tap the button, the word “Text” will appear on the screen (look carefully; it’s easy to miss).
Tap the word, then tap Edit to add your own text. You can also change the color and tweak the font of the text using the toolbar along the bottom of the screen.