How to sign PDF documents on iPhone & iPad

With Markup, you can digitally sign PDF documents on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

You can add your signature to a PDF file or manually sign a document pretty much anywhere Markup tools are available, including Apple’s first-party apps such as Mail, Photos, Safari, Notes, Files and others. Apple’s made available similar Markup features in macOS as well so you can feel free to sign a PDF document in Preview using your Mac’s trackpad.

Signing documents digitally is a great productivity feature.

Say you’re out and about with your iPhone or iPad and someone happens to email you a contract, a lease agreement, an Internet service form or another important document that needs signing quickly. With Markup, you don’t need to print out the document, sign it the old-fashioned way with a pencil, then scan the printout to send it back as an attachment.

Before we dive into the tutorial, know that Markup features require iOS 9.0 or later.

How to sign PDF documents on iPhone and iPad

You can add a previously saved signature or manually sign a document.

1) Open a PDF document you’d like to sign digitally in an app that supports Markup:

  • Files: Open a PDF you’d like to sign, then tap Markup.
  • Messages: Attach a photo/PDF, tap it in the bubble and choose Markup.
  • Safari: Open a webpage, choose Create PDF from the Share menu and hit Markup.
  • Mail: Open a message, tap an attachment and choose Markup.
  • Photos: Tap a photo, choose Edit, tap “…” and select Markup from the popup menu.
  • Notes: Tap a document in your note, then choose Markup from the Share menu.
  • iBooks: Open a PDF and tap Markup at the top.
  • Other apps: Create a PDF to markup anything that can be printed.

2) Tap “+” at the bottom of the Markup interface.

3) Tap the Signature icon from a popup menu.

sign pdf documents on iphone

4) Sign your name with your finger, Apple Pencil or another stylus.

TIP: If you already have previously saved signatures, choose one from the menu.

sign pdf documents with markup

Your previously saved signatures are readily accessible from Markup

5) Feel free to drag your inserted signature to move it around freely or resize your digital signature by using the blue buttons to grow or shrink the surrounding box.

TIP: To change the ink color, tap the digital signature you just applied to a PDF document and select any of the color circles provided at the bottom of the Markup interface.

6) Tap Done to save the changes.

TIP: Invoke Markup faster on iPad by placing your Apple Pencil on what you’d like to annotate.

Saving and managing your signatures

You can add one or more signatures to re-use over and over again.

1) Open a document from the Files app.

2) Tap the Markup icon at the top.

3) Tap “+” at the bottom of the Markup interface.

4) Choose Add or Remove Signature from the popup menu.

add or remove signatures

4) You can now add as many new signatures as you like or delete existing ones.

  • Remove a signature: Tap “-” next to a previously saved signature, then choose Delete.
  • Add a signature: Tap “+”, sign your name on the line and hit Done.

Unsatisfied with the way your digital signature has turned out? Hit Clear to start over! When you’re finished, tap Done to save your newly created signature and insert it into your document.

You can have as many saved signatures as you’d like.


As I mentioned earlier, the signature feature is available anywhere Markup is accessible.

For instance, you can easily add your signature to any image in the Photos app. Or, you could sign a PDF kept in a third-party cloud storage service, right from the Files app. Perhaps you’d like to quickly send a signed PDF attachment to someone without leaving Mail?

With Markup, you can do all that and then some more!

TIP: How to create a handwritten email signature on iPhone

On iPad Pros and 2018 or newer iPad models, use Apple Pencil to scrawl your signature.

sign pdf documents on iphone

Turn your device upside down to sign your name in landscape mode

Your saved signatures are kept in sync across your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Mac devices as long as they’re signed in to the same iCloud account. Plus, any signatures already created in Preview for Mac will automatically appear in iOS’s signature inserter, and vice versa.

TUTORIAL: How to annotate photos on iPhone and iPad

If you use Notes as your document scanner, you can sign any scanned document and send it quickly via mail, iMessage or another service without ever leaving the Notes app.

TIP: Annotating Messages attachments

Similarly, you can use the Markup tools to sign an agreement that was attached to an email message and send it back on its way without switching apps—Mail intuitively inserts your newly signed attachment into a reply to the original email it came in.

And with Instant Markup, you can annotate screenshots right after taking them.

Need help? Ask iDB!

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