Apple

Pro tip: Sign PDFs digitally in iOS

Digital forms are a staple in modern day business. Cory Bohon demonstrates how you can easily sign and return these forms to the sender right from your iOS device.

Signing PDFs

Signing PDFs is usually something that requires a desktop computer, but with an app called PDF Forms for the iPad, you can take your digital signing from the desktop to iOS with ease. With this app, you can sign PDFs and export them back to the original sender. Let's take a closer look at this simple process.

What you'll need:

Importing and signing a PDF

To begin editing a PDF to add your signature, you'll first need to import the document into the PDF Forms application. There are a few ways that you can do this (including opening documents in your Dropbox or Google Drive account), but we'll still with the simple email process.

To finish the import:

  1. Open an email that contains a PDF
  2. Tap on the PDF document in the message, and then select PDF Forms as the app to open the document
  3. When the PDF Forms app opens, tap the newly imported document (Figure A)

Figure A

Figure A

The PDF Forms app will list all imported documents. You can sort them in list view or preview view.

Once the document has opened, you can use these steps to sign your document digitally:

  1. Select Signature from the sidebar
  2. Tap in the area where you wish to add your signature, which will open the Signature creation view (Figure B)
    Figure B
  3. Figure B
  4. After adding your signature to the view by drawing it with your finger, tap the Done button, which will save the signature
  5. Tap anywhere on the document to add your signature at the default size, but you can also use the drag handles to resize the signature so that it appropriately fits inside of the signature area for your document (Figure C)
    Figure C
    Figure C
  6. Tap Done when you're finished

Exporting and emailing a signed PDF

To export the PDF back to email, perform these steps when you've finished adding your signature:

  1. Tap the Share button in the top toolbar (to the right of the bookmark button)
  2. Select Send by Email...
  3. Select the type of document export you want, such as the Flattened copy (Figure D), which will open a new email with the document attached.

Figure D

Figure D

A Flattened copy will remove any layers in the document.

There are also other export options that you can use to get your document out of the PDF Forms app and back into the hands of the originator.

Other apps

There are many other apps that support PDF signing in iOS. Here are just a few options from the iTunes App Store:

Do you use an app to digitally sign PDF documents on your iOS device? If so, which app(s) do you use? Do you have any tips or tricks for signing documents on iOS? Let us know in the discussion thread below.

About Cory Bohon

Cory Bohon is an indie developer specializing in iOS and OS X development. He runs a software company called Cocoa App and is also a developer at MartianCraft. He was introduced to technology at an early age and has been writing about his favorite te...

Editor's Picks

Free Newsletters, In your Inbox