How to mark up PDFs and images in the iOS Mail app

Signing PDFs on the go used to require multiple apps, but now users can easily complete this task using the Mail app. Learn how to mark up, sign, and return PDFs and more via email.

How to easily sign PDF attachments in Apple Mail

Business users have to sign and return PDF documents via email on a regular basis, so it's no wonder there are a ton of apps that help with this task. However, these apps often ruin your carefully crafted workflow.

Fortunately, there is an easier way to do this in iOS 10 and up. With the Markup tool available in Mail, you can mark up PDFs and images sent via email. Let's take a look at how it's done.

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How to mark up PDFs and images in the Mail app

Begin by opening the email that contains the image or PDF that you wish to sign or use Markup with. Tap the attachment to open it in the attachment viewer ( Figure A). Tapping the Markup button will display the markup tools available: Pen, highlighter, pencil, eraser, lasso tool, as well as ink selection tool, and the undo button in case you make a mistake. Note: The tools selection locations maybe slightly different in iOS 10 and iOS 11.

Figure A


The attachment viewer is where you will find the Markup button for marking up an image or a PDF attachment.

After marking up, signing, or highlighting your document, tap the Done button to get the list of four options ( Figure B). The options are: Reply All, which will create a reply email with all senders and attach the marked up document to the email; New Message, which will create a new message with the marked up document attached; Discard Changes, which will return you to the original message and discard any changes you made to the image or PDF; and Cancel, which you can tap if you want to go back to editing mode.

Figure B


Choose Reply All if you want to send the attachment as a reply message quickly and easily.

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Image: Patrick Holland/CNET

By 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...