How to sign a document on your iPhone or iPad

Learn how to use the iOS and iPadOS Markup feature to sign a PDF or an image on your Apple mobile devices.

signature documents

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You've received or need to send a PDF or other document through email that must be signed and sent to the other party. Sure, you can do this on your computer with Adobe Reader, but if your PC isn't handy and you're working with the email on your iPhone or iPad, you can sign the document directly from your mobile device. That handy capability is possible due to the Markup feature in iOS and iPadOS.

Introduced with iOS 10 in 2016, the Markup feature has evolved over the years. With iOS 13 and iPadOS 13, it sports a new interface, offers a variety of palette tools, and supports Messages and Photos as well as Mail. You can use the different Markup tools on PDFs and image files. For this article, I'll look specifically at Markup's signature tool.

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How to add your signature to an attachment before emailing it on your iPhone or iPad

Follow these steps when you want to email someone a PDF from your iPhone or iPad but need to sign it before sending it.

1. Make sure the PDF is stored in a convenient location, such as OneDrive or other online service accessible from your iPhone or iPad.
2. Attach the file to your email.
3. Tap the attachment, and select Markup from the toolbar (Figure A).

Figure A

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4. Swipe down to the area where you need to sign. 
5. On the Markup toolbar at the bottom, tap the Plus icon, and select Signature (Figure B).

Figure B

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6. If you're doing this for the first time, write your signature via your finger tip or a stylus. 
7. Tap Clear if you wish to start over.
8. When you're satisfied with your signature, tap Done (Figure C).

Figure C

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9. Move the text box for your signature to the right spot. You can also resize the box by dragging any of the corners.
10. When the signature is sized and positioned correctly, tap Done at the upper left corner (Figure D).
11. Finish and send your email.

Figure D

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How to add your signature to an attachment you have received and must return

If you receive an attachment that you need to sign and send back to the sender, the process is similar. 

1. Tap the PDF or image to open it, and swipe down to the area that requires your signature.
3. Tap the Markup icon in the upper right (the one that looks like a pen tip).
4. Tap the Plus button on the Markup toolbar, and select Signature. Your signature will automatically appear if you already created it via Markup (Figure E).

Figure E

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5. Tap your signature, and position and resize it accordingly.
6. When finished, tap Done.
7. Tap New Message or Reply All, and send the signed document back to the sender (Figure F).

Figure F

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