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How to Edit PDF on iPhone (Beginner’s Guide)

Editing PDFs is something that most people do on their computers, but your desktop isn’t always handy. Sometimes, all you have around is an iPhone and you’ll need to make quick edits to a PDF that’s important for work or some other stuff.

Given that your iPhone is already capable of some desktop-level stuff, you’d naturally expect it to be able to edit PDFs. Thankfully, there are several apps on the app store that can handle basic PDF edits while you work your way back to a full desktop for a better editing experience.

In this article, I’ll show you how to edit PDF on iPhone. First, you’ll learn what apps you can get from the App Store to streamline your experience. Then, you’ll learn how to use those apps to create masterpieces from any regular PDF on your iPhone.

Can You Edit PDF on iPhone?

It doesn’t matter how powerful iPhones become, it’s still crucial to note that they’re phones that are not very suited for intensive office work. Depending on your use case, we could classify editing PDFs as intensive office work or simply casual work.

However, the line between editing PDFs casually and making extensive edits to large work documents is thin. It’s important to equip mobile phones with basic editing features to put them up to speed with document manipulation on the go if need be.

By default, you can make very basic edits to PDF documents using your iPhone. If you need to make a serious document editing machine out of your iPhone, however, you’ll need to install some external apps that will offer the added functionalities.

There are several PDF editing apps on iPhone that make your device just as good as a computer when it comes to document editing. While the tiny screen will forever remain a setback, you don’t have to wait to get back to your PC or Mac before editing that document.

In the following sections, I’ll show you some of the most popular PDF editing and viewing apps on an iPhone. Then, you’ll learn how to use those apps to make excellent edits to PDFs on your iPhone.

Best PDF Editing Apps for iPhone

Editing PDFs on an iPhone sounded like a pipe dream decades ago, and today, here we are. While your iPhone still doesn’t give you enough screen real estate for an extremely comfortable editing experience, it’s still a relief to learn that you don’t have to get to a desktop to edit a PDF.

Before we continue, you should probably know that these PDF apps are also available for iPad. If you have an iPad Air or an iPad Pro, having any of the apps I’ll mention below is very necessary for your quest to make it a better productivity machine.

Here are some of the best PDF editing apps on iPhone.

  • Adobe Acrobat Reader 

With PDFs being an Adobe invention, you’re probably not surprised to find Adobe Acrobat Reader atop the list of the best PDF apps for iPhone. While it’s more of a reader than an editor, it has enough editing features that make it more than enough, at least for a phone.

With the Acrobat Reader app, you can always fill and sign PDFs without having to open your laptop. You can convert PDFs, edit images and text, or combine multiple features as long as you have a premium subscription. While the subscription is pretty pricey, it’s a decent price to pay for the impressive slew of features.

  • iAnnotate

iAnnotate doesn’t come near the functionality of Adobe Acrobat Reader for iPhones, but it’s a pretty decent app when you need something for signing and annotating PDFs right from your iPhone or iPad. It costs only $9.99 while including almost everything you’ll ever need in a PDF editor app for business.

The app lets you draw over your PDF documents using your Apple Pencil, and it connects to multiple cloud platforms to import your PDFs directly. While the user interface is pretty subjective, iAnnotate seems like a more intuitive app, but with much fewer features, of course.

  • Wondershare PDFelement

PDFelement is one of the best apps for PDF editing on Mac and Windows, and it’s also available for iPhone. While the iOS version is a stripped-down version of the full desktop version, it’s still capable of doing a lot of things you’ll need in the average PDF editor app.

Like with the industry-standard Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can split and combine PDFs, annotate them, sign documents, and modify the file sizes right from the PDFelement app. This app offers all the basic features for free, but you can pay a couple of dollars to access the more advanced editing features.

How to Edit PDF on iPhone

If you’re looking to manipulate PDF files on an iPhone, the first thing you’ll want to do is download one of the best PDF editors for the iPhone. You can use our recommendations or check out one of the hundreds that are still usable.

After doing that, you can download the PDF to your device and set it to open directly from the app you just installed. By doing that, you should have access to a wide variety of features that should make PDF editing a breeze on your device.

If you’re simply looking for an app to read PDFs, you don’t need to install anything. Your iPhone should be able to read PDFs out of the box with no need for foreign software. If the defaults are not enough, you can find which of the listed apps will work best for you.


An iPhone is one of the unlikeliest devices you’ll ever want to use in editing PDFs, but you simply have no choices sometimes. If you have to edit a document from your phone, this article will put you through the steps required to make modifications to PDFs.

To make the process easier, I’ve also recommended a couple of editor apps for iPhone that are miles better than any defaults you’ll ever want to use.

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