Occasionally, I get PDF files attached to email messages that require my signature. At this point, I print the document, sign it, scan it back into a PDF file, and attach it to an email response to the sender. What a pain! Is there some easier way to do this?
Yes, your workflow can work, and it’s the way people have signed documents for years.
The current operating system on your iPhone, starting with iOS 9, makes this really easy. You don’t need to print the document, and you don’t need to scan it back into digital format. Instead, you can take advantage of iOS Mail’s markup capabilities.
When you receive an email message with a read-only document, such as an image or a PDF file, you can use the markup tools to highlight regions, magnify regions, add text, or insert a signature into the document.
To test this “magic,” find an email message that has an attached PDF file (or send yourself one to test with). Once you receive the message, tap on the PDF file to view it. Tap on the “toolbox” icon in the lower-right corner of the screen. This action creates a reply to the original message with the PDF file attached, and allows you to modify the contents.
In Markup mode, click the first icon at the bottom of the screen to highlight content in the PDF file.
Click the second icon to zoom specific regions for emphasis.
Click the third toolbar icon to insert a text box. Inside the new text box, enter any text you’d like to see on the returned document.
Finally (the reason you asked the question), click the fourth icon to insert a signature. If you have previously used this feature, iOS will suggest an existing signature, but you can also add or remove signatures. Once you have added a new signature, if necessary, tap it to insert it into the PDF file.
When you’re done marking up the PDF file, click Done in the upper-right corner of the editor. The iOS Mail app creates a reply message for you, with the marked-up document attached. Click Send as normal, and your recipient will receive your marked up/signed document. What could be easier?