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How to Edit PDF Files on iPhone for Free

Looking for a simple way to edit PDF files on your iPhone? With today's technology, you can do it without switching devices or installing expensive software.

Looking for a simple way to edit PDF files on your iPhone? With today's technology, you can do it without switching devices or installing expensive software.

Easily edit, sign, and convert PDFs directly from your iPhone with the right apps; no computer is needed. Whether you need to fill out a form, revise a document, or add your signature, having the right iPhone PDF editing solutions is crucial. Don't worry about being without access to important PDF tasks. With the tips and apps below, you can view, edit, and save changes to PDFs from your iPhone's powerful screen.

In this article, we'll cover the three best free methods to edit a PDF file on an iPhone, so you can stop stressing and get back to working productively from anywhere.

What is a PDF?

A PDF (Portable Document Format) file is a special document that can be opened on any device, like a computer, phone or tablet. PDFs share documents that should look the same to anyone who opens them. Things like forms, contracts, brochures and manuals are often created as PDF files.

Sometimes, you need to make changes to a PDF. Normally, you'd need a computer to edit a PDF using a program like Adobe Acrobat. But editing PDFs on an iPhone can be very useful for a few reasons:

  • Convenience: You might be somewhere without your computer but still need to fill out and sign a form on your iPhone. Editing the PDF from your phone means you can immediately access a computer.
  • Mobility: If you frequently need to edit PDFs while traveling or outside of the office, having iPhone PDF editing tools helps you stay productive anywhere.
  • Simplicity: For minor edits like filling out forms or adding digital signatures, specialized iPhone apps can simplify and quick PDF editing with tools designed for a phone screen.

Editing PDFs on an iPhone gives you the freedom and convenience to view, revise and save PDF documents anytime, anywhere, without the need to find or bring your computer. It lets you complete important PDF-based tasks from your phone whenever needed.

Editing PDF Files on an iPhone

Now that you know why editing PDFs on an iPhone can be useful, here are some free options for accomplishing the task. These solutions are easy to use and don't require extensive technical knowledge or the purchase of expensive software.

1. Use a PDF Editor App

Plenty of free applications let you edit PDF documents on an iPhone. These apps offer the full range of PDF editing tools you'd expect from a desktop program, including text and image manipulation. Some apps also let you search for specific text within the document, merge multiple documents into one file, and fill out forms without accessing a computer.

The top free PDF editor apps for iPhone include:

  • Truly PDF
  • PDF Editor
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • Foxit PDF

These apps make it easy to create, edit and convert PDF files from your iPhone. You can also use them to open password-protected documents and add annotations without leaving the app.

Edit PDF Files Using a Dedicated App: Step-by-Step

We'll use the PDF Editor app to illustrate how to edit a PDF file on an iPhone using a dedicated application from the App Store. The steps for any other apps listed above are in their help documentation.

  1. Download and install the chosen PDF editing app from the App Store. In our case, we'll be using PDF Editor.

    Appstore with PDF Editor in the search bar

  2. Open the application by tapping on it.

    Phone in home screen the PDF Editor highlighted

  3. First, open the app and import the PDF file you wish to edit. Typically, this can be done using the app's file manager or accessing files stored on your device or cloud storage.
  4. Once the PDF file is loaded, you can begin editing. Most PDF editing apps offer tools like text editing, highlighting, underlining, adding comments or annotations, drawing shapes, and more. Tap on the respective tools to make the desired changes.
  5. Select the text box to edit text and make changes directly within the app. You may have options to change font size, color, or style.

    A PDF file with a text box highlighted

  6. Look for options in the app's editing toolbar to add images or signatures. These tools typically allow you to import images from your photo library or capture them using the device's camera.
  7. After you have made the necessary edits, save the modified PDF file. The app usually prompts you to save the changes as a new file or overwrite the original document.

Once your PDF file is saved, you can effortlessly share it with others via email and messaging apps or conveniently save it to your preferred cloud storage platform. This seamless process ensures that you have full control over your edited PDF and can easily access it whenever and wherever you need it.

2. Convert PDF to Word for Editing

Another way to edit a PDF file on your iPhone is to convert it to a Word document. This is ideal if you need to make significant edits, such as adding or replacing entire text sections. By changing the file type from PDF to Word, you can use regular word processing apps to make the required changes.

Various apps offer file conversion services; some even promise to keep the formatting intact while converting from PDF to Word:

These apps have guides and tips for converting PDFs to Word documents. Once you have converted the document to a Word file, you can open it in any word processing app and make the necessary changes. Of course, remember to save the edited document as a PDF before sharing or sending it out!

Convert PDF to Word for Editing: Step-by-Step

We'll use the free iLovePDF app to demonstrate how to convert PDF files into Word documents on an iPhone.

  1. Head to the App Store and search for "iLovePDF." Once you find the app, click the install button to download it on your iPhone. After a successful installation, launch the app to begin the conversion process.
  2. Please select a file from your local storage or import it directly from Google Drive or Dropbox. The app seamlessly integrates with these cloud storage platforms, making it convenient to access your PDFs anywhere.
  3. Tap on the three-dot button located in the app's interface. This will open a menu with various options. From the menu, navigate to the "Tools" section, where you will find the "PDF to Word" tool.

    PDF to Word conversion vector art (Souce: ILovePDF)

  4. Choose the "PDF to Word" tool and let the iLovePDF Mobile App convert your PDF to an editable Word document. The conversion speed depends on your PDF's size and complexity, but rest assured, the app is designed to be efficient.
  5. Once the conversion is complete, the app will notify you, and you'll find your newly converted Word document ready for use. Tap on "Go to Files" to access the converted file.

You can now open, edit, and share your Word document like any other file on your phone. When you're done, save the file as a PDF again to ensure your formatting and other details remain intact.

3. Use the Files App

All iPhones have a native Files app with basic functions to view and share PDF files. The Files app is a great option if you only need simple edits like highlighting text or signing documents without changing their formatting. It has limited editing capabilities but is free and easy to use.

The Files app lets you add annotations using tools like a digital pen, pencil, and highlighter. It's perfect for quickly adding comments or signing a document without converting it to a Word file or downloading a complete app.

  1. To begin, open the Files app on your phone and select the folder where your PDF is saved. Locate the file you wish to edit and tap it to open.
  2. Tap on the "Markup" icon in the top right of the screen, which resembles a pen. This will bring up a toolbar where you can select the pen you want to use and change its color.
  3. Make any annotations or highlights you want. When you're done, save your changes using the "Done" button at the top right of the screen.
  4. Swipe right from the left edge of the screen to reveal a sidebar with thumbnail previews of the pages. Tap the three-dot icon on the currently viewed page's thumbnail for more editing tools.
  5. The menu overlay provides options to rotate pages, insert new pages, scan pages, and delete pages. Be cautious when deleting pages, as recovery is impossible once they are gone. After editing, close the document to save your changes automatically.

That's it! The Files app makes it easy to add annotations and make minor changes to PDFs quickly. It's a useful tool if you don't need complicated edits or want to view the PDF without making any changes.


The ability to edit PDF files directly from your iPhone has revolutionized productivity and convenience. With a range of free apps available, you can now handle PDF editing tasks on the go without the need for a computer or expensive software.

Whether you need to fill out forms, add signatures, or make minor or significant document changes, the power is now in your hands. PDF editor apps, file conversion tools, and the native Files app provide efficient solutions for various editing needs.

Next time you encounter a PDF document that needs editing, trust your iPhone and the resources available to finish the job quickly and efficiently. Happy PDF editing!

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Rick Akura

Sara Alsaqaf

Marketer, SEO, Tech writer, and content writer with over 7 years experience in the Tech industry. Used to love coffee to the moon and back; now drinks only water.

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