How to Edit a PDF on iPhone: A Complete Guide


PDFs (Portable Document Format) are the preferred choice for sharing documents across multiple devices and platforms due to their numerous advantages. However, editing them can often prove to be a difficult task, particularly on an iOS device such as an iPhone. But with the right set of tools and a bit of know-how, editing PDFs on your iPhone becomes a straightforward process. This article will guide you through the best techniques and apps for editing PDFs on your iPhone. Let’s start with how to edit a pdf on iPhone.

Method 1: Using the Preview App

The built-in Preview app on your iPhone provides basic PDF editing features. Follow these steps to utilize it:

Step 1: Launch the Preview app on your iPhone.

Step 2: Tap on the document you wish to edit.

Step 3: Click on the tool icon from the top toolbar to reveal a dropdown menu with various options like text highlighting, note addition, and drawing. Choose the appropriate option based on your editing needs.

Step 4: Implement the desired modifications using the chosen tool. For instance, if you’ve selected the highlighting tool, tap and hold on to the text you wish to highlight. Subsequently, tap on the highlight colour button to apply the highlighting effect.

Step 5: To preserve your changes, tap on the ‘Done’ button, located at the top left corner of the screen.

Pros: The Preview app comes pre-installed on your iPhone, eliminating the need for additional downloads. Furthermore, the app boasts a user-friendly interface that’s easy to navigate.

Cons: The Preview app falls short in terms of features when compared to specialized PDF editor apps. It lacks the ability to rotate or add new pages, for example.

Method 2: Using Adobe Acrobat DC

how to edit a pdf on iphone

The second method to learn how to edit a pdf on iPhone is by using Adobe Acrobat DC. Adobe Acrobat DC is a robust PDF editor that provides advanced features for editing PDFs. Although subscription-based, it delivers impressive functionality and compatibility with other Adobe products. Here’s how to get started:

Step 1: Download and install Adobe Acrobat DC from the App Store.

Step 2: Open the app and sign in using your Adobe ID.

Step 3: Import the PDF file you wish to edit by tapping the “+” icon at the bottom centre of the screen.

Step 4: Tap the tool icon from the top toolbar to open a menu with various options like the pen tool, highlighter, and eraser. Select the one that suits your editing needs.

Step 5: Make the necessary changes using your chosen tool. For instance, if you select the pen tool, you can draw directly on the PDF to add text or shapes.

Step 6: To preserve your changes, tap the “Save” button located at the top right corner of the screen.

Pros: Adobe Acrobat DC provides advanced features such as page rotation, reordering, and merging. It also works in coordination with other Adobe programs like Photoshop and Illustrator.

Downsides: Subscription fees might be a requirement, and some users may find the extensive feature set of the interface overwhelming.

Other Options

Beyond the previously mentioned methods, several third-party PDF editor apps can be found on the App Store, including:

PDF Pen – This app offers a variety of tools for annotating and signing PDFs, with support for multiple fonts and colours.

PDF Expert – Known for its clean interface, PDF Expert supports features such as filling out forms, creating bookmarks, and exporting PDFs to other formats.

GoodReader – This app enables users to view, annotate, and share PDFs, while also supporting Dropbox and Google Drive integration.

Frequently Asked Questions

1) Can I edit a PDF on my iPhone without downloading any additional apps?

A: Absolutely, you can utilize the built-in Preview app to edit PDFs on your iPhone.

2) What are some common issues when editing PDFs on an iPhone?

A: Typical issues include poor formatting, missing images, and challenges in resizing pages. These issues often occur due to the limitations of the iPhone’s screen size and processing power.

3) Is it safe to edit PDFs on my iPhone?

A: Provided that you use trusted sources and avoid opening suspicious files, editing PDFs on your iPhone is generally safe. Exercise caution when clicking on links or downloading attachments to mitigate potential security risks.

4) Can I edit PDFs on my iPhone offline?

A: No, you need an internet connection to edit PDFs on your iPhone. Most PDF editor apps require access to online servers to process and store your edits. However, some apps may allow you to work offline temporarily, but you’ll need to connect to the internet eventually to sync your changes.

5) Will editing PDFs on my iPhone affect the original document?

A: No, editing PDFs on your iPhone will not affect the original document. Any changes you make will be stored separately within the app, and you can revert back to the original version whenever you want. However, if you accidentally delete or overwrite the original document, you may lose all previous versions. Therefore, it’s essential to keep both the original and edited copies separate.

6) Can I collaborate with others when editing PDFs on my iPhone?

A: Yes, most PDF editor apps offer collaboration features that allow you to invite others to view and edit the same document simultaneously. This can be useful when working on projects with colleagues or clients who need to provide feedback. Just make sure to communicate clearly regarding the editing process and establish protocols for resolving conflicts.


Editing PDFs on your iPhone can be a breeze. With the appropriate tools and methods, you can effortlessly tweak your PDF documents. Whether you’re a fan of the straightforward Preview app or you lean towards the high-end features of Adobe Acrobat DC, there is a fitting option for all. Always exercise vigilance while downloading and installing apps to safeguard your device and data. Enjoy your editing journey!

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