If you frequently access PDFs for business, education, or personal use, then you know it can be difficult to fill out these forms when you’re on the go.
With technology allowing documents to be accessible with the touch of a button, you can now access, edit, and fill out a PDF on your iPhone.
These are the best free and paid apps you can use along with step-by-step tutorials for each one.
Why Do You Need an App To Fill Out a PDF?
While computers are nice for their large screens and easy-to-read print, being able to take your phone with you everywhere is a luxury that has its own benefits. Having an app that stores your PDFs and allows them to be easily accessible means business has never been easier. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of using an app to fill out your PDFs on your phone:
- Having your documents on your phone is convenient: you can take them with you wherever you go so you don’t miss a deadline!
- You can download your documents from cloud storage: if your team uses a service such as Google Drive, Dropbox, or other types of cloud storage, then you can download your PDFs from these services straight to your app. Then, you can fill out your form and email it out in just a few clicks!
- Apps are typically inexpensive: most apps are free to download! If they aren’t free, they’re usually less than $10. The free versions often come with an optional paid version that has more features available.
- Small screens: depending on your vision, trying to edit on the smaller screen of an iPhone may be a little difficult.
Apps to Fill Out PDFs from Your iPhone:
If you have a Gmail account (business or personal), then you can use Google Drive to fill out a PDF form from your iPhone. You can create an account for free here. Follow the steps below to edit and save your form. Please note that these instructions only apply if your PDF is editable. If not, then review the options mentioned below.
- Email the PDF form you want to fill out to yourself
- Save it to your Google Drive
- Open the Google Drive app on your phone
- Tap the PDF you want to fill out
- Tap the “FILL OUT FORM” button at the bottom (if this does not appear, your PDF is likely not editable)
- Fill out your form
- Save your form by clicking save in the top right corner
Though PDF Escape is not available in app form, this is another free way you can fill out your PDFs on your iPhone. This app can be used for the PDFs that are not editable! PDF Escape is a website that you can access for free through the web browser on your phone. It is available is Chrome, Safari, and multiple other web browsers you might choose from. It is easier to access from a laptop or desktop, but you can still do this from your phone!
How to fill out a PDF with PDF Escape:
- Open the web browser in your phone (Chrome, Safari, etc.)
- Go to pdfescape.com
- Upload your PDF by clicking the “choose file” button
- In the top left column, choose the “insert” tab. This should give you options to add to the document. Choose “text” to insert a text box the PDF.
- Fill out your form and repeat in every area that needs information
- In the left column, click the “save” button to download your edited PDF.
Adobe Fill & Sign
Adobe Fill & Sign is a free app that allows you to access, edit, and send PDFs with a smooth and easy to use software. You can also save time with Acrobat automatic filler tools. You can download the Adobe Fill & Sign app from the app store to create a simple process of PDF access and editing.
How it works:
- Fill: scan your paper forms with your camera or upload a file from your email. You can tap to enter text or checkmarks in the designated form fields.
- Sign: create your signature and initials with your finger or stylus on the screen, then you can re-use that signature to sign throughout all of your forms.
- Send: easily send documents via email to reduce printing required.
How to fill out your form in the app:
- Open your Fill & Sign app
- Open the desired PDF
- Complete your form: tap to add text and checkmarks in the desired fields
- Click “sign” to draw your signature and sign the document
- Click “next” to send the form via email
PDF Expert is a free app that you can download from the app store. This app allows you to open PDFs from email or your web browser to edit. You can also connect PDF Expert to storage providing apps such ad Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.
- Highlight and annotate
- Save to cloud storage services
- Create comments
- Use sticky notes, drawing tools, and stickers
- Create bookmarks
- Fill out forms
- Upgrade to the pro plan to edit the original PDF text, add images, sign documents, and more.
How to fill out a PDF form on your iPhone:
- Open the PDF Expert app
- Open the PDF form you want to fill out
- Tap to enter text or a checkmark into text boxes
- Choose the “Save” option at the top right corner
How to fill out a non-interactive PDF form:
Use these instructions if there are no fields you can actively type in:
- Open the form
- Click the “Fill & Sign” option from the top toolbar
- Select “Text” and tap where you want to add a text box
- Repeat where necessary to fill out form
- To use a checkmark, choose the “Checkmark” or “Cross” options from the top toolbar
- Tap to insert where needed
- Fill out a date by selecting “Date” from the top toolbar and tap to insert
How to clear a form:
- Open the form in PDF Expert
- Tap the three-dot icon in the top right of the screen
- Select clear form
- Tap “yes” in the pop-up window to confirm it
PDFelement is another free option to fill, sign, and send your PDF forms from your iPhone. Similar to the other apps, PDFelement allows you to simply upload your document, tap where you need a text field to be placed, and even inter your handwritten signature.
This app allows you to read, edit, annotate, print, and convert PDF files to Microsoft Office files (Word, PowerPoint, and Excel). It even allows you to personalize your document with highlighting, stamps, and handwriting.
- PDF editor
- Draw with Apple Pencil on iPad
- Multitasking (view two PDF’s side by side)
- PDF merging
- Annotation and editing
- Compress PDF files
- Fill and sign forms
- Import files from cloud storage services (Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.)
- Use scanned PDF files
- Share through email
- Protect PDFs with passwords
How to edit PDF text:
- Open PDF in PDFelement app
- Choose “open files” button and upload your PDF
- Click the “edit” button in the top menu to edit the original PDF text (if it is editable)
- If not editable, select “edit” then “add text” to fill out your form
- Choose “save” from top menu once finished with form
PDF Pen 6
PDF Pen 6 is another app to download for editing PDFs. While the other apps are free to download with in-app purchases available, this app costs $6.99 to download from the Apple app store.
- Annotation and editing
- Fill and sign forms, contracts, and other PDFs
- Create and organize documents
- Sync with cloud storage applications such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and Microsoft OneNote
- Protect documents with passwords and set the level of encryption
- Save frequently used signatures, texts, images, and more
- Compatible with Apple Pencil for iPad
How to edit PDF with PDF Pen 6:
- Open the PDF Pen 6 app
- Go through your phone storage (or cloud service) in the left column and select the desired PDF
- Select the “T” or text tool in the top right corner. Tap the screen to add a text box for you to fill out your form. Repeat where necessary.
- To share, tap the tool icon in the top right corner. This will allow you to choose which format you would like to send it in (Email, Dropbox, etc.)
What is the Best App for You To Fill Out a PDF On An iPhone?
There are many different apps that you can use to fill out a PDF on your iPhone.
Which one is the best app for you?
Most of the options that were mentioned are free to download.
The free options offer basic features, while the paid plans within the app offer more advanced features.
Most apps are relatively similar, so your preferences will likely be based on design and price.
So, to recap:
Free iPhone apps to fill out a PDF:
- Google Drive.
- PDF Escape.
- Adobe Fill & Sign.
- PDF Expert.
Paid iPhone apps to fill out a PDF:
- Adobe Fill & Sign.
- PDF Expert.
- PDF Pen 6.