How to edit a PDF on iPhone, iPad & Mac

One of the most popular format options for digital documents is the Portable Document Format, commonly known as PDF. This format allows users to reliably share and distribute documents, regardless of device type or platform. In addition, this format supports the embedding of multimedia content as well as essential security features for confidential files.

As PDFs have become a common option for document sharing, PDF editing tools have become increasingly important in all fields of work and study. Here are the top three methods to edit PDF on iPad, iPhone and Mac systems.

Method 1: Use an online tool like FormatPDF

For those who don’t like the hassle of downloading PDF editing apps on their iPhone, iPad, or Mac, online tools like are a great option. More often than not, these services also offer additional features such as PDF converters and PDF file compressors.

Here’s a step-by-step look at how to edit a PDF on a Mac, iPhone, or iPad using an online PDF editor like this.

Step 1: Open the website in your iPhone, iPad or Mac internet browser;

Step 2: Click the “+ Select PDF File” button to upload the PDF you want to edit. Alternatively, you can also drag and drop your PDF file into the selection box;

Step 3: Once the PDF file has been uploaded to the site, it will open in the PDF editing application;

Step 4: In the PDF editing application, you can edit the PDF using the tools provided in the ribbon above the preview;

Drawing tool: Use the drawing tool to draw freehand on PDF pages. You can adjust the size and color of the pen according to your needs. It also gives you a straight line tool.

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Shape Tool: The shape tool allows you to add shapes to PDF pages. You can choose the fill color and stroke color, as well as adjust the size of the shape.

Icon Tool: You can add icons using the icon tool, which also allows you to use custom icons of your choice.

Text tool: The text tool allows you to add content to the PDF file, which is great for filling out forms and editing text.

Additional tools: The editor also includes Undo, Redo, Reset, Delete, Delete All and Image Mask tools for easy PDF editing.

Step 5: Once you are satisfied with the editing, you can click the “Download” button in the lower right corner of the PDF editor to download the edited file to your iPhone, iPad or Mac system. You can also choose to manually download the file by clicking the “Download File” button on the download page.

Method 2: Use Apple’s bookmark feature

Professional advice: PDF files saved in Apple Books can be accessed on all devices connected to your Apple account when you have iCloud Drive turned on for Books. This approach makes it easy to access and share your PDF files from any device, anywhere.

You can copy your PDF files from your emails and other downloads to your Apple Books app on your iPhone and iPad devices. Simply share the file from source to your Apple Books to make it available on your device. To save PDF files from your Mac system, use the Finder in the Apple Books app. You can also drag and drop the file from the desktop to the library in the Books app.

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Here’s how you can edit PDF on iPhone for free:

  1. Open the Files app on your iPhone and select the PDF file you want to edit;
  2. To view the thumbnail page, swipe across the screen from the left edge to the right;
  3. Press and hold the icon of the page you want to select for editing;
  4. Use the drop-down menu to use Rotate Left, Rotate Right, Insert Blank Page, Insert from File, or Scan Pages;
  5. Use the Markup menu and tap the plus button to add text and signatures to your PDF file;

The same approach can be used to edit PDFs on iPads and is much easier and faster when using your Apple Pen. The markup feature also works with the Mail, Messages, and Photos apps on your Apple devices.

Native PDF Tools on iOS | Image:

Method 3: Use your MacBook’s native tools

If you have stored your PDF files in Apple Books from your Mac system, it is quite possible to use the above method to edit them on your iPad or iPhone. But, if you want to edit PDFs on your Mac system, you can edit them with QuickLook or the Preview app.

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Here’s how to edit PDF on Mac for free using QuickLook:

  1. Click on the PDF file you want to edit and press the space bar. This will open a preview window;
  2. Click the pencil icon at the top right of the window;
  3. You will be presented with a variety of editing tools that you can use to edit your PDF file;
  4. Click Done when you’re done editing to save your changes;

You can also use the Preview app to edit your PDF files. Here’s how:

  1. Clicking on the PDF file should open it in the Preview app. If not, right-click the file and choose Open with, then click Preview;
  2. Then click the pencil icon that looks like a pencil in a circle to open the markup tools;
  3. Use the necessary tools to make the necessary edits to your file and save the changes;
macOS Preview app | Brand and PDF editor

No matter what Apple device you use, a PDF editor is a useful tool to have at work or school. One of the easiest ways to edit PDFs on your devices can be using Apple’s native tools. However, they may not give you the flexibility you need.

Your choice of PDF editor should be based on your requirements. If you need something simple, Apple’s native tools should suffice. But if you want to do more with your PDF files, consider downloading an app if you have the storage, or better yet, use a reliable online editor that saves space and gets the job done.


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