PDF is one of the most useful file formats, and to make the most of it, we all need a good PDF editor on our iPhone or iPad. The name itself – portable document format – indicates its greatest advantage – no matter what device or operating system you use, files will look the same. It’s the go-to option for maintaining original fonts, layout, pictures, etc., within a document.
Although PDFs are inherently not editable, you can manipulate them in several ways, for instance, by highlighting text, adding comments, placing your signature, etc. There are also more advanced possibilities, such as recording pages or rearranging certain elements.
I tested out over ten popular apps to pick out the ones that are truly worth your while. So, save yourself some time and optimize your productivity with the best PDF editor apps for iPhone and iPad.
Criteria for selecting the best PDF editor apps for iOS
You can only truly know the value that an app offers once you use it repeatedly and try out its different functions. This can take plenty of time and effort, so we’ve done the legwork for you and picked out three apps that are ideal for all your PDF needs. Here’s what we based our decisions on:
- User Interface and Speed
- Editing Tools
- File Management
Top 4 PDF editors for iPhone and iPad
1. PDF Expert
PDF Expert is the go-to app for all your annotation needs, whether it’s on Mac or your mobile device. It does an excellent job of displaying files, loading pages quickly, and making it a breeze to move back and forth between pages, even within heavier documents.
You can choose between continuous scroll mode (where you continue to flick up or down to page through the entire document), single page view (where you swipe left or right to move between pages), and a view with two pages side-by-side on the screen. This two-page mode is especially useful when you want to skim through a document quickly.
Here are some of the key features:
You can highlight, underline, or add text in any form or color you want in the annotation. The app also gives you an option to add cute stickers from a range of categories such as cats, education, calendar, etc. Further, you can add links, images, shapes, and much more. One handy option is the ability to add your go-to editing tools to Favorites for easier access.
PDF Export boasts of the best-in-the-class organization among the competition. Whether it’s adding favorite files to the sidebar, tagging and labeling your files, or viewing files as a list or as thumbnails, sorting them by date/size/name, and quickly viewing recently accessed documents, the app has it all. Further, you can connect to cloud storage services like Dropbox, iCloud Drive, Box, OneDrive, Google Drive, and more for convenience. You can also turn on 2-way sync with these storage services to work seamlessly across all devices.
It’s a breeze to link any part of the text to a different page or even a website. Moreover, you can also add links to images, which is excellent for making your content visual. Furthermore, with the Redact feature, you can permanently erase or hide sensitive information in your PDFs, which is commendable from a security standpoint. Even when you convert files and documents to PDF, it happens locally on your device to prevent any data from being sent to a server.
All in all, it allows you to create PDF documents with all their features, such as hyperlinks. The app has a hands-on and straightforward interface and works intuitively. It also supports night mode so that the screen is easy on the eyes when you’re working into the night.
It’s an even better experience on the iPad because revising a PDF becomes as simple as using a word processor, keeping your original content intact. Moreover, it also supports Apple Pencil making the process more intuitive.
PDF Expert offers a convenient mobile office for professionals on the go with support for reading files from popular cloud storage services and productivity suites.
Price: Free (Subscription starts at $9.99)
2. PDFelement Pro
Here is an all-in-one PDF app that gives you complete control over editing your files your way. It boosts your productivity with all the tools you need to read, edit, and annotate PDF files on the go. The clean and minimalist look of the app is perfect for helping you get things done with ease.
Let’s have a look at some crucial aspects:
Just like PDF Expert, this app, too, is quite snappy and smooth to navigate. Although there are some minor time-consuming operations here and there depending upon the kind of work you’re conducting on the app, it’s nothing that will impede your work.
It’s straightforward to markup and annotate your document by adding a text box, text call-out, stamps, and drawings. Of course, you can also highlight, underline, or strikethrough as required. You can add text and change the style, size, and colors once you start writing.
Further, it’s possible to add images to your document. You get complete editing freedom by selecting single lines or paragraphs to move, cut, copy, paste, or delete. You can sign your forms using a handwritten signature when needed. Another exciting feature is adding stamps like Draft, Final, Completed, Private and Confidential, etc.
PDFelement makes it easy to manage your PDFs effortlessly and sort things into custom folders. You can manipulate individual files by extracting, reordering, rotating, or deleting PDF pages for a better reading experience.
Further, you can bookmark files for intuitive navigation through PDF files. Also, import files from cloud services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive via WiFi wireless transfer. However, please note that this app only supports editing native PDF files and not scanned ones. Also, you need to sign up for an account to enjoy the full functionality.
For further insights, check out our in-depth review of PDF-element Pro.
Price: Free ($4.99 for Monthly Subscription)
pdfFiller is a cloud-based, all-in-one software suite (interlink pdfFiller). It is designed with an extensive array of features capable of handling almost all PDF-related needs.
You can create a new PDF from scratch or edit an existing one with limitless options. And while the mobile app has a super-friendly interface, it only offers limited features via the app; the rest you’ll have to manage via the web dashboard.
No other app offers such an extensive annotation option. You can add text boxes, shapes (cross, circle, arrow), images, videos, sticky notes, highlight, blackout, signature, and more.
And the best part is that you don’t have to forage for these tools, as all are neatly laid out on the top bar.
Forms and signatures
In its multitude of services, pdfFiller also doubles as a document signer and forms hosting platform. But what makes it stand out is the attention to detail.
For instance, when inviting others for signing, you can decide the signature hierarchy, mark fields as required, request supporting documents, and even use the signer’s Facebook or LinkedIn profile to authenticate their identity.
As for hosting fillable forms, you won’t need any special coding knowledge. Just create the PDF and send it via email or create a QR code. And later, you can even use a bulk extract tool to collect all the data into an Excel sheet or CRM software.
Collaboration and integration
Inviting someone to edit or sign a PDF is as simple as sending them an email invite or creating QR codes. Moreover, pdfFiller seamlessly syncs with CRM software like Salesforce and Xero.
You can also access and sign documents within Google Docs, Gmail, Google Sheets, Office 365, and cloud services like Google Drive, DropBox, Box.net, etc.
Overall, pdfFiller is a remarkable PDF editing software, and even though some features are missing from the iOS app, it is worth investing in.
Price: Free (Subscription starts at $8)
This PDF editor for iPhone and iPad is capable of a lot, but most importantly, it nails the core functionality that will make your life easier. The interface is clean and easy to understand, without any distracting ads. You can focus on your tasks and use the many tools to achieve the results you desire. Moreover, it is lightweight and works swiftly.
Let’s have a look at what you can achieve with it:
Foxit makes it a breeze to insert audio, video, and hyperlinks in your PDFs, provided you subscribe to the paid version. You can also add text and images and reorganize files by adding, deleting, rotating, or extracting individual pages. A feature worth mentioning is that it renders you the ability to create a custom toolset for quick access.
You can quickly share files and screenshots from within the app for seamless collaboration. Moreover, you can share multiple files across your desktop and iOS device over WiFi. Further, you can access PDF files from cloud services like Dropbox, Google Drive, etc., but it lacks complete integration with these, which might be a bit of an inconvenience for some users.
Nonetheless, the other features are so useful that this app still shines as one of the best PDF editors for your iPhone or iPad.
Forms and signatures
With Foxit, you can fill in and save PDF forms as well as import and export form data. With the paid version, you can even work on XFA forms*. Further, you can add handwritten signatures to PDFs and password-protect files for confidentiality.
With these and more capabilities, Foxit is especially great for pro PDF users, as the developers pay close attention to user needs. It gets better with each upgrade, adding tools and incremental improvements that enhance the experience each time.
Price: Free (Subscription starts at $10.99)
Bonus: JotForm online PDF editor
JotForm PDF Editor is a flexible tool that allows you to edit PDF files and automatically turns collected data into professional. You have to start by logging in with your email, Google, or Facebook account. It offers 15 categories of PDFs and over 100 customizable templates. It lets you create everything from forms to contracts, invoices, reports, and more. Make every document look polished and achieve the task at hand to supercharge your workflow. It’s a must-have tool for data collection and marketing activities of all kinds.
What’s especially notable is that JotForm is entirely free and easy to use. I especially appreciate how you can customize templates to match your brand and view them in other software like Adobe Acrobat or Preview on Mac. Further, it’s a breeze to send them to cloud storage platforms like Google Drive or Dropbox. Of course, you have a multitude of editing options, including adding/removing sections, changing colors and fonts, etc.
If you often need to send out digital forms or documents to get signatures, JotForm makes it super easy. This is great because it eliminates the need to print or scan paper. With just a tap on your iPhone or iPad, you can send and receive securely signed documents for all your professional and personal needs.
Despite being free, JotForms offers the advanced password protection feature for your confidential or sensitive PDF documents. This ensures your privacy. To set a password, you just have to go to the Layout Settings, click on Customize, and enable password protection under Advanced options. On the whole, Jotforms makes it easy to collect data in a professional, streamlined way safely.
Which is your favorite PDF editor for iPhone and iPad?
So, these were our top three apps for working with PDFs on the go. Are you someone who’s always working with PDFs? Which editing features do you use most often, and which app do you prefer using? Share with us in the comments below.
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