How to Scan and Sign a Document on your iPhone

When a friend first asked me if I already knew how to scan a document on my smartphone, my first thought was “Why would I need to?”. After all I can take a picture, crop it then send it on. But then I realized that my photography method did not allow me to add a signature without a lot of kerfuffle…usually printing out then re-taking the picture.

I was soon to discover by following Apple’s own instructions (OK a few times, they sounded more straightforward than actually doing them), that even without needing to add a signature, scanning vs photography has several other advantages:

  • automatic, simple cropping
  • ability to save other than as a photo in your album
  • a crisper image

Simple Steps to Scan and Sign a Document with your iPhone

Open your Notes app

Place the document to be scanned on a flat surface in good light.

Tap the Share button If you cannot see it immediately, you may have to tap the ellipsis (3 dots), which should then bring it up (see below):

You will be prompted to crop the document if needed. You can simply grab the sides/corners and move accordingly until you’re happy you’ve excluded any distracting background from the photo.

Adding a Signature to Your Document Right from Your Smartphone

Choose Markup

Tap the Add button

Tap Signature option

You can create a new signature (simply erase and re-do with your fingertip or a stylus until you’re happy with it) or use one you saved earlier. Once happy, select the chosen signature and it will appear on your document. You will probably need to move position and adjust the size of it. I suggest moving first, by grabbing the middle of the signature box and positioning it over the indicated line on your document. Then you can grab and drag the corner to re-size as needed.

Now, a very important step – Tap “Done” (top left corner, see above, right).

You can save this file as a PDF. You can find it by searching in your Notes.

Once you’ve done it a few times (as I now have), you’ll find it’s a really quick way to scan, sign, file and share documents on your iPhone or iPad without need for a printer.

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