Fri. Apr 19th, 2024

Key Takeaways

  • Foxit PDF Reader lets you perform basic PDF edits without a subscription.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader’s “Fill & Sign” feature is a great way to sign PDFs on Android.
  • You can convert an image to a PDF on Android using Google Drive or Microsoft Lens.

Your Android phone may or may not include a way to view PDF files, but chances are you can’t do much more than that. When the time comes to sign a PDF or make changes to the document, you need to download apps.

​How to Edit PDF on Android

There are plenty of ways to edit a PDF on Android. If what you want is a way to make highlights, strikethough text, or mark up a document in other ways, there are many apps that can do the job. Unfortunately, most of the options in the Play Store either require a subscription to perform edits (like Adobe’s Acrobat Reader) or are laden with ads.

Fortunately, an app called Foxit PDF Reader is an option that allows you to do basic edits without a subscription. Foxit PDF Reader will scan your device to locate PDFs, so you can probably find your file just by scrolling through the initial “All PDFs” screen. If you don’t, or you could use more guidance, here’s how to open a PDF on Android.

Once you have your PDF open, you will see a toolbar at the top of the screen with a few editing options. Tap the highlighter icon if you want to highlight text. Simply drag your finger across the text you wish to highlight, then tap the icon again when you’re done. Do the same with the pencil icon if you want to draw over the document.

If you want to perform other edits, you need to tap the “+” icon to add more options to the toolbar. The options here include the ability to underline text with either straight or squiggly lines, strikethrough text, or add text boxes. Some features require a subscription, like redaction, but most edits are available for free.

​How to Sign a PDF on Android

In this case, we’re talking about drawing an electronic signature, which is not the same as a digital signature. The latter is a cryptographically secure method of verifying that someone with your private signing key (presumably you) has seen and authorized a document, which isn’t the kind of signature most companies are after. Instead, they just want us to scribble something that vaguely resembles our name on the dotted line.

You can sign documents in Foxit just by selecting the drawing tool in the same toolbar as the other editing icons, or you can dive into Foxit’s various other methods for applying a signature. But when it comes to signing PDFs, Adobe Acrobat Reader is actually a slightly more focused tool for the job. The free version of Acrobat Reader has incorporated features from Adobe’s previous Fill & Sign app dedicated entirely to this task.

To sign a PDF using Adobe Acrobat Reader, open a PDF, tap the pencil icon in the bottom, and select “Fill & Sign.”

The 'Fill & Sign' option within the Adobe Acrobat Reader Android app.

Tap somewhere on the PDF to create a text field where you can manually type information, which is helpful for filling out forms. To actually place a signature, tap the pen icon in the toolbar and select “Create Signature.”

A signature drawn in Adobe Acrobat Reader.

You can draw your own signature or initials, then have Acrobat Reader paste the image onto the page.

All this said it’s worth pointing out that if you have a Microsoft 365 account that you regularly use on your phone, you don’t need to turn to a different piece of software. You can sign PDFs using Microsoft 365 instead.

​How to Turn a Picture Into a PDF on Android

Adobe and Foxit both treat converting an image to a PDF as a premium feature that requires a subscription. Thankfully, there are free apps that you may already have that can do the job. Both Google Drive and Microsoft Lens offer features for scanning documents with the camera and importing photos. Check out our full guide to learn how to do it with your device.

​How to Rotate PDF on Android

For rotating PDFs, we’re going to stick with Google Drive and Microsoft Lens. Both apps give you a number of editing options after scanning or importing a photo to a PDF, including the ability to rotate and crop. This makes it super easy to edit a PDF right in the app that created it, and then it’s ready to be used.

That’s All You Need to Edit and Sign PDFs for Free

PDF may not be as well-known as MP3 and GIF, but it is a ubiquitous file type that pops up all the time. With knowledge of how to edit and sign PDFs, you can handle digital paperwork as easily (if not more so) than the physical version it replaces. And if you know how to do this from your phone, you’re able to stay on top of things no matter where you are.

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By John P.

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