New Reader for iOS and Android Annotates and Fills Forms!

On April 10, 2012, Adobe released a major update to Adobe Reader for iOS and Android (Mobile version 10.2.0).

Of course, Adobe Reader is still free!

New features include:

  • Fill in and save data in forms
  • Add Sticky Notes, highlights, striekthrough and underline annotations
  • Use the freehand drawing tool
  • Use the new Ink Signature tool to sign any PDF document using your finger
  • Integration with Adobe EchoSign for online electronic signature workflows
  • Added support for intradocument links

I tested the new Adobe Reader on an iPad2 and Motorola Atrix Android phones.

You can get the new version of Adobe Reader from Apple’s App Store or the Android Market (now called Play Store on some phones). When you do, make sure you read the Quick Start document that is included.

Filling Out Forms

Have you ever received a PDF form on your iPad or phone that you needed to fill out?

It’s easy to fill in PDF forms on the run using the new Adobe Reader Mobile.

When you click inside a field, your standard keyboard will appear at the bottom of the screen allowing you to fill in the document.

When you’re finished, you can easily email the document or save it to any application that supports the "Open In" option.

Commenting on a PDF on your Phone or iPad

The new version Adobe Reader Mobile offers a variety of touch driven annotation types that are easy to use.

To get started, click the Comment button.

A toolbar opens up with a variety of commenting tools:

Just select one, then tap where you want to place the comment:

Here’s a screen capture of an annotated document:

Tip: To change the color of other properties of a comment, press and hold on the comment until the Properties options appear.

Signing a PDF on your Phone or iPad

Signing is easy. The Ink SignatureTool is also found in the Comment section:

Click on the document where you want to place your signature. When you do, the Signing Window opens.

Just drag your finger (or stylus) to create your signature!

Adjusting the Signature Appearance

You can change the color or thickness of the signature by pressing and holding down on the Signature until the Properties appear.

You can then move or delete the signature and change the pen thickness, color, or opacity (transparency).

Email, Share or Store your Document

To email or share your document, press the Share button:

The Open In option allows you to move the PDF on your device into another workflow or location.

Applications which support this function will appear in the menu.

For example, you could move the PDF to your Dropbox account or Evernote.

Final Thoughts

Adobe Reader Mobile has turned into a powerful application. It’s free and offers a lot of great functionality.

In fact, it offers more functionality in some ways than the desktop version of Adobe Reader. It certainly is a welcome addition to my day to day work on my iPad and Android phone.

111 Responses to New Reader for iOS and Android Annotates and Fills Forms!

  1. Andrei says:

    Great app one issue: emailed pdf after ink signing loose signature!

    • Rick Borstein says:

      I can think of two possibilities as to why that might be happening. One, you or your recipient didn’t open the PDF in a viewer that supports annotations (like the basic one in iOS). Two, you sent the original version stored in your email instead of the one stored in the Adobe Reader file list.

  2. Johan says:

    totally cool software,
    two things could be improved:
    – freehand drawing tool: change thickness and color
    – night viewing mode (invert colors)

    • Rick Borstein says:

      Thanks for the suggestions. We do offer a way to view the PDF on your mac/pc inverted, but not so far on the iPad.

  3. Eirik EIkås says:

    Forms on the iPad is really nice, but, how can I save it? Adding a submit button doesn’t work..

    • Rick Borstein says:

      Saving is implicit on the iPad. If you are emailed a PDF and then choose Open in Adobe Reader, it is saved in the Reader file store automatically on your iPad.

  4. Brian says:

    Can the annotations be sync’d back to a computer?

    • Rick Borstein says:

      If you mean to Sync the annots alone, no. Reader doesn’t support Shared Review like full Acrobat does. However, if you send the annotated PDF from your iPad to your Mac or PC, all of the annots will be there.

  5. Charlie says:

    I work with court documents and judges will not sign the PDF if the recipient can open it and delete the signature. Any ideas?

    • Rick Borstein says:

      Yes, I confirmed this with Reader Mobile 10.3. With Reader on PC, there is an option when saving to flatten the signature (although they don’t call it that, there is a Confirm option). I’ve sent your note along to the engineers.

  6. Dave Venance says:

    I was just playing around with the new free Adobe Reader on my iPhone and everything seemed to work fine, although my email button did nothing (after clicking it a few times, Reader died). I then clicked the mail document which did in fact email the document, but without any of its data. I then reader extended the document and tried that but still got no data, just a blank form. Is there a list somewhere of the features that work or don’t on mobile Reader? Other than this, I think its great that clients can now have a better offline form filling tool on their iOS platforms!

  7. Matt Gibson says:

    Hey, excellent so glad that this is available on the iPad!

    Do you have a cloud solution? I am studying a business course and if I take notes on my iPad and annotate on my pdf document is there a way of being able to view these notes on my iPhone somehow?

    At the moment I am using dropbox as a cloud solution but this is creating duplicate docs. Is there a better way for me to do this!?


    • Rick Borstein says:

      I’d suggest a tool like Evernote. I used it all the time. Adobe Reader isn’t a note taking tool, but I could see that you might want to annotate a syllabus, etc.

  8. Lars L says:

    Is it possible to have multible “signatures” saved and choose which one to use.

    • Rick Borstein says:

      Unfortunately, no. I think that we kind of look at this as one user, one signature.

  9. Paula says:

    I love the app but I would love it MORE if you had a SAVE AS PDF button to press.

    I was excited because I thought the signature button would save me time and paper only to be strongly disappointed in seeing that it doesn’t save. I need that function to send to others and if they aren’t looking at my iPad it doesn’t do them any good. I tried to send my signed document through email and the signature doesn’t show up. When I press “open in”, only “iBooks” opens. There is no Adobe link.

    Not saving really defeats the purpose of having this app.

    Not saving also seems to be the case with the other options as you mentioned above. This doesn’t help me if I’d like to print out my document by emailing it to my email. My computer is too old to open these features. And I see Yahoo does not support them either.

    I would really appreciate it if you added a SAVE AS PDF button.


    • Rick Borstein says:

      Save is implicit in Adobe Reader Mobile. What is confusing is where the document is saved. Update to the latest version which now offers a nice file manager and I think you will be much happier.

  10. Alex says:

    We need more colors for the signature, the blue is not usuable because it’s too bright. Acutally for the moment I only use the black color. Also, more thickness, like 2 pt thickness. Great app, thanks.

  11. AEH says:

    This is a comment for the “Flatten fields” .sequ script. This script doesn’t work on many forms, as you have noted in the instructions. Can you post a script that does the following: (1) saves as image(s); (2) imports the image(s) back into .pdf; (3) save as [filename]?

    • Rick Borstein says:

      The only way to flatten an XFA form is to print it using the Adobe PDF print driver.

  12. Peter Miller says:

    How do I delete a PDF on my Ipad????

    • Rick Borstein says:

      The new version – Reader Mobile 10.3 – offers file management tools to do this.

  13. Jarrad Smith says:

    I Have an galaxy tab running ice cream sandwich 4, how can you do a save as in reader? It only lets you share the PDF form. There are other apps out there that you can do a save as function, but the functionality of these apps are a pain to use.

    • Rick Borstein says:

      Reader 10.3 Mobile allows you to duplicate a document in the File Organizer, so that should do the trick!

  14. Sarah says:

    How does one save a PDF form that I have made edits to in Reader on an iPad after filling in entries?

    • Rick Borstein says:

      Save is implicit in Reader. One thing to watch out for, though, is that if you view the form in iOS Preview, you won’t see form or comments made since Preview doesn’t support either.

  15. John Barnes says:

    I’m using Adobe Reader on my iPad, reading and adding annotations to .pdfs that I keep in my Dropbox. However when I open the same file from Dropbox a bit later on, either on my iPhone or on my laptop, it appears Adobe Reader hasn’t saved the alterations I made on my iPad. Is there a way of saving back to Dropbox so that my devices can stay in sync?

    • Rick Borstein says:

      Make sure you are viewing the PDF in Adobe Reader, not just iOS preview which doesn’t support comments.

      • elletea says:

        I don’t think this is the issue here. I would be that if he opens the file on his iPad the annotations will be there. The issue is that the annotated file is saved as a new file on the device being used (iPad or tablet) and not on the original file saved in Dropbox (or any other cloud service).

        I’m having the same problem and reading the other comments, I see that others are also struggling with this. Yes, it’s possible to email the (new) annotated file and yes the Adobe File Organizer makes it easier to find the file on the iPad/tablet, but what we are looking for is the ability to save annotations directly on the *original file*. To have to email an annotated file and then replace the original file in the cloud with the new annotated one is very inefficient.

        • Rick Borstein says:

          Understood. When you move the file to the iPad, you are editing locally, just like you would on your PC or Mac. You would need to re-sync the file with DropBox. This is an area we are looking into with the latest version of Acrobat (XI) and our Mobile Reader using Stay tuned.

      • elletea says:

        My version is Adobe Reader 10.3.1 and I have a Asus Transformer Infinity.

        When I tap on the share icon, I have the options ‘Bluetooth, Gmail, Send for Signature, Skye, and Asus WebStorage’. I do not have the ‘Open In’ option described above (or E-mail Document or Print Document). Anybody else with this problem?

        Also, does it not seem strange to call it ‘Open In’ when the purpose is to “Store your Document”. Am I missing something or isn’t this supposed to be the way to save the document in a location other than the implicit save in the Adobe File Manager?

        • Rick Borstein says:

          I don’t have an Android Tablet. On my Android phone, I first download the attachment and then when I tap on it, I see the option to “Complete Action using”, then choose Adobe Reader. If that isn’t there for you, you might try updating or reinstalling Adobe Reader.

  16. John Barnes says:

    By the way, something that I think would be useful – the ability to move a note on a page while you’re typing it. Sometimes it’s important to refer back to the page while you’re a typing a note. This is very difficult when the note is in the middle of the page and cannot be moved. Intuitively I just want to move it aside (just like I can on the standard computer version) but the iOS version of Adobe Reader doesn’t allow this.

  17. Nearly there, but still some vital functionality missing. eg. when we create a form with a submit button to send the form back to us as a XFDF file or similar, the submit button does not work. Or if we add some buttons with properties like moving to a specific page it also does not work on android or IPAD Tablets. When will the full functionality be there?

    • Rick Borstein says:

      Form data collection isn’t a supported feature in Reader Mobile. This might work better with the 10.3 Reader Mobile update.

  18. Ralph says:

    The Sign tool is great. Such a simple thing, but we just bought a house and had to exchange many docs and print/sign/scan – dreadful way to work in the year 2012, and especially frustrating when two people that are far apart have to sign, print/sign/scan twice, and increasingly less people have printers, and even fewer have scanners. I know I use my printer less and less every day. Signing docs from my iPhone would have been the ultimate in convenience and speed. next time I’ll be ready with Reader for iOS!

  19. Shakeena says:

    Hi I opened a pdf file in Adobe reader on my iPad and all features work except the ability to highlight. For instance, I can create a note, a signature, redline, etc.

    • Rick Borstein says:

      In order for highlight to work, there needs to be searchable text in the document. You can’t highlight scanned PDFs unless they have been OCR’d.

  20. Ghufran says:

    After placing an annotation like highlight, how can a user undo it? If a mistake is made, there’s no undo or erase button. I have the new version.

    • Rick Borstein says:

      Just tap on the annotation to select it, and one of the options will be delete. It took me a while to figure that out, too!

  21. Aubrey Fernandes says:

    Great tool !
    Is there a way to use/activate the email button on a form ?
    This form was created in LiveCyele ES 8.2 ( as an XDP) , then saved as PDF & extended for Adobe Reader.

  22. Gaurav says:

    I have been using this took for a while now. But I havent been able to figure out how we could removed a saved freehand drawings. Any thoughts?

    • Rick Borstein says:

      Tap on the annotation to select it. One of the options is Delete. Took me a while to figure that out, too, but I did find it later in the release notes I think.

  23. Justin says:

    This is a pretty good, but I’d like to see support for JS on buttons (email pdf with custom subject and address taken from form field not working). My standard Form Reset button isn’t working either. Using 10.3.

  24. Mary says:

    How can I get my PDF fill in the blanks document to print showing my entries? It only comes up as original PDF without anything filled in. Same with emailing it to myself! I’m using the new iPAD.

    • Rick Borstein says:

      When you email from the iPad, Apple Preview generates the preview in Mail which shows that the form field content is missing. It is still there. You will need to either print it from Reader on your iPad using a compatible printer or send it to a desktop for printing.

  25. Adam says:

    I created a fill-able PDF e-form on my computer with a button at the bottom. Under Button Properties I have the action to Submit a form going to a url link. I have an Android tablet and was able to fill out all the fields correctly when opening the form on there but I couldn’t press the submit button at the bottom. Is there a way to make this button work?

    • Rick Borstein says:

      Buttons actions aren’t supported on Android yet, sorry. We hope to support this in a future update.

  26. Jina says:

    If I have 20 pdfs, can i search based on contents and not on title?

  27. Liz says:

    I have created a fillable form to use here at work which I will need to use over & over (real estate new property listing form), but everytime I go back into the form all of the data from the previous property I entered is still saved on there – Is there a way to reset/clear the form of previously entered data? I have a reset button on the form but after reading through previous comments I see that button on forms arent supported on android/iphone/ipad devices?

    • Rick Borstein says:

      Correct. We don’t support Button actions yet in Reader Mobile. At some point in the future, hopefully, Reader Mobile will support that.

  28. Ysidro de la Rosa says:

    How can I change the font use to fill in the blank? (I’m testing it in a tablet Nexus 7)

    • Rick Borstein says:

      That is not something Adobe Reader on the desktop can do either. The font size, style, color, etc. is a property of the form itself.

  29. Ray says:

    I’m using this with fillable forms and find that it’s working great but the only thing that’s missing will be flatten then save as another name or email. With that feature include, this app gonna be great.

    • Rick Borstein says:

      Alas, there is no flatten. But, you can go to the documents view and duplicate and rename documents.

  30. cody says:

    My signature never shows up when i email my doc.

    • Rick Borstein says:

      iOS Mail doesn’t know how to display annotations, but when you open it in Adobe Reader on the desktop the signature and comments should be there. Preview on iOS is an extremely limited PDF viewer.

  31. Brian says:

    This has worked great for signing some documents. However, I have some realtor documents that were sent to me and I cannot select the buyer checkbox and I cannot sign them. Nothing happens when I touch or touch-hold. When I try to click the comment button it says “This document is protected. Some edits may not be allowed.” This problem exists on my iPhone, iPad and Google Nexus 7 with the latest Adobe Acrobat. When I open these same documents in PDF Expert, I can select the buyer checkbox and I can sign them without any problem.

  32. Brian says:

    When placing a signature, if you try to change the size of the signature it distorts the signature because the sizing function does not preserve the aspect ratio. All other applications that I have used to sign PDFs locked the aspect ratio to avoid this problem. Any chance of getting this capability added here?

    • Rick Borstein says:

      You can preserve the aspect ratio in Reader 10.4 Mobile. When dragging, you’ll see a dotted line extending from lower left to upper right when the scaling is preserved.

  33. Eric says:

    I created a form in Acrobat XI and distibuted it using FormsCetral, but when I open the form on my iPad the submit button is not there, it does show up when I open the document on my mac though, it there some way to get the submit button to work on the iPad?

  34. Dominic says:

    Is it possible to search for annotations?
    I have a 300 page doc with several notes at interesting points now all i need do is find them again.

  35. Jason says:

    How does one save a filled out pdf form, created with extended features enabled on Acrobat X Pro, that was opened and filled out on a Samsung Galaxy Tab? Reader is updated to 10.4.1. Only options to Share “Bluetooth, Dropbox, Gmail, Send for Signature”. No save options other than the cloud, which I cannot use for this.

    • Rick Borstein says:

      On Reader Mobile, save is on by default. If you want to make a copy of the document, go to the library view, click edit and duplicate it.

  36. Ryan says:

    How do I attach a photo to my adobe form? I can fill in all the fields on my form, but when I get to the “select file” button to attach my photo for that form I am not able to click on it.

    • Rick Borstein says:

      Attach File is not supported by Reader Mobile, sorry. In fact, that workflow isn’t even supported on Reader for Mac/PC, even for Reader-enabled files created by Acrobat Pro.

  37. Stephen says:

    I am having signature issues with the newest release on iPad. When I add my signature to a form, it shows on the iPad fine, but if I email it and open it in Adobe XI, the signature gest shoved down in the bottom left corner of the page. I go back to the iPad app and try to reopen and it does the same thing. Any thought?

  38. Bryan says:

    My form works perfectly…. my calculations work !!!
    Thank you

    Once the form has been completed can it be flattened so that when it is emailed to the customer it cannot be altered?

  39. Lance says:

    Just started using this yesterday. While reading/annotating a pdf, I noticed that the annotation toolbar had been replaced with a secondary toolbar that included a crop tool, undo and redo buttons, among others. There was also a toggle arrow on the left end of the toolbar that allowed me to switch back and forth between the two toolbars. Just as suddenly as it appeared, it disappeared, and I can’t make return. How do I reactivate this feature? It’s very useful. Thanks.

    • Rick Borstein says:

      That is super weird! I’m going to ask our engineers about this, but as far as I know those features aren’t in the product. Would be cool, though . . .

  40. Rose says:

    I created an updateable pdf for my advisors who work in the field on their iPads. One of the features of the keyboard in Adobe Reader is the keyboard with the Previous, Next, and Reset Field at the top. Frequently my advisors are accidentally clicking on the Reset Field and deleting everything in their observation notes. Can the layout be changed, moved, taken out. Any solutions?

    • Rick Borstein says:

      If you are the form author, then yes you could edit it. I sense I don’t understand the question, though.

      • Michal says:

        Yes, you did not understand the question. I have the same problem as Rose. Whenever I type something into a form, I accidentally hit the reset form button. I don’t even see a reason for the button to exist and it is in a very very bad location. It should be located away from fingers away from the keyboard, so there is no way I can accidentally hit it and delete everything I had written. This is actually the reason for me to switch to a different app. I can’t afford to spend 30 minutes typing and deleting everything at the end of it. It happened to me twice.

        So, the question is:

        How can I disable or remove the “reset field” button from the keyboard.

        I wouldn’t mind if it wasn’t there at all. Even when I go shopping, there is no option to empty everything just before going to the cash register.

  41. Chris says:

    I am having issues with filling in forms and saving them on my Galaxy Note.

    The form works properly with the adobe reader on my PC but when I use the reader on my android it only opens it to read and no amount of clicking or flicking will open the fields to edit.

    I have the latest version installed and have read the help files and the “how to” all to no avail.

    • Rick Borstein says:

      I’m not sure what the issue could be. Some forms which use custom validation rules do not work in Reader Mobile, so that could be the issue. You might try a basic form to see if you can fill it in.

  42. Daria says:

    I am working on a pdf form on my iPad. I can annotate and fill out the form. However, the form also has attachments (attachments are also pdf files). I can open the attachments, but cannot annotate them. Any suggestions?

  43. Janeden River says:

    We have been using another PDF reader application so our clients can sign off on work on site. We were very excited when the IOS version of Adobe Reader became available to us. Unfortunately, after some good initial experiences our employees are experiencing several terminal issues. One is when a client signature is added on an iPad and uploaded to dropbox, the signature can’t be seen on the iPad ie any iPad. We can see the annotation in the office on our desk top computers but not on our mobile devices even when we use adobe reader. the other issue is that we can not email the annotated document either as the annotations can not be seen. Is there a fix for this or do we need to go back to our old software?

    • Rick Borstein says:

      The reason for this is that the standard IOS Preview cannot display annotations or perhaps do so correctly. That is an issue for several reasons as the IOS preview is used when embedding PDFs in other apps or even in Mail. However, IOS Preview should not delete annotations and they should be viewable on desktop Reader. A workaround (that works great) is to use rather than dropbox. You can sync files directly from your desktop to the Cloud and on to Reader on the iPad.

  44. John Lurie says:

    When we sign a doc that was created by an MFP the signature moves to another location. We can see it…but in the wrong place. This started happening when we upgraded to iPad Acrobat Reader 10.5.2.

    The version of the PDf created by the MFP is 1.4. If I sign a newer PDF (1.6) it works fine

    • Rick Borstein says:

      Some MFPs do not create very good PDFs. I’d suggest resaving using Acrobat before moving to Reader on the iPad.

  45. Todd says:


    Fyi, I’m using version 10.5.2 of the ios adobe reader application.

    When will your ios reader app support form data collection via a submit button click? I’m trying to send the form field data to a url on the click of the submit button.

    Also, I have the pdf password protected to prevent unauthorized access as well as a password to prevent modification of all my javascript formulas. However, when I open the pdf in the ios adobe reader the fillable fields cannot be entered, the only way to fix is to strip out all the security settings. Will this be addressed in a future update?


    • Rick Borstein says:

      Reader doesn’t currently support this, but it is something we are considering adding in the future. For now, I think that the only form data collection method that works are Adobe FormsCentral forms created with Acrobat 11 Pro’s Form Central design tool.

  46. Dean Dillard says:

    I have a brand new :LG Optimus G Pro and installed the Reader from Google Play. After opening a pdf from an email, I can sign the document and then when I tap to top menu to Share, I tap email and my email account opens, I hit send but the recipient never receives the email. I even tried it again and sent it to another one of my email accounts and the email is never received. I checked spam, etc. The signed pdf is saved though in the adobe folder on my phone.

    Do you have any clues as to why this is happening or not happening?

  47. Calen says:

    I am currently trying to use Adobe Reader to show my contracts and to allow clients to sign using the freehand drawing tool. Unfortunately it only shows up in the color red. How can I change the color to black while still being able to use the freehand tool?

    • Rick Borstein says:

      Right-click on the annotation to change its properties. Then, with the annotation selected, right-click and chose “Make Current Properties Default”.

  48. Deborah says:

    1.Is it possible to “save as” a form that has been filled in and signed before it is emailed ? I have a few forms that staff have to fill out each day and I want them to be able to access the blank/master form each time rather than having to keep editing / clearing it each day
    2. My signature field is a “required field” but it’s not showing up as one and the form will email without it being signed – any suggestions ?

    I have just downloaded the reader and works fine other than this.

    • Rick Borstein says:

      I’d suggest making your form Read-only. That will force users to do a SAVE AS for each new form.

  49. We have a problem with the thickness of signatures.
    I am selecting the thinnest signature style, signing the document & saving. When I email it back to the office it appears as the thickest style.
    This is making the signatures illegible.

    Any solutions?

  50. Paul says:

    Hi Rick~
    I have updated to the most recent version of Adobe Reader for the iPhone. I am having trouble with filling out forms and having them open in another app and having the fields that I have filled in transfer over. I know how to save the fields within Adobe Reader, but it still won’t transfer to other apps. Please help! Also, if there was a way to bluetooth transfer files to other devices that would be amazing. Thank you for your time!

    • Rick Borstein says:

      What apps are you trying to transfer to? Apple Preview on the iPhone doesn’t support form fields.

  51. Luke Parker says:

    Hi, I have technicians who use pdf forms to complete invoices out in the field. I want them to be able to e-mail the completed form directly to the customer from their android tablets, however; I do not want the customer to receive an editable version as they could change pricing, etc. Is there any way to flatten the pdfs from reader mobile, or another solution for sending non-editable forms from mobile?

  52. Matt Arsenault says:

    I love the app, very simple and for my use makes very practical for potential clients to fill out forms and share them via email to our office. Though the only problem I have is the inability to “Reset All Fields”. Though looking through prior comments I have seen many others having this same problem, with this I am wondering if any changes have been made to the app in order to fulfill this request. Have buttons been enabled on the app as a workaround from a direct command through the application? Any solutions?

    • Rick Borstein says:

      Reader Mobile only has a subset of the JavaScript model that full Reader desktop does. We plan to implement additional features over time.

  53. Steve says:

    A “one time” signature option would be fantastic. The saved one is handy for myself personally, but I’ll get customers to sign forms now and then and it’d be great to not lose my signature every time.

  54. Kevin Dean says:

    On an iPhone you can email a flattened version, but I haven’t been able to figure out how to on an Android based platform (samsung galaxy, droid, etc.) Can you select and email flattened PDFs from an Android?