Coolest Ways to Use Markup on the iPhone

Use markup to draw perfect shapes, make notes, highlight, add text, and more. We'll show you how.

Markup is a nifty iPhone feature that allows users to doodle, magnify, and place text on images and PDFs in the Photos, Mail, Notes, Files, and Messenger apps. Whether you need to add a signature, insert text or draw shapes onto existing documents or images, Markup has you covered. Learn to save time when signing digital documents as well as add your personal flair to your images. Markup is a powerful tool that is great for business as well as entertainment and is compatible with the Photos, Messages, and Mail apps. 

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How to Use Markup in Photos on the iPhone

  1. Go to the Photos app and select the photo you want.

    Open the Photos app to mark up photosSelect a photo to mark up
  2. Tap Edit in the top right of your screen.
  3. Tap the More icon (the three dots) in the top-right corner of the screen.

    Tap edit in the upper-right corner of the screenTap the three dots icon
  4. Select Markup.
  5. Select your Markup tool.

    Tap on MarkupSelect your Markup tool
  6. Once you are done editing the photo, tap Done.

    Place your markups and then tap Done in the upper-right corner

How to Use Markup in Messages on the iPhone

  1. Open the Messages app and tap on the New Message button.

    Open the Messages appCompose a new message
  2. Once a recipient is selected, tap on the camera icon at the bottom left.

    Select a recipientSelect the option to add a photo to the message
  3. Your Camera app will open. You can take a new photo or tap on the top-left button to open your Photos Gallery.
  4. Select the photo you wish to edit, it will pop into the new message.

    Tap on the photos icon to add an existing photoSelect a photo to add to the message
  5. Tap on the photo within the message.
  6. Tap Markup on the bottom left.

    Tap on the photoTap Markup at the bottom of the photo
  7. Once you are done editing the photo, tap Save, then tap Done.

    Tap Save in the upper-right cornerTap Done in the upper-right corner

How to Use Markup in Email on iPhone

You can use Markup to insert drawings into emails on your iPhone as well, which allows you to add clarity to something that can't be explained well with words, or simply share fun doodles!

How to Use Markup in Notes

You can use Markup to create inline drawings directly in a note as well as to markup photos added to a note.

How to Use Markup Tools in the Files App

Once you open Markup in Photos, Messenger, Notes, Files, or Mail, there are various ways you can use it to edit your photo or document. You can draw in various styles and colors, create shapes, add typed text, and insert electronic signatures.

How to Draw with Markup

  1. There are several tools for drawing using Markup. You can chose between the pen, highlighter, and pencil options.
  2. Tap a drawing tool to select it and tap it again to adjust line thickness and opacity

  3. Tap the color wheel to change the color or adjust opacity.

    Tap the color wheel to change the color or adjust your desired color or opacity

How to Erase, Select & Edit with Markup

  1. Other Markup tools include the eraser, lasso tool, and ruler.

  2. You can draw in strokes that can easily be undone or redone with the tap of the undo and redo buttons at the top of the screen.
  3. You can also erase any edits with the eraser tool by selecting it and then rubbing a stylus or your finger over the area you need erased.

    undo or redo markup
  4. If you like what you’ve drawn but need it moved, the lasso tool can be used to move your drawing. Simply tap on the lasso tool, trace around the drawing you want to move and drag it anywhere.
  5. When the lasso tool is selected, you can also select individual drawings by pressing and holding them. A selected drawing can be changed in color, duplicated, deleted, cut, or snapped into shape.

    lasso tooluse lasso tool to select and edit shapes

How to Add Text with Markup

  1. Tap on the + button.
  2. Select the Text menu option.

    Tap the plus icon to add text with MarkupChoose the text icon
  3. Drag the text box where you want it.
  4. Long-press on the box and select Edit to type.

    Drag the text box as needed for size and locationTap Edit in the text menu bar
  5. Change the color by tapping the colors at the bottom of the screen. If you tap the rainbow circle, you can find a wider selection of shades and opacity. You can even use the eye dropper to copy a color that is already in your image.
  6. Change the size, font, and alignment by tapping on the AA button on the bottom left.

    Change text size in MarkupChange font in text markup
  7. Tap Done when you are finished editing the image.

    Tap Done in the upper-right corner

How to Add a Signature with Markup

  1. Tap on the + button.
  2. Select Signature.

    Tap the plus iconSelect Signature
  3. A pop-up window will open and prompt you to sign your name using your finger or a stylus at the bottom of the screen.
  4. Tap Clear and try again if you are not satisfied.
  5. Tap Done once you are satisfied.

    Sign on the signature line at the bottomWhen finished, tap Done in the upper-right corner
  6. Your signature will appear in the image. You can drag and re-size it as necessary.
  7. You can also tap the color wheel to change the color of your signature.

    Position the signature as necessarySignature repositioned
  8. Tap Done when you are finished editing the image.

    Tap Done in the upper-left corner

How to Add a Shape with Markup

  1. Tap on the + button.
  2. Select one of the four shapes available: square, circle, speech bubble, and arrow.

    Tap on the plus signSelect the shapes option
  3. Your shape will appear in the image. You can drag and adjust the shape as necessary. You can tap the color wheel to change the color of your shape.
  4. Finally, you can set it to just an outline or make it an opaque shape.

    Select the shape iconChange color markup as desired
  5. Tap Done when you are finished editing the image.

    Tap Done in the upper-right corner to save the markup

How to Draw Perfect Shapes with Markup

You can draw a variety of shapes perfectly using Markup. Simply draw the shape without lifing your finger and hold until it snaps into a perfect shape. The shapes that you can draw by hand that will transform into perfect shapes include:

  • Arcs
  • Arcs with arrow tips
  • Circles
  • Clouds
  • Continuous lines
  • 90-degree angles
  • Hearts
  • Lines with arrow tips
  • Outlined arrows
  • Pentagons
  • Rectangles
  • Speech Bubbles
  • Stars
  • Triangles

If the shape doesn’t auto-transform, simply erase or undo your drawing and try again. If you prefer your drawn shape to the automatically transformed one, you can also press undo to revert it to a drawing. The auto-transformed drawings can be dragged and re-sized and you can change their color and opacity.

Pro Tips for Using Markup Shapes:

  • The shapes can be drawn in any direction. For example, you can draw an upside-down heart.
  • The stars can be drawn as outlines or in a criss-cross pattern.
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Author Details

Olena Kagui's picture

Author Details

Olena Kagui

Olena Kagui is a Feature Writer at iPhone Life who lives in Hawaii. With a BA in International Relations from Anglo American University, Olena traveled the world. She has lived in Ukraine, the Czech Republic, China, and the USA. Olena won an excellence award for a controversial article, got a grant to blog from a war-zone, and published a short fictional story. She hopes to publish a full-length novel and continue writing up a storm on her blog The Travel Bug Bite! When she’s not typing or flying, she is loving on animals, crafting bizarre creations, and devouring all-you-can-eat sushi.