Apple’s Markup is a fantastic feature built into iOS and iPadOS for editing and signing documents, filling out forms, or even adding text to a PDF document. In our opinion, this is one of the most underrated features found on your iPhone or iPad, and we’re glad to guide you through discovering its possibilities.
We show you how to use Markup on a document on an iPad Pro in particular. Keep in mind that many of the following features are found across other Apple products as well.
How to Start a Markup in Mail
No matter if you want to annotate a document or edit a screenshot/image before sending it, know that the Mail app comes with comprehensive markup tools.
1. Launch the Mail app and open an email message. Of course, you can also start from scratch by tapping the Compose button.
2. There are several ways to start annotating a document, editing an image, or creating a new drawing from scratch. To do so within an email, you tap inside the body of your email. If you are working without an external keyboard, you should see the virtual keyboard with a row of icons in the top-right corner. If you are using an external keyboard, you’ll find the icons in the lower-right corner.
3. Using those icons, proceed to add any element to your email. For example, you can add a photo, take a photo, add a document, scan a document, or create a drawing. For the sake of giving you an example, let’s add an image.
4. Once the file appears inside the body of your email message, tap and hold on that image/document until you see a menu just above. Tap on Markup, and a new screen will open.
5. Use any of the tools available at the bottom of your screen to annotate the document. Pick any tool, pick its color, and start annotating.
6. You can also fine-tune the selection of tools available in Markup, which is done by tapping and holding onto any tool. And if you take a look on the left, you can undo and redo your actions.
7. Take a look at the right side as well. If you tap on the plus icon, you can add a text field, your signature, a shape, or use a magnifier.
8. Once you’re happy with how your document looks, tap on Done in the top-left corner. The file will be saved automatically, and it will replace the previous version, so you can send it immediately. That’s it!
How to Start a Markup in Messages
Apple understands that the Messages app isn’t only for exchanging thoughts in the form of text. That’s why Markup is available in this app as well – but it only works with images (and other files stored in the Photos app). Here’s how to use it.
1. Launch the Messages app and start composing a new message. As soon as you do that, you’ll see a row of app-like icons at the top, whether you are using the virtual keyboard or an external keyboard.
2. You need to tap the Photos button and select the photo you’d like to annotate. That photo will be added to your message, so make sure to tap on it again.
3. Select Markup in the bottom-left corner. Once again, you’ll enter the Markup View with a palette of annotation tools at your disposal.
4. Once you’re happy with your image, tap on Save in the top-right corner, then tap on Done in the top-right corner. The image will be saved, and it will replace the previous version, which means you can send it immediately.
How to Start a Markup in Notes
In the Notes app, the whole page becomes a canvas. This app is one of the primary and perhaps best ways to draw a quick sketch. Also, it’s especially helpful if you have the Apple Pencil, letting you dive into detailed annotations. So, here’s what you need to do.
1. Launch the Notes app and tap on the New Note icon in the top-right corner. Alternatively, you can start drawing immediately by pressing the Markup tool, also found in the top-right corner.
2. A familiar interface will now appear, showing you a selection of markup-related tools at the bottom of your screen. Proceed to pick any tool or insert any element using the plus icon on the right side.
3. Once you’re happy with your sketch, exit the note you’re currently editing. Or, if you have something else on your mind, tap the New Note icon to start a new note.
The Functions of Each Markup Tool
It’s notable to point out that Markup can also be used with images and documents within their apps. For example, you can use Markup on images in the Photos app, without having to insert it into an email or notes first.
Each tool has a varying way in which it enhances the document or image you’re working on, making some more applicable than others, depending on the situation. Here is a bit more information about the available tools:
- Pen – A smooth writing utensil for general note-taking and signatures. Using the Apple Pencil, it recognizes and conforms to heavy amounts of pressure.
- Highlighter – This highlights your written or typed text and darkens in color if the same area is highlighted twice. With the Apple Pencil, tilt is recognized, thickening the stroke.
- Pencil – The pencil tool is great for drawings or for filling in diagrams. It can be great for notes with the Apple Pencil as long as pressure is applied.
- Eraser – Erase a single pen stroke, letter, or close grouping of letters with a tap. Use it as a classic eraser, swiping side to side to erase more.
- Lasso – Use the lasso tool to select and move a specific area. You have plenty of options when it comes to selecting parts of your annotations, so you can easily move them around.
Markup is truly a fantastic way to stay paperless and get things done faster, and we hope you’ll use it regularly. We’d like to recommend a couple more resources you’ll find to be helpful: the best simple drawing applications for Mac and how to scan documents in the Notes app (which you can then annotate, of course).
Isaac is a freelance writer with over a decade of experience covering the latest technological innovations. Mainly focused on Apple-related software and hardware systems, his aspiration is to explore all the ways today’s digital world intertwines with our everyday life.
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