How to quickly edit screenshots on iPhone or iPad with Instant Markup

Instant Markup lets you simply place Apple Pencil on what you want to annotate. But did you know that you can use Instant Markup to quickly edit screenshots right after taking them?

iOS 11’s new screenshotting workflow doesn’t just make it easy to see what you’re screenshotting, but also do things like add text and vector shapes to your screenshots, doodle anything with your finger, zoom in on a part of a screenshot to emphasize it and much more.

How to edit screenshots with Instant Markup

To take and edit a screenshot quickly without needing to open the Photos app, do this:

1) Capture what’s on the screen of your iOS device.

  • iPhone X: Press the Side button and the Volume Up button simultaneously
  • Other iOS devices: Press the Home button and the Sleep/Wake button simultaneously

2) Access your Instant Markup tools by tapping a thumbnail that appears for a few seconds in the lower-left corner of the screen right after taking a screenshot.

TIP: If you took multiple screenshots, tap on their preview bundle in the lower-left corner to open them all in Instant Markup. From there, you can swipe between the individual images to make changes to a particular screenshot.

3) Use Markup’s built-in tools to sketch, create text, crop, zoom in, add a signature and more.

  • Sketch—You can draw arbitrary shapes directly on the screenshot, using your finger or Apple Pencil. Tap a different pen tool to change the line width. Use other shortcuts lined up alongside the screen bottom to do things like erase a portion of your drawing, pick a drawing color and more.
  • Zoom in—To highlight a specific area of the screenshot, tap the “+” in the lower-right corner, then choose the Magnifier action from the popup menu. To increase the area that you’d like to magnify, drag the blue dot along the edge of the circle. To zoom in on a part of the screenshot, drag the green dot.
  • Add text—To add some text, tap the “+” in the lower-right corner, then choose the Text action from the popup menu. You can choose a color for your text, change its font, size or alignment, reposition the text box and more.
  • Add signature—To add your own signature, tap the “+” in the lower-right corner and choose Signature from the popup menu. You can use your finger to sign your name, create a new handwritten signature or drop one of your previously saved signatures onto the screenshot. Drag the corner of the box in or out to resize your signature.
  • Crop—To crop out unwanted parts of the screenshot, just drag the blue online.

Markup includes other annotation and editing tools as well.

For example, there’s a handy lasso tool for selecting multiple objects at once. You also get some useful built-in vector shapes like a circle, square, rectangle, speech bubble and pointing arrow that can be solid-colored or outlined.

4) Tap Done in the upper-left corner to save or delete your screenshot.

TIP: If you’d like to annotate a screenshot after it’s been saved to Photos, launch the Photos app and open the image you’d like to annotate. Tap Edit, then tap “…” and finally choose Markup from the popup menu.

Markup is also available as an image-editing extension in the Photos app.

Edits you make using Markup in Photos are non-destructible.

  • Instant Markup—Annotations and other edits are flattened when you save a screenshot to Photos, preventing you from reverting the changes.
  • Markup in Photos—Any changes made to a screenshot with Markup in Photos are non-destructible and revertible, even after applying a filter to an annotated screenshot.

For instance, you can use Markup in Photos to add a speech bubble along with some text to a screenshot. The next time you open that screenshot in Markup through the Photos app, you’ll be able to relocate the speech bubble, edit the text and so forth.

Saving, deleting and sharing screenshots from Instant Markup

The Markup interface includes options for saving screenshots to the Photos app. You can also delete one or more screenshots taken in a single session, and share your screenshots.

Saving or deleting screenshots in Instant Markup

To save or delete one or more annotated screenshots, tap Done in the upper-left corner after making your edits and choose the appropriate option from the popup menu:

  • Save to Photos—All the screenshots in the Instant Markup interface will be saved along with your annotations and other changes to the image library in the Photos app.
  • Delete Screenshots—Any screenshots in Instant Markup will be discarded and moved to the Recently Deleted album in Photos, to be permanently deleted within 40 days.

If you accidentally deleted a screenshot, undelete it with just a few taps: go to the Albums tab within the Photos app, choose the album titled Recently Deleted, select an image you’d like to undelete, then tap Recover in the lower-right corner.

Sharing screenshots in Instant Markup

To share screenshots from the Instant Markup interface, tap the Share icon in the lower-left corner of the screen and choose where you’d like to share the images.

Your annotated screenshots are shared as flattened JPEG files.

One more tip: you can cover up sensitive data on screenshots—including private information such as account names, addresses, email handles and so forth—by drawing a solid black rectangle in Markup over parts you’d like to hide from the prying eyes.

Be sure not to use Markup’s pen, pencil or marker to paint over the areas you’d like to hide. Markup and Instant Markup are not very good redaction tools so I use a dedicated app, called Redacted (pictured below).

TUTORIAL: How to share a screenshot immediately after taking it

Covering up secrets on screenshots by drawing with a marker pen makes it all too easy for any novice Photoshop user to reveal what’s underneath the censored parts simply by playing with colors and contrast.

And that’s it, boys and girls!

Redacted for iOS and macOS lets you censor parts of an image using pixelation, blurring and more.

For those wondering, the Markup tools in iOS also make it easy to annotate photos you take with your iPhone or iPad and email attachments and documents stored in the PDF format.

But wait, I hear you say, doesn’t’ macOS provide a seamless annotation experience akin to iOS?

TUTORIAL: 4 tips for taking selection screenshots on your Mac

Well, not exactly—at least not at this moment. That being said, you’re wholeheartedly recommended to take advantage of Mac’s built-in annotation features in the stock Preview app—just press Command (⌘)-Shift (⇧)-A to bring up your Markup tools.

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