How to mark up photos in Messages on iPhone and iPad

Messages is an easy way to share photos with friends and family, and the Markup editor lets you add some extra flair to your images. While you can use the Markup editor in the Photos app, you can also do so from within the Messages app.

When you open up the Markup editor in Messages, you'll have access to a number of tools for marking up your photos, starting with the pen, highlighter, pencil, eraser, and loop tools that let you draw and write all over your photo. But there are four other tools you should know about, as well, which you can get to by tapping the + in the bottom-right corner of the markup screen:

  • Text - Add a text box to your image and write whatever you choose in it. You can also change the color of the text, as well as formatting like size, font, and alignment. Drag the points on the text box to change its size and how the text interacts with it, and drag it around the image to place it in the best spot.
  • Signature - Add a signature to your image. Tapping on the signature tool will bring up a screen that lets you add a signature with your finger (or Apple Pencil on iPad Pro). Once entered, you can place the signature anywhere on the image, then send it off to whoever needs it.
  • Magnifier - Call out a particular part of an image with the magnification tool which, as its name suggests, magnifies a portion of your image. Control the size of the magnification circle, as well as the strength of the magnification, as well as the color of the magnifier's border.
  • Shapes - Add a shape to your image. Pick from the square, circle, chat bubble, and arrow, then control their size, color, and even overall shape. You can also decide between hollow and filled shapes.

Here's what you need to know about marking up photos inside Messages on iPhone and iPad.

How to take and mark up an instant photo in Messages

  1. Open Messages app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on the conversation in which you'd like to send a marked up photo.
  3. Tap on the camera button in the bottom-left corner.

    Open Messages, tap the conversation, tap camera

  4. Tap the capture button on the camera panel at the bottom of your screen to take a photo. The photo will automatically appear in the Compose box.
  5. Tap the photo in the compose box.
  6. Tap Markup.

    Tap capture button, tap photo, tap Markup

  7. Tap the + button in the bottom-right corner to access additional markup tools if you need them.
  8. Mark up your photo.
  9. Tap Save.

    Tap +, Mark up photo, tap Save

  10. Tap Done.
  11. Tap the Send button (looks like an arrow).

    Tap Done, tap Send

How to take and mark up a photo in Messages

  1. Open Messages app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on the conversation in which you'd like to send a marked up photo.
  3. Tap on the camera button in the bottom-left corner.

    Open Messages, tap conversation, tap camera

  4. Tap Camera.
  5. Tap the capture button to take a photo.
  6. Tap Retake if you need to retake the photo.

    Tap Camera, tap capture, tap Retake

  7. Tap Markup.
  8. Tap the + button in the bottom-right corner to access additional markup tools if you need them.
  9. Mark up your photo.

    Tap Markup, tap +, mark up

  10. Tap Save.
  11. Tap Done.
  12. Tap the Send button (looks like an arrow).

    Tap save, tap Done, tap Send

How to mark up an existing photo in Messages

  1. Open Messages app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on the conversation in which you'd like to send a marked up photo.
  3. Tap on the camera button in the bottom-left corner.

    Open Messages, tap the conversation, tap camera

  4. Tap the Photos button to see your entire photo library and all of your albums.
  5. Alternatively, swipe to the left to scroll through recent photos.
  6. Tap the image you'd like to send. If you're using a recent photo, the picture will automatically appear in the Compose box.

    Tap Photos, swipe to the left, tap Image

  7. Tap Choose when viewing your whole library. Your photo will appear in the compose box.
  8. Tap the photo in the compose box.
  9. Tap Markup.

    Tap Choose, tap photo, tap Markup

  10. Tap the + button in the bottom-right corner to access additional markup tools if you need them.
  11. Mark up your photo.
  12. Tap Save.

    Tap +, mark up, tap Save

  13. Tap Done.
  14. Tap the Send button (looks like an arrow).

    Tap Done, tap Send

How to edit and mark up photos you've taken in Messages in iOS 12

Apple occasionally offers updates to iOS, watchOS, tvOS, and macOS as closed developer previews or public betas for iPhone, iPad, Apple TV and Mac (sadly, no public beta for the Apple Watch). While the betas contain new features, they also contain pre-release bugs that can prevent the normal use of your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, or Mac, and are not intended for everyday use on a primary device. That's why we strongly recommend staying away from developer previews unless you need them for software development, and using the public betas with caution. If you depend on your devices, wait for the final release.

After taking a photo or video using the camera in Messages, right before you send it, you'll be given the option to add effects, edit, and mark up your content. Here's how you do it.

  1. Tap the Effects button.
  2. Tap on the button for the effect or you want to send with your photo or video. This can be anything from Animoji (and Memoji) to stickers from iMessage sticker apps.
  3. Tap on the effect or sticker that you want to send.

    Tap Effects, tap effect/sticker pack button, choose effect/sticker

  4. Tap the X button at the top of the effect or sticker pane when you've added the effects and stickers that you wanted to.
  5. Tap Edit.
  6. Edit your photo or video as you see fit.

    Tap X, tap Edit, edit photo/video

  7. Tap Done.
  8. Tap Markup (photos only).
  9. Mark up the photo as you need to.

    Tap Done, tap Markup, mark up photo

  10. Tap Save.
  11. Tap the Send button.

    Tap Save, tap Send

How to use live camera effects, Animoji, and Memoji in Messages in iOS 12

In order to put Animoji and Memoji into your photos, you'll need to add them before you actually take your photo.

  1. Tap the Effects button after opening the camera in Messages (the Effects button resembles a star).
  2. Tap on the button for the effect or you want to send with your photo or video. This can be anything from Animoji (and Memoji) to stickers from iMessage sticker apps.
  3. Tap on the effect or sticker that you want to send. You can add multiple stickers or effects.

    Tap Effects, tap an effect or sticker pack, tap effect/sticker

  4. Place your effect or sticker if it needs placement.
  5. Take your photo.
  6. Tap the Send button.

    Place effect, take photo, tap Send

Questions?

Let us know in the comments if you have any questions about marking up photos in Messages.

Update August 2018: Added steps and screenshots for adding filters, stickers, Animoji, and Memoji on iOS 12.

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