Annotating documents and photos is one of the easiest ways to provide feedback. If you’re on your phone or a tablet, it’s all the easier if you can just write and/or draw directly on the photo or document without needing a special app to do it. In iOS 9, Apple saw how important image annotation was as a productivity tool and included some powerful image annotation features in the Mail app. With iOS 10, Apple has brought those same features to the Messages app. Any image that you want to share via iMessages or SMS/MMS, you can now annotate without leaving the app. Here’s how.
The markup tools include a simple drawing tool that recognizes a shape that you’ve drawn e.g. a circle and can refine it, a text tool for adding text, and a magnifying tool. The text tools include tools that let you set text orientation, select a different font, and change the size and color of the text.
Accessing Markup Tools
Open the Messages app and compose a new message. Tap the camera icon and select a photo from your camera roll. Once the image has been inserted into the message, tap it. You will be able to preview the entire image. At the bottom left of this preview screen is a ‘Markup’ button. Tap it.
The markup option differs from the ‘Edit’ option which will open the same editing controls that you get inside the Photos app.
Tap the pen button at the bottom left of the Markup screen to select the drawing tool. You can choose the color of the tool from one of the eight default ones. Go ahead and draw a circle or square to highlight something on the image. The app will automatically recognize the shape and refine it for you.
For example, if you drew a circle around something but it wasn’t a very neat one, the app will automatically let you select a more refined circle to replace it.
Text Annotation Tool
Tap the ‘T’ button at the bottom right of the Markup screen to access the text tool. Type inside the text box that appears. Use the same color controls that you used for the drawing tool to change the color of the text.
The text box can be resized and moved by tapping, holding, and dragging it around. To change the font, text orientation, and font size, tap the ‘A’ button next to the color selection tool. From the popup menu, select a font, and use the slider to change the size of the text.
The magnification tool is accessed from the button in the middle. It looks like a circle with a magnified letter ‘a’ in it. Tap it and the tool will appear on the image. The tool doesn’t magnify the part of the image directly under it. Instead, it will magnify a part that’s below it. You will have to play around with it a bit to get the position right.
The green and blue handles on the circular tool will let you increase the size of the tool and increase the area it magnifies.
Saving & Sending
Tap the ‘Done’ button at the very top to save changes and tap send, the green/blue arrow button, to send it to your recipient.