How to use the markup feature on your Mac

Markup is one of the most useful built-in features in the Apple ecosystem. If you need a quick fix for your media or need to annotate documents before sending them to someone’s inbox, this feature is here for you.

While the feature is often heavily used in iPhones and iPads, the same is not true of Macs. This may be because there are other apps available that serve the same purpose. But maybe it’s also because people just don’t know how to access markup tools.

If you are in the latter group, below is a short guide on how you can access and maximize the markup feature on your Mac.

How to enable markup on your Mac

The markup feature can be accessed in several built-in Apple applications. But to make sure you can access it, enable the feature by doing the following:

  1. Open System Preferences> Extensions.

  2. To choose Actions. Click on the box next to it Markup.

  3. Do the same for Editing photos.

Markup as an extension on Mac

Now that it’s done, you can use the feature with several native apps on your Mac, including Photos, Mail, Text Edit, and more.

Make quick photo and file edits before sending your mail

While there are many email platforms available, email is still one of the primary ways to send files, especially if it is intended for business use. If you need to fill out forms or annotate documents in PDF format before sending them, there is an easy way to access the markup feature.

Simply drag the photo or document onto the body of the mail. You should see an arrow at the top right when you hover your mouse over the image or file.

Click the arrow, then choose Markup. A pop-up window with the image will appear, allowing you to edit the image or document. You can draw, add shapes and texts, add signature, rotate and crop images.

Editing documents via email with markup

You can even add sketches using your iPhone thanks to the continuity markup feature. When finished, press Ended, and send your e-mail.

If you have a PDF file that you need to fill out and sign, and you don’t have a third-party app to edit it, just use the markup tool to get your document ready to go.

There are several ways to do this:

  • Control-click on the document, choose A look. Once a pop-up window appears, click the Markup icon. Edit your file. Click on Ended once you are done.
  • Control-click on the document, choose Quick actions> Tagging. Likewise, just click Ended once you have completed your file.
  • Control-click on the document, hover Open with> Preview. Click the markup toolbar in the upper right corner of the window. Besides the usual annotation features, Markup in Preview also allows you to select text in PDFs.

Once you have finished editing in Preview, just click on the blue markup icon. You will notice that it will turn gray, indicating that you are no longer actively using the markup tools.

Edit photos and images

Similar to the above, you can just use A look and Quick actions to make quick image edits on your photo with markup. Alternatively, you can also use Overview.

Although Preview is the default app for viewing images, people often ignore it when it comes to editing images. But the Preview app is actually a handy tool for editing images and includes several useful functions, such as converting images from one file type to another, batch resizing photos, and adjusting color settings. ‘picture.

In addition to its usual tools, the markup toolbar for editing images in Preview has several additional tools, including Instant Alpha, Adjust size, and Adjust color.

If your image is in Apple Pictures app, just choose the image, then click Edit with> Preview. Look for the markup icon in the toolbar at the top of the pop-up window.

How to access markup via photos

There is another option to edit images with the markup tool. Apple has another built-in application called TextEdit. Besides opening rich text documents and converting Word documents to various file types, you can also use TextEdit to edit images.

Just open TextEdit, drag the photo you want to edit, and hover your cursor over the image until a small arrow appears. Then click on the arrow, choose Markup, and start editing.

Maximize your devices with continuity markup

Annotating and drawing can be tricky when using your Mac’s trackpad. If you have other Apple devices, you can use Apple’s continuity features to use your devices to add annotations to your image files.

It’s simple. Just make sure your two devices are set up to allow you to use the continuity feature. Once you’re in the markup window, find a device icon and click on it.

Markup function on Mac and iPhone

Once done, an editing window will automatically appear on your iPhone or iPad screen. It will render the annotations in real time. When you’re done, just tap Ended on your device.

Quickly edit screenshots

Sometimes the easiest way to share information is to use screenshots. However, with too much detail in a screenshot, certain annotations surrounding or framing buttons or placing arrows on certain features can help draw a person’s attention to what you want to show them.

To do this, create a screenshot as you normally would by pressing Shift + Cmd + 4 for only part of the screen or Shift + Command + 3 for a screenshot of the entire screen.

After taking a screenshot, open the preview box that appears. You should immediately be able to edit with the markup tools present.

No need for third-party apps

Making major changes requires the use of more sophisticated tools and applications. But if you just need minor annotations for your files, your Mac’s built-in markup tool should do the trick.


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