How To: Use Instant Markup on iOS 11

In the course of my day-to-day writing, I find myself taking a lot of screenshots on my iOS devices. A LOT! It’s not just for writing though - when friends or family ask me how to perform a certain action on their iPhone, the ability to take screenshots and mark them up on the fly is extremely handy. 

This is a quick guide on how to use the Instant Markup feature on iOS 11. 


When you take a screenshot in iOS 11, you’ll see a PiP (Picture in Picture) window appear in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen. Tapping on this PiP takes you into the Instant Markup window, offering a variety of annotation tools for your screenshot. You CAN take multiple screenshots if you wish. These are stored in a PiP drawer however you can’t hang around. After five seconds, the Instant Markup PiP will disappear. 

The PiP appears by default and currently, there is no ability to disable this in iOS 11. Hopefully, this will change soon as this functionality certainly isn’t for everyone.



When you are in the Instant Markup window, you’ll see some tools at the bottom. There is a marker, highlighter, pencil, eraser and magic rope. You can change the colour of each of these tools as well. Currently, there are six to choose from: red, yellow, green, blue, black and white.

There is a More button that offers some other annotations:

  • Text - adding a text field is a commonly used feature when annotating. Tap once to add the field, then again to bring up the keyboard and type your text. 
  • Signature - if you have a signature saved in Preview, then you can access this here. 
  • Magnifier - you may wish to enlarge a portion of the screen. Tap the Magnifier option to drop a magnifying glass onto the screenshot and then manoeuvre into position. You can adjust the size using the sizing bars on the circle. 
  • Shapes - there are several shapes you can add - square, circle, speech bubble and arrow. These can be filled, or outline only and like the magnifier, they are easily resized. 

You can also crop the screenshot as a whole. Touch and hold an edge, or a corner and you can cut out the unwanted portion.



When you have finished your edits, press Done and you’ll have the option of either saving your screenshot to Photos, or deleting as appropriate.