How to Use Markup on a Document on iPad Pro

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Markup is a fantastic feature built in to iOS for editing and signing documents with a couple of taps, filling out forms, or even for adding text to a PDF document. This article will cover the ins and outs of the feature and how to get the absolute most out of it.

How to Start a Markup in Mail

To add a drawing in Mail, start by composing a new email. Then, press and hold on the main body of the message. Tap the “Insert Drawing” option. Markup will now launch, where you can start drawing a sketch or a handwritten note. This experience will be best with a stylus or on iPad Pro with Apple Pencil, as your drawing will be more accurate and fluid. Alternatively, if you have previously marked up an image in Photos, you can attach it in the email by tapping “Insert Photo or Video.”


How to Start a Markup in 3rd-Party Applications

Markup can be entered in other applications, very similarly to how it is done in Mail. Though, it is important to know that not all 3rd party applications are supported. In an area where text can be entered, press and hold to see if the “Insert Drawing” option appears. Otherwise you can add markup in an app like Notes and import a screen shot as an image.

In addition to this, the Markup icon will appear when viewing certain images or documents. Tap it to enter the Markup interface.

How to Start a Markup in Notes

In the default Apple Notes app, the whole page becomes a canvas. Notes is one of the primary and perhaps best ways to draw out a quick sketch. To get started, tap the new note icon.


Now, select the Markup icon. This icon is also visible if the keyboard is hidden.


Tap a tool and color to start a Markup.


The Functions of Each Markup Tool

Each tool has a varying way in which it writes, making some more applicable than others, depending on the situation. For example, the pen would be better than the pencil for a signature, as the pen writes more prominently, whereas the pencil is designed more for artistic sketches. Here is a bit more information about the tools:

  • Pen – A smooth writing utensil for general note-taking and signatures. Using the Apple Pencil, it recognizes and conforms to heavy amounts of pressure, and the thickness of the line does not increase with pressure.
  • Highlighter – The highlighter brings a higher visibility to your written or typed text, and it darkens in color if the same area is highlighted twice. With the Apple Pencil, tilt is recognized, thickening the stroke.
  • Pencil – The pencil is great for drawings or for filling in diagrams. It can be great for notes with the Apple Pencil, as long as pressure is applied.
  • Eraser – Erase a single pen-stroke, letter, or close grouping of letters with a tap. Use it as a classic eraser, swiping side to side, to erase more area. This action can always be undone.
  • Lasso – Use the lasso tool to select and move a specific area. While diagrams, sketches, and full sentences can be dragged, they cannot be copied.


Markup truly is a fantastic way to stay paperless and to get things done faster. What do you most commonly use Markup for? If you do not use it, what other document editing or note-taking apps do you use? Or, do you prefer paper instead? Let us know in a comment down below.

Image credit: Photo by Roberto Nickson from Pexels

Corbin Telligman Corbin Telligman

I'm a junior at UT Dallas, a tech enthusiast, an adreneline junkie, and a coffee fanatic.