How to Insert Sketches and Mark Up Documents on Your Mac With an iPhone or iPad

Did you know you can use your iPhone or iPad to insert sketches and mark up documents on your Mac? Apple’s Continuity features, namely Continuity Sketch and Continuity Markup, make this possible.

You can add sketches or annotate documents with the Markup tools in any supported Mac app. So, if you own an iPhone or iPad and a Mac, read on, as we’ll teach you exactly what you need to do.

How to Insert Sketches With Continuity Sketch

To use Apple’s Continuity features, your iPhone (or iPad) and Mac must be near each other, have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth turned on, and be logged into iCloud with the same Apple ID.

To insert a sketch into a Mac document from your iPhone or iPad, follow these steps:

  1. Open the document on your Mac.
  2. In the menu bar, click File or Insert, depending on where you’re opening the document. If it’s in Pages, for example, you’ll choose Insert, but if it’s in Notes, you’ll choose File.
    Screenshot of the Insert menu in Apple Pages

  3. Select Insert from (device), then select Add Sketch.
  4. Now, sketch your image on your iPhone or iPad and tap Done when finished. The sketch will immediately appear in your Mac document.

If you have an iPad, you can use an Apple Pencil for greater control over your sketches. Besides Continuity Sketch, there are other ways you can use your Apple Pencil with your Mac, provided you have an iPad as well.

How to Annotate Documents With Continuity Markup

You can also annotate documents on your Mac with Continuity Markup. Whether you want to add text, sign documents, or scribble notes, you can do it easily on your iPhone or iPad and have it appear on your Mac in real time.

To mark up a document on your iPhone or iPad, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Locate the document you want to mark up in Finder on your Mac, Control-click it, then select Quick Actions > Markup. Alternatively, select the document, press the space bar to open it in Preview, then click the Markup button at the top-right corner of the window.
  2. In the Markup toolbar on your Mac, click the iPhone or iPad icon to open a markup window on your iPhone or iPad.
  3. The changes appear on your Mac as you annotate your document. You can undo any mistakes on your Mac by clicking Revert.
    Screenshot of Continuity Markup on a Mac

  4. When you’re done annotating, click Done on your Mac to save the changes.

One advantage of Continuity Markup is that it makes using Apple’s Markup drawing tools easier. You can draw in Markup on a Mac, but it’s a lot more tricky with a trackpad or mouse, whereas it’s a much smoother process on an iPhone or iPad.

Annotate and Sketch Away on Your Mac

Macs aren’t touchscreen devices, so we can’t draw on them as much as we would love to. However, the next best thing is the ability to alter documents live on our Mac with Continuity Sketch and Continuity Markup features.

If you have a Mac and an iPhone or iPad that meet Apple’s Continuity requirements, you can work seamlessly on both devices to add sketches, signatures, shapes, text, and more to your documents.


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