How to Screenshot: Tips for iPhone & iPad

Updated on February 20, 2019
Jonathan Wylie profile image

Jonathan Wylie is a writer, educator and podcaster. You can hear the audio version of this article on Unpacking iOS; free on Apple Podcasts.

Source

Why Take Screenshots on iOS?

Screenshots are useful for all kinds of things. Want to share a snapshot of your favorite app? Take a screenshot. Got a new high score that you need to brag about? Take a screenshot. Need to create a step-by-step tutorial? Take a whole bunch of screenshots! The list of reasons go on and on and only serve to prove how useful it is to know how to take screenshot on iOS. So, without further delay, here's what you need to know in order to do it right.

How to Take a Screenshot on iPhone or iPad

Taking a screenshot is easier than you might think, but it varies depending on what device you have. If you are using an iOS device without a home button (e.g. iPhone X, XS, XR or an iPad Pro 2018 or later), then all you have to do is simultaneously press and then release the power button and volume up button. If you are using an iOS device that does have a home button, simultaneously press and then release the home button and the power button.

If you hold the buttons on for too long, your device will shutdown and restart, so make sure you only hold them long enough to take your screenshot. It is literally just a quick press, then release. The screenshot will appear as a thumbnail in the bottom left-hand corner of your screen and hover there for a few seconds. The screenshot will also automatically be saved to the Photos app where you can view it in your Camera Roll or in an album called Screenshots.

Annotate Screenshots on iPhone or iPad

When you capture your screenshot, and you see that thumbnail in the bottom left-hand corner of your screen, you can tap on it to open the annotation editor. This feature lets you crop and markup your iPhone or iPad screenshot. There are a number of tools available to help you with that. They include:

  • Drawing Tools - The pen, highlighter and pencil can be used to add ink annotations on a screenshot. They can be customized by tapping on them to change the transparency or stroke width.
  • Eraser - This is used for removing annotations created with the drawing tools. It removes the entire annotation, as opposed to part of one.
  • Lasso - Use the lasso to draw around any annotation to select it. Once selected, you can move the annotation to another part of the screen.
  • Text Tool - You can add text to your screenshot by tapping the plus sign in the bottom right-hand corner and selecting Text from the menu. Double tap the text box to edit it. Tap the double A icon in the bottom right-hand corner to adjust the font, font size, and alignment.
  • Signature - Add your name by tapping the plus sign in the bottom right-hand corner and selecting Signature. Then sign your name on the screen to record a signature and tap Done to insert it. Your signature is now saved and can be added to any additional screenshots from the same menu.
  • Magnifier - Make small details stand out by adding an onscreen loupe to focus the attention of the viewer. Simply tap the plus sign in the bottom right-hand corner and select Magnifier to add your loupe. There are two dots on the Magnifier. Slide the green dot to increase the magnification. Slide the blue dot to increase the size of the magnified area. You can change the the thickness of the loupe's border by tapping the square and circle in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen.
  • Shapes - Squares, rectangles, speech bubbles and arrows can also be added by tapping the plus sign in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. Each shape can be resized by dragging on the blue dots, and customized by tapping the square and circle icon.
  • Colors - You can choose a color for any of the drawing tools by selecting a tool and then tapping the color circle. Tapping on the rainbow circle will give you additional color options. You can also choose colors for text, signatures, magnifier loupes, and shapes.

The iOS Annotation Toolbar

Source

More Annotation Options for iOS

Annotations are easier to do with an Apple Pencil, however, you can annotate with your fingers or a third-party stylus if you prefer. Here are some more things that make annotations easier on iOS screenshots.

  • Undo/Redo - Look for the undo and redo arrows to fix mistakes or save your sanity as you get used to using the annotation tools
  • Crop - You can change the size of a screenshot by dragging in from a corner or from a straight edge to crop the image.
  • Zoom - Pinch in and out with two fingers to zoom in on a specific part of your screenshot while keeping the same same aspect ratio.
  • Share - You can print your screenshot, save it to cloud storage services, or share it via email, AirDrop or social media by tapping the Share arrow and selecting the option you need.

When you are finished, tap Done in the top left-hand corner of the screen. From here, you can choose to delete the screenshot or save it to the Photos app.

Capture, annotate, and save a screenshot on an iPhone
Capture, annotate, and save a screenshot on an iPhone | Source

7 Top Tips for Screenshots on iPhone & iPad

Once you've mastered the basics of taking and annotating a screenshot, hone your skills even more with these top tips for iPhone and iPad.

  1. After you have taken your screenshot you can banish the small thumbnail in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen with a quick swipe to the left.
  2. Alternatively, try pressing and holding on the thumbnail image to summon the share menu for quick sharing options.
  3. iPad users can use keyboard shortcuts to capture screenshots when they use a Smart Keyboard or a Bluetooth keyboard. Cmd+Shift+3 will take a screenshot while Cmd+Shift+4 goes one step further to take a screenshot and automatically open it in the annotation editor.
  4. iPad users can also use drag and drop to move their screenshot to a new app. Simply capture your screenshot, then drag the small thumbnail image over the icon of an app that allows you to add images, (e.g. Notes). Hold the thumbnail over the app until it opens, and then drop the image into the app.
  5. Capture multiple screenshots at once by pressing and releasing the buttons in quick succession. Your screenshots will stack up at the bottom of your screen and you can edit all of them at once by tapping on the stack to open them and swiping between the ones you want to annotate.
  6. You can cut, copy, delete or duplicate any ink annotation by selecting it with the lasso and then tapping on the annotation. This is especially useful for consistency when working with multiple screenshots.
  7. You can configure Assistive Touch to take screenshots so you don't ever need to mess with buttons on your device. Learn how to do it here.

Video: iPad Screenshot Tips in Action!

Adding the Finishing Touches

Please with your efforts so far? You should be! Those are some mighty nice screenshots you have taken. If you plan to use them as part of a tutorial or want a more professional look, try an app like Screenshot Maker Pro. This app will put a device frame around your screenshot so that it looks like it is embedded inside of an iPhone or an iPad.

Screenshot Maker Pro is a free to app to download from the App Store, but you are limited to five image exports (saving to the Camera Roll, Dropbox, Email, etc.), unless you pay the for one of the two in-app purchases that are required to unlock more exports. However, if you are after a more professional look, it is probably well worth it!

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • Jonathan Wylie profile imageAUTHOR

        Jonathan Wylie 

        4 years ago from Iowa, USA

        Alas it looks like it is no more. Skitch is great but if you need an alternative try Screenshot Editor instead :)

      • profile image

        Nicolas B. 

        4 years ago

        This is nice.

        But there is no BugShot in the App Store !

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, turbofuture.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://turbofuture.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)