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7 Best Apps to Markup Photos

September 16, 2022
Ferdie L. Eusebio
5 minute read

If you are a graphic designer, there is a good chance that you often need to markup photos. Whether it is for a design project or simply for your portfolio, being able to quickly and easily add text, shapes, annotations, and more to an image can be incredibly helpful. Sadly, many photo editors make this too complicated. That’s where photo markup tools come in.

Before we discuss the best apps for marking up photos, we need to talk about what image markup tools are.

What is a Photo Markup App?

For any graphic designer, having a good stock of photos is essential to creating a visually appealing design, whether for a website design, display ad design, logo, or more. However, using any old photo is not enough; the photos must be high quality and well-chosen to complement the overall design. This is where online photo markup apps come in handy.

These photo markup apps allow designers to select photos from their library of high-quality images and then edit them to fit their needs. In addition, online photo markup apps offer a variety of other features that can be useful for designers, such as the ability to add text or watermarks, resize images, and crop photos. With so many helpful features, it is no wonder that online photo markup tools have become an essential tool for many web designers.

By markup, we mean adding visual annotations or notes to an image. This can be useful in many ways, such as adding captions, labeling different elements in an image, or even just drawing attention to a particular area.

The main purpose of a photo markup tool is to communicate with other people the state of the design — what should be adjusted, removed, edited, and more. As such, tools like these are used for online collaboration.

There are several different image markup tools available online. One simple Google search will lead you to these markup tools. While most of these tools are free to use, they only offer limited features, which is why we’ve created a list of photo markup tools that will surely give you what you need.

7 Best Photo Markup Apps Today

As we all know, there are hundreds or thousands of apps all over the internet that can help us achieve our goals. But we must remember that not all markup apps were created equal; some can do the job way better and more conveniently than others. Some are free, while others come at a price.

There are various image markup tools available, so it's important to choose one that meets your needs. In general, you'll want to look for a tool that's easy to use and that offers a variety of different commenting features. Beyond that, it's mostly a matter of personal preference.

If you’re in the market for one, here are some of the markup apps that you need to keep an eye on:


When it comes to photo annotations, Instacap does an excellent job. With Instacap, you can markup not only your screenshots and images but also a live website. It offers a wide range of features for different users, making it one of the best online options.

Instacap has an impressive set of items you can add to an image, including shapes, arrows, and text. You can even draw on your photos to highlight specific areas or blur sections that you want to hide. This photo markup app also allows you to crop, rotate, and resize your images.

The interface is highly intuitive and easy to use. When you’re done, you can share the edited image via social media or email them directly from the app. No need to use a third-party app or program!

The best thing about Instacap is that it offers a 100% free-to-use plan. You won't need to spend a single cent to gather important feedback to improve your website or design. You won't even need to create an account! Just upload your image or take a screenshot of your design and let the members of your team comment on it.

There are two ways to use Instacap: using the Chrome extension and the web app.

If you want to keep a history of the images, files, and websites you’ve annotated, sign-up for an account via Google. Don’t worry; you can still use the free plan when you create an account. You’ll be allowed to capture up to 15 shareable capture links and use the annotation tool in full.

If you’re part of a bigger organization or you’re a freelancer, and you’d like to capture and annotate more shareable images and files, you can upgrade to paid plans that start at $5 per month.

Whatever plan you choose, it will definitely be worth it. Check Instacap here.

IO Annotator

IO Annotator is another markup photo tool available today. It allows you to annotate images with notes, comments, and other information. This can be very helpful when working on web design projects or presentations, as it allows you to keep track of your work and make sure that everything is going according to plan.

There are a few different ways that you can use the IO Annotator. One way is to simply add notes to your images. This can be useful if you want to remind yourself of something or if you want to leave a comment for someone else.

Another way to use it is to create tags. Tags are like labels that you can attach to your images. They can be used to categorize your images, or they can be used to help you find specific images later on.

Finally, you can also use IO Annotator to create layers. Layers allow you to edit an image in multiple ways without having to create a new image file each time. This can be very helpful when working on complex web design projects.

After annotating, just download the image and share it with your team. It's that easy!

You can use the full version or “Standard” platform of IO Annotator for $499 per month, which consists of unlimited datasets and annotations. You can also use their “Social” platform for free, but you will need permission to use their beta version. is an annotation tool that offers a few more features than IO Annotator. Markup IO’s Pro version costs $49 per month (one workspace, unlimited annotations, unlimited folders, and up to 500 GB storage), which would allow you to annotate not only images but also PDFs, websites, and even screenshots. Simply click the "new markup" button and choose the type of file you want to annotate.

Once you've selected a file, you'll be taken to the editor, where you can begin adding annotations. You can put text, lines, and shapes or do a freehand annotation. You can also highlight an issue and resolve it right there and then!

When you're finished adding annotations, simply click the "save" button in the toolbar and choose how you want to export your image (PNG, JPG, etc.).  After doing so, you can download the photo and share it with your team for approval or another round of discussion.  

For the free trial version, users can have one workspace, ten annotations, and up to 1GB of storage space only. Once you have exceeded either your number of annotations or storage space, you will be prompted to switch to Pro.


Ruttl is a markup photo tool that can quickly mark up photos or screenshots of a live website or an image. The interface is simple and intuitive, making it easy to start with the tool.

To use Ruttl, simply upload a photo and then click on the areas that you want to annotate. You can add text, arrows, and shapes to your annotations, and you can also change the color and opacity of each element. Once you're happy with your design, you can download the image or share it directly with others.

Ruttl is an ideal tool for generating feedback for websites, apps, images, and PDF files. It is also great for simply sharing your ideas with others. This photo markup app has two plans: Standard, which is worth $13 a month, and Pro, which is worth $33 a month and is meant for agencies and companies.


Skitch is a markup photo tool for taking screenshots and annotating images. It has been around for a while. It used to be a stand-alone product, but now it's part of the Evernote family, which turned it into a collaborative tool that can be used to annotate images and collaborate with others on projects.

While it may not have all the features of the other markup photo apps we’ve discussed above, Skitch is still a great option if you want something simple and easy to use. With this free-to-use app, you can add text, draw lines, highlight some portions of the image and discuss it with your team.  

The downside to using Skitch is that you need to have a registered Evernote account before using it. And if you want full use of the app, their plans start at $7.99 per month.


Canva is a versatile tool that can be used for a variety of purposes. Whether creating a digital collage, retouching a photo, or simply adding text to an image, the app offers many features to help you get the job done.

The first step to using this app to annotate images is to select the image you want to markup.

This can be done from your camera roll or by taking a new photo within the app. Once the image is selected, you can add text, stickers, and other embellishments. The app also offers a variety of filters and editing tools to help you perfect your creation. When you're finished, you can save the image to your camera roll or share it directly with your friends and followers.

The downside to using Canva is that whatever you add to the image, it’s there forever. It’s not very good for collaborative editing.

For $119.99 annually, Canva's editing app is a great choice for anyone looking to add some creativity to their photos. There is a free version that you can try, but the features are limited, such as pre-designed templates and watermarked images. However, it can still work well if you just want to annotate images.

Another downside with Canva is that the app is not focused on just image markups. With so many things going around, it can overwhelm the user, especially if he is a beginner.

Markup Hero

MarkUpHero is another markup photo tool designers and collaborators can use to quickly and easily add text, arrows, circles, and other annotations to their photos. The tool is particularly useful for web design professionals who need feedback on client website designs or mockups.

With MarkUpHero, designers can annotate their photos with customized text and colors, and they can also save their annotations as templates for future use. In addition, this markup tool offers a handy Chrome extension that makes it even easier to add annotations to photos, websites, Google Slides, Google Sheets, and PDF files. With the extension installed, designers can simply right-click on any image in their browser and select “Markup with MarkUpHero” from the context menu.

There are three different plans a user can choose. If you want a quick markup for your project, you can use the “Sidekick plan.” In this free plan, you don’t need to signup; just use the tool and leave afterward. However, you are limited to 5 images, one day of editing, and one day of history. Any more than that, and you’ll need to sign-up and upgrade.

With the “Hero” plan, you can also use the tool for free, but you need to signup to use the app for three days with three days worth of history and up to 10 images only.

Finally, the “Superhero” plan is a paid plan which lets you use the tool to its fullest capacity for the price of $4 per month per member.

There are two major downsides of using this markup tool. First, when using the Chrome extension, you need to signup to download the annotated image. Also, the image is not expandable, so you have to fit every comment on the same page.  

What To Consider When Choosing A Markup App

Most design projects start with a mockup or wireframe. This is an image of the proposed design, typically created in a graphic design program like Photoshop or Sketch. Once the client approves the mockup, it's time to start building out the actual design, like a website, for example. But before coding begins, it's helpful to get feedback on the design from other people. This is where an image markup tool comes in handy.

With an image markup tool, you can upload your mockup and then add annotations to point out specific areas that you want feedback on. You can also invite others to join your project and collaborate on the design. Once you've gathered all the feedback you need, you can incorporate it into your final design and then start coding the site.

Seems useful? Definitely. But then, how do you go about choosing the right tool for your needs? Here are some of the most important factors to keep in mind:


There are a few key things to look for in a markup photo tool regarding features. First, it should have support for a wide range of file types. Are you comfortable using .img, .jpg, .mpg, or do you want to use other file types such as .doc and .pdf, among others? If the markup tool can use any of these file types, then you can have a smooth working experience with it.

Second, it should have a range of editing tools available. The more editing tools are offered, the more flexibility you will have when editing your images. It should be capable of giving more than text annotations and greater storage capacity.

Finally, it should offer a user-friendly interface. The easier the tool is, the less time you will waste trying to figure out how to use it. Many website designers choose simpler tools because it lessens their workload, especially when dealing with clients.


Price is another important factor to consider. You don't want to spend more than you have to on a markup photo tool. More expensive doesn’t always mean better. Look into how the price relates to the features.

For instance, IO Annotator is highly expensive, but for the purpose of marking up images, you can do better with Instacap, which is priced really low (and even offers a free plan!)

Ease of Use

Convenience is also important when choosing a markup photo tool. You don't want to spend hours figuring out how to use the software; you should be able to start using it immediately after installation. If you can use it without installing anything, even better, right?

When considering all of these factors, you should be able to find the perfect markup photo tool for your needs.

Final Thoughts on Apps to Markup Photos

There is no doubt that markup photo tools are a great asset for designers, especially for a team composed of members from different locations. They can help you create a professional-looking design, whether it be for brand design, web design, advertising, or more. In addition, markup photo tools can help you optimize your photos for the web.

So if you're working on a web design project, be sure to make use of an image markup tool to get feedback from others. It's a quick and easy way to improve your designs before they're launched into the world.

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