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MacOS Hidden Treasures: Mac Hidden Markup Tools

[Editor’s note: This comprehensive article was published as a bonus for TidBITS members for a month; it’s now available for everyone.]

Have you ever had a photo that just asked for a speech bubble with a snarky comment from your spouse (or baby), or did you need a crooked Snidely Whiplash handbrake for your boss (or baby)? Have you ever wanted to highlight or enlarge a portion of the image for special attention, or just crop a screenshot or another photo?

You do not need to open Preview preview to use your special creation tools, then copy or otherwise use the modified version. Although Apple's productivity programs (Pages, Numbers and Keynote) have a lot of native spreadsheet tools, the company's other applications that contain images-Photos, Mail, TextEdit, Stickies, Notes, and even (in MacOS 1

0.14 Mojave only) Messages-can now use marking tools. As if that is not enough, Mojave also incorporates these tools through Finder and even within the new screenshots.

Enable Macs Markup Tools

Extensions are small plug-ins that add functionality to applications. Back in 2014, the Apple Markup Extension in 10.10 Yosemite added with the Expansion Expansion Panel.

Enable remark function in System Preferences for three areas in Mojave:

  1. Go to System Preferences> Extensions.
  2. Select Actions in the list and select Selection in the panel.
  3. Select image editing and mark Markup.
  4. Select Finder and select. (You should also check the other three items, but I do not cover the use of this article, except one in transit, in "Quick Tips.")

  MacOS Extensions settings.

In Preferences for High Sierra, enable Markup for Actions and Photos. There are no Finder options.

Access Markup Tools

How to get to your selection tools depends on where you work:

  • In Images: In Images, you can access the creation tools when an image is in editing mode. (Zoom a thumbnail with a double click, and then click Edit in the upper right, or select an image and press Return.) Click the More ••• button in the toolbar and select Markup from the menu; The alignment pane disappears from the right side of the window, and your lookup icon appears at the top of the image.
  • In other Markup-knowledgeable apps from Apple: In programs like TextEdit, place an image in the document and then hover over the upper right corner until you see an arrow down click on it and select Markup from menu to open the selection window.
     Selection in TextEdit.
  • In the Finder: Mojave can use highlighting tools right in Finder, where you can access them in many ways.
    • Column view windows: The final column of a window set to columns shows the item selected in the previous column. When there is a markup enabled item, a selection  Markup button. button appears at the bottom of the route.
    • A preview of the window: Whichever view you have set for Finder windows, icons, lists, columns or (new in Mojave) gallery – you can add a route to the right of the menu that you can see a large version of a selected item: Choose View> View Preview. This preview is more than just a big icon; For example, you can browse a multi-page document. When the route displays a markup-compatible document, it is a selection  tag button. button below the picture.

        The preview pane.
      Yes, that's my family: my grandparents, father (the elder boy), uncle and aunt; The little girl is my Aunt Doris, who just celebrated her 90th birthday.

    • Any image file anywhere: Check an image file in Finder and select Quick Actions> Markup.
    • On the floating thumbnail: In Mojave, when you save a screen as a file, it appears first as a thumbnail in the lower right of the screen. Double-click the thumbnail to open it in a boot window. But avoid this approach unless you make a quick and dirty mark and send it on your way (say in Mail) for someone to see – because, like other Finder-based selections, when you close the window, selections are "flat" – they become part of the file and can not be edited. But this mark-up-and-send approach is obvious what Apple expects you to do here because some  delikon. The button appears on the selection toolbar, and I have not seen it anywhere else.

Regardless of how you use the selection tools, you'll get a toolbar at the top of the Markup window that displays six basic creation tools (one inoperable right-hand tool tool), a menu that offers additional ten, four formatting menus, two rotate tools and a crop tool . (High Sierra lacks rotation and cropping tools, even though it has cropping ability.)

 Markup Toolbars in Mojave and High Sierra
Top: Mojave Selection Tools. Bottom: High Sierra's creation tool.

If you want to leave the selection mode if you work in Pictures, either click the Save Changes button or Cancel button. You will be returned to the Standard Photos Edit window, which you can quit by clicking Done or press Return. In other apps, the storage part is automatic; use the Done or Cancel button to close the Markup window.

Sketch tool

This tool is more magical than the pencil icon may indicate. Draw a line or shape with the Sketch tool, and Markup tries to smooth it out, even joining in close relationships. So, for example, you can draw an almost-circle and get one actually.

A small drop-down menu that appears from the tool icon has two or three final sketch options. One is to leave the item as you pulled it, although it is not always selected by default. If the freeform element looks like a shape or combination of shapes (like "lollipop" in the figure below), there will be another choice; I have also sometimes seen two form choices in the menu. A final option offers a super-smoothed version of your sketch. Leave the artwork as if rejecting the menu with a click on the close button; Otherwise, click on a suggested option.

In each case, you get blue resize handles on your sketch so you can resize. Depending on the shape, you can also get green handles to change contours, as in the second and third shapes here.

 Sketch tool.

In the first version of Mojave, press Return when the drop-down menu is active, occasionally verified the highlighted option, usually deleted the selected speculation, and once created TextEdit document I was training just blink into missing existence . Then click on the menu option and avoid the keyboard for this before you have thoroughly tested it in your environment.

The drawing tool

The drawing tool is available only if you have a Force Touch trackpad; If you do, you will cling to it because you change the pressure on the trackpad, changing the line thickness. With some patience and practice, you can draw pretty elegant swashes or the previously mentioned bartenders. When the Draw tool is selected, the line thickness changes in the Form Style menu from the default special offers that define the "Range" thickness you want to work with.

I found that in the High Sierra, once I managed to cross, it often occurred noticeably as soon as it was done, but it has disappeared in Mojave.
 The drawing tool.

Display menu: Lines and arrows

The screen menu contains six shapes: line, arrow, rectangle, rounded rectangle, ellipse, taleballong, star and hexagon. The line and arrows are somewhat fluid, as you can draw a line and then use a "shape style" that has an arrow point, or draw an arrow and later use a non-shaped arrow. tip to it. Format the line / arrow shape with line thickness, line style, arrow position, and even drop shadow selections from the Form Style menu (detailed forward). You can add text to lines and arrows, as described later in "Managing Text."

A selected line or arrow shape has blue size handles on each end that you can change the length of the shaft (arrow size is determined by line thickness), as well as change orientation. The green center line changes the curve on the line; You can also slide the handle along the length of the line to place the longest point of the bow.

 Form menu: lines and arrows. When you drag each end of a line / arrow to change the orientation, press Shift after you begin to drag, snap the object to a horizontal, vertical or 45 degree position.

Form Menu: Standard Shapes

The rectangle, rounded rectangle, ellipse and speech balloon tools have much in common, and it's intuitive to work with them. A chosen shape has blue resize handles on each side and in its four corners; For ellipses and balloons, the handles are in the corners of their delimiting rectangles. (Note that some of these characters may also be a text box, as described later in "Handle text.")

The tailgate tail has green function handles on its point and base that allow you to adjust the length as well as the width and position of the base sin along the balloon edge. As with line items, if you press Shift after you start pulling the tail to change the position, it will snap in a horizontal, vertical or 45 degree angle.

 Form Menu: Basic Shapes. ]

Do you need thought balloons instead? There is no special tool for it, but there is a special hidden technique described in "Quick Tips" at the end of this article.

Form Menu: Stars and Polygons

In addition to basic resize handles, star and polygon shapes have green handles that allow you to change the number of points / pages in the object. Select the object to get the handles (for one star, use the outer of the two). Drag the dot around the perimeter of the circle that appears; With time, points / pages are removed, and by the time they add. A star can have up to twenty points, while a polygon can go to the twelve-sided dodecagon. Stars have a second function handle that defines the star's inner circumference (and thus the length of the points). As with other forms, these can receive text, as described later in "Managing Text."
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