How to annotate images and PDFs in Evernote

How to annotate images and PDFs in Evernote
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How to annotate images and PDFs in Evernote

Evernote provides you with all the tools you need to visually communicate ideas, share feedback, and collaborate with friends and co-workers. Easily annotate images and PDFs with lines, shapes, arrows, and more.

Annotate any image in Evernote

Available on Mac; Windows; iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch; Android

Sample annotations on an image



Sample annotations on a PDF

Premium users can annotate PDFs and include an Annotation Summary

Get Evernote Premium


Start annotating

  • Mac

    Image annotation on Mac
    PDF annotation on Mac


    Ctrl+Click on an image and select Annotate this Image from the pop-up menu.


    Ctrl+Click on a PDF and select Annotate this PDF from the pop-up menu.

  • Windows

    Image annotation on Windows
    PDF annotation on Windows


    Right-click on an image and select Annotate This Image from the pop-up menu.


    Right-click on a PDF and select Annotate this PDF from the pop-up menu.

  • iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

    Image annotation on iPhone
    PDF annotation on iPhone


    Tap to open an image from inside a note, then select the annotate button (letter 'a' in a circle).


    Tap to open a PDF from inside a note, then select the annotate button (letter 'a' in a circle).

  • Android

    Image annotation on Android
    PDF annotation on Android


    Tap and hold on an image from inside a note, then select Annotate from the pop-up menu.


    Tap and hold on a PDF from inside a note, then select Annotate from the pop-up menu.


Use Annotate Tools

Arrow toolArrow tool

Use the Arrow tool to point out an exact spot or item on an image or PDF with arrows:

  1. Select the arrow tool.
  2. Hold and drag to the spot on the image you want the arrow to point. The arrow points and stretches in the direction you drag.
Add arrows

Line and shape toolLine & Shape tools

Use the Line & Shape tools to call attention to specific areas.

Line and shape tool options

To annotate your image or PDF with lines and shapes do the following:

  1. Select the Line & Shapes tool icon to show all of the available shapes
  2. Select the icon corresponding to the shape you want to use (lines, circles, and squares)
  3. Hold and drag over the area of the image where you want the shape to appear
Lines and Shapes

Text tool iconText tool

Use the Text tool to add text to your image or PDF:

  1. Select the Text tool icon
  2. Click the spot where you want the text to appear. A text cursor appears.
  3. Type the text you want to display
  4. To edit the text or change the text format, select the text you want to edit to bring up the options slider or click inside the text box to edit text
  5. Use the switch to toggle between plain or outlined text
Text tool

Pen & Highlight tools

Use the Pen tool to freehand draw with digital ink. Use the Highlighter tool to add a transparent color overlay.

Pen and Highlight options

To draw and highlight areas on your image do the following:

  1. Select the Pen & Highlighter tools icon to show the available tools
  2. Select the Pen tool icon to freehand drawings, or the Highlighter icon to highlight anything with transparent ink.
  3. With either tool, hold and drag over the image to draw with digital ink.

Stamp tool iconStamp tool

Use Stamps to quickly give visual feedback about parts of an image. This is a good way to let others know what aspects of the image you like, dislike, or need more information about. You can add short text notes to stamps as well.

Stamp options

Add a stamp:

  1. Select the Stamp tool icon. A menu of the available stamps will be displayed.
  2. Select a stamp you want to use
  3. Click anywhere on the image or PDF page to add the stamp
Add stamps

Add text to a stamp:

  1. Select the stamp you want to add text to. The stamp editing options will be displayed around the stamp.
  2. Select the Stamp tool text icon, identified by the letter "a". This icon will change to a text field.
  3. Start typing to add text to the stamp. You may add up to 16 characters.
Add text to stamp

Add a pointer to a stamp:

  1. Select the stamp you want to add a pointer to. The stamp editing options will be displayed around the stamp.
  2. Select the + icon. The + icon will change to a solid blue anchor point, and a pointer will appear on the left side of the stamp.
  3. To rotate the pointer to another spot on the stamp, hold and drag the blue anchor point to any point around the stamp.
Add arrows to stamps

Pixelate toolPixelate tool

(available only for images)

Use the Pixelate tool to blur portions of an image you don't want to share, such as faces or other personal information:

  1. Tap the Pixelate icon
  2. Hold and drag over the area you want to pixelate.

Crop tool iconCrop & Resize tool

(available only for images)

Crop tool: Use this tool to select only the part of the image you want, and remove the rest

  1. Select the Crop tool icon. On a Mac, a toggle switch lets you alternate between the Crop and Resize tools.
  2. Hold and drag over the area you want to include in the image. Once you release your finger, everything outside of the selected area will be removed.

Resize tool: Use this tool to enlarge or reduce the image size:

  1. Select the Resize tool icon (a toggle switch lets you alternate between the Resize and Crop tools).
  2. Select the percentage or enter the dimensions you’d like to enlarge or reduce the image size to.

Note: The Resize tool is currently only available on Mac.



Color & Stroke options

Select a color for your text, arrow, and shape annotations.

Color options

Select a stroke size for your text, arrow, and shape annotations.

Stroke options

PDF options menuMore editing options

In addition to the Annotate tools, Evernote provides other ways you can change the general layout of your images and PDFs. You can access these options while in Annotate view by selecting the Options menu, usually located near the top of the screen.

The following editing option is available on all platforms and devices:

  • Clear Annotations: Removes all annotations on a particular image or on a PDF. For PDFs, this means that annotations made on every page in a PDF are removed.

Note: For Windows desktop, select Edit > Clear Annotations.

The following editing options are available on the Mac and iPhone, iPad, iPod touch:

  • Flip (only applies to images on a Mac): Images are flipped horizontally (just as a page in a book is flipped from left to right or vice versa), and any annotations on the image are mirrored as well. Blocks of text, rather than individual characters or words, appear as mirrored reflections of the original text once the image is flipped.
  • Rotate: Rotates the current image (or PDF page on a Mac) 90 degrees clockwise or counter-clockwise.
  • Delete PDF Page (only applies to PDFs): Deletes the PDF page currently being edited (available on desktop clients.)

Note: You can annotate a note even if it doesn't have images or PDFs. Simply select Annotate Entire Note as PDF and Evernote converts the entire note into a single PDF page for you to annotate.

Annotating an entire note as an annotated PDF is currently available on Evernote for Mac.


Include an Annotation Summary

Note: This only applies to PDFs and is currently not available in Evernote Web.

Annotation Summary

Make it easier for your friends and co-workers to review all your PDF annotations by appending an Annotation Summary page as the first page of the PDF you plan to share.

This Annotation Summary displays the following information and appears in the Note Editor view:

  • Annotation count: A running count of the number of times each type of annotation is used in a document.
    Annotation summary count
  • Snippet summary: Cropped areas of a PDF that show precisely where on a page each annotation appears. This makes it easy for others to quickly review and reference your ideas and comments, without having to search through the entire document.

    Annotation Summary

To include an Annotation Summary:

  • Mac: select the Include Annotation Summary option while in PDF annotation view.
  • iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch: Select Include Summary from the Document Options menu (three dots (...) to the left of "Save" in the upper right).
  • Android: Tap the three vertical dots in the upper right corner and check Include Annotation Summary.
  • Windows: Select Edit > Include Annotation Summary from the annotation window menu bar.



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