How to Add Text to Photos

It's easy to do with Android, iPhone, Windows, and Mac programs

A picture is worth a thousand words, but sometimes, a photo needs some words to go along with it. Adding captions and notes to your photos is easy, whether you're using an iPhone, Android, Windows computer, or Mac. All four devices have free built-in apps or software for the purpose, and there are also third-party apps you can try. Here's how to add text to photos on all four platforms.

Want to draw on your photos? There are several great apps for Android and iOS that can help you add pizzazz to your images.

Information in this article applies to iOS 13, iOS 12, and iOS 11; Android 8 and 7; macOS Catalina (10.15) through macOS Sierra (10.13); and Windows 10, 8, and 7.

Add Text to Photos on iPhone Using the Photos App

If you have an iPhone running iOS 11 or later, you have access to a tool called Markup that's available in the Photos app. With Markup, you can draw on and add text to your photos and screenshots.

  1. Open the Photos app and tap an image.

  2. Tap Edit at the top of the image screen to open the Adjust screen. Tap the Menu icon (a circle with three dots inside) at the top of the screen.

  3.  Select Markup from the pop-up menu.

    iPhone showing the Edit, More, and Markup buttons in Photos
  4. Tap the plus sign ( + ) in the tools at the bottom of the Markup screen to add text. You also have choices of a pen, highlighter, and pencil tools.

  5. Select Text in the pop-up menu.

    A text box appears on the image. You can move it around or resize it by touching and dragging it.

    Placing text box on image in Photos
  6. Tap the text box to bring up a floating menu bar. Select Edit to change the text. Type the text you want to show on the image.

    Photo with text description in Photos app on iPhone

Don't have iOS 11 on your iPhone? You may want to try the free Photoshop Express app.

Add Text to Photos on Android Using Google Photos

Google Photos now has a text tool with version

  1. Open a photo on your Android device.

  2. At the bottom of the photo, tap Edit (3 sliders icon).

  3. Tap Markup.

    You can also select the color of text at this screen.

    Editing a photo in Google Photos on Android
  4. Tap Text tool.

  5. Enter your desired text.

  6. Select Done when you've finished.

    The Text and Done buttons

In Android 7.0 and earlier, there's no way to insert text or annotate photos natively, so you have to use a third-party app.

Photoshop Express for iOS and Android

Photoshop Express is a free app that offers numerous ways to edit smartphone photos, including adding text. It's also an excellent alternative to your smartphone's built-in photo editing tools. With Photoshop Express, you can add a text box, and play around with the font style, color, and alignment.

To add text to photos in iOS or Android using Photoshop Express:

  1. Open the Photoshop Express app and choose a picture.

    If you don't see any photos when you open the app, make sure you've given the app permission to access your photos.

  2. At the bottom of the screen are five symbols. Swipe that toolbar to the left until you see a T for text.

  3. Tap the T. Then you can swipe through an array of text boxes in different shapes and styles.

    Photoshop Express app on iPhone
  4. Tap the text style you like to place a text box on your photo.

  5. Tap the box to move it around on the image. Tap the small edit symbol to change the wording.

  6. Tap Font, Color, Stroke, or Alignment at the bottom of the screen to make other adjustments.

    Editing text on images in Photoshop Express
  7. Tap the Back button in the top left corner and then select Save to confirm the changes to the image.

Add Text to Pictures on Mac Using Apple Photos

You can also add text to images using the Apple Photos app on your Mac. As with the iPhone, you use the Markup tool.

  1. Open the Photos app on the Mac. Click a picture to select it.

  2. Click Edit at the top of the screen. 

    Image in Photos app on a Mac
  3. Click the More symbol (a circle with three dots inside) and select Markup from the drop-down menu.

    Photos app showing Markup menu location
  4. Select the T text symbol in the toolbar to place a box that reads "Text" on the image.

    Text tool in Markup tools on a Mac
  5. Click and drag the text box to move it around. Click the Text Style icon (an uppercase A) to change the font style, size, and color. Click Save Changes.

    Type option in Photos app Markup

Microsoft Photos and Microsoft Paint for Windows

You can add text to photos on a Windows 10 PC using Microsoft Photos. If you have Windows 8 or Windows 7, you need to use Microsoft Paint. In Windows 10:

  1. Open the image you want to edit in the Photos app.

    Image of a dog in Windows Photos.
  2. Select Edit & Create > Edit with Paint 3D.

    Selecting create and edit options in Windows Photos
  3. Select Text.

    Selecting the Text option in Windows 3D Paint
  4. Click and drag to draw a text box.

    Drawing out a text box in Windows 3D Paint.
  5. Enter your desired text.

    On the right panel, you can select your font, size, color, and other formatting features.

    Text has been entered into a photo in Windows 3D Paint.
  6. Select Menu on the top left corner.

    Selecting to expand the menu in Windows 3D Paint
  7. Select Save/Save as.

    Saving the newly edited photo in Windows 3D Paint

On Windows 8 and Windows 7

  1. Launch Microsoft Paint and open an image.

    An image of a dog in Microsoft Paint
  2. Select the A in the toolbar and then select the photo.

    Selecting A in Paint
  3. Click and drag to draw a text box.

    Drawing a text box in MS Paint
  4. The Text option will appear in the menu. Here you can change the Font, Background, and Colors. Enter your desired text.

    Text entered in an image in Microsoft Paint