Create drawings on the iPhone and insert them into email messages. Use it to create fun emails.

Did you know that instead of typing your emails, you can write on the iPhone screen with your finger and use drawing tools? Create and send colourful drawings in your emails just for fun!

Apple added a drawing editor to iOS 11 that contains some basic drawing tools, a small collection of shapes, and a text editor. The drawing editor appears in several places and you can draw on screenshots to annotate them and you can draw on PDF documents to annotate those too.

You might not expect to see these drawing tools in the Mail app though. Yet there they are and you can create a drawing on the screen and insert it into an email and send it.

This feature could be used purely for its entertainment value, such as birthday emails and other events, but it could also be useful if you need to sketch something like a plan or an object for a work or personal project.

The drawing tools contain a pen, pencil and broad tipped marker, eraser, circle/ellipse shape, square/rectangle shape, and arrows. Text can also be added to the images and there is a small selected of fonts. Let’s see how this feature works in the Mail app.

Insert into message

Open the Mail app on the iPhone or iPad and click the button in the bottom right corner to create a new email message. Place the cursor in the body of the message where you want to insert a drawing by tapping.

Press and hold until the toolbar appears, then tap the arrow at the right hand side twice. The last item on this toolbar is Insert Drawing. Press it to open the drawing editor.

 Toolbar in the Mail app on the iPhone Insert a drawing in an email in the Mail app on the iPhone

Create your drawing

I have covered these drawing tools before when I looked at annotating screenshots and they are very easy to use. Press the pen, broad marker or pencil and then press the colour circle to select the drawing colour. Then just draw on the screen with your finger. The fourth tool is an eraser.

Press the plus button at the end of the toolbar at the bottom of the screen open a menu. Add text to the image or a signature, or tap one of the objects at the bottom of this menu. rectangles, ellipses, speech bubbles and arrows can be added, but choose the colour first.

 The drawing tools on the iPhone Insert a drawing into an email in the Mail app on the iPhone

When the drawing is finished, press the Done button in the top left corner. You are asked whether to insert or discard the drawing. Insert it and it appears in the message.

Receiving drawings in emails

How does the drawing look when it is sent to someone? I sent one to my Gmail account on my Android phone and the drawing was exactly as it was on the iPhone. There doesn’t appear to be any problems with it and drawings appear on other devices and email services as you would expect.

It is hard to think of an occasion where I would want to sent a drawing to someone, and I am pretty awful at drawing, but you never know.