When I take a screenshot in macOS Mojave, I get a handy screen with Markup tools to edit the screenshot. But I’ve never been able to get the “highlight” feature to work.

I want to highlight text on a page in yellow, similar to a highlighter pen. It looks like it should do it, but the highlighter tool is always disabled. Nothing I do seems to enable it.

Does this tool work? How can I use it?

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    A screenshot contains no text, it's a picture. – Tetsujin Sep 9 '19 at 18:28
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    Why is that tool shown when I take a screenshot? It should be able to overlay a yellow mark on part of the screenshot, right? – Nate Sep 9 '19 at 18:31
  • There is no way the tool can identify text or any other 'human readable' attribute. It's just a picture. It knows it's a picture, so it greys out the text tools. It doesn't remove them, muscle-memory. – Tetsujin Sep 9 '19 at 18:32
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    Sure, I don’t expect it to recognize that it’s text and highlight the literal text, I want it to put a yellow mark over the text. For comparison, a highlighter pen that you use on paper doesn’t need to identify text. You can swipe it over the area and it makes a (not perfect but fine) yellow semi-transparent rectangle. – Nate Sep 9 '19 at 18:34
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    You're pointing to the highlight tool which is for text only. It will not be enabled for something where there's no text. You need to use the yellow-filled rectangle tool or a a 3rd party tool to do what you want. – fsb Sep 9 '19 at 18:53

You can open the image with Preview and build your own sticky. Under the Tools menu go to Annotate and select a rectangle. Adjust size of rectangle and then set fill color to yellow and the line color to none. This results in a yellow rectangle. Now under Annotate select text. This puts a small text box on your image. Move this to inside yellow box and type in your own text. Now save the file as a jpeg or whatever you like and your image will have a yellow sticky on it. This maybe be to long a process for you but it works. See image below for an example.

enter image description here

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If you enable airplay between your MacBook and iPhone, you can take a screenshot on your mac, the screenshot will popup on your phone, edit or highlight it on the phone. The edits will show up on the screenshot on your mac.

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  • How can this be used to solve the problem described in the question? – nohillside Apr 23 at 10:50
  • as the title of this questions says: "How can I highlight text on a screenshot using Markup in macOS?" using the approach I specified, with airplay enabled, the screenshot on the MacBook will show up on your iPhone, which then you can highlight the screenshot and save. This change will show up on your MacBook. Give it a try :) – H A May 7 at 1:37
  • Can you explain how Airplay can be used to copy a screenshot from Mac to iPhone automatically, ideally step by step? – nohillside May 7 at 4:53
  • If you enable Airplay on both devices, when you take a screenshot on your Mac it will automatically appear on your iPhone screen. At least it does for me. – H A May 8 at 9:23

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