Annotate your images and screenshots and add visual elements with iPhotoDraw


Do you ever need to annotate images or screenshots (i.e. add text, text callouts, arrows, circles, or other illustrative visual elements?). Whether your screenshot taking program offers basic annotation or image editing functionality or none at all, you might find this tool quite useful.

iPhotoDraw is a free, simple, and easy to use image editor designed solely for image annotation purposes. It offers basic annotation elements such as text and callout balloons, shapes, arrows and the like.

This program is not a Photoshop alternative. It does not employ layers, filters, plugins, selection tools, or any semi-sophisticated functions. But it will let you add text and other illustrative elements to your image, and it will let you superimpose other images onto your image as well.

What I like about it:

  • Simple and very easy to use: almost no learning curve whatever
  • Has nice text adding ability: I like the text callout balloons.
  • Can easily superimpose other images; transparency supported, as is send to front/back.

Wish list (or how it can be even better):

  • The ability to enlarge canvas size, and/or automatically enlarge the photo if the objects are out of range.
  • The ability to crop the image: is strangely missing.

The verdict: this is the good program if you frequently make screenshots or work with images and need a quick and easy way to to add annotation or other elements; for anything more advanced, however, use another more sophisticated freeware bitmap editing program (e.g. GIMP, Paint.NET, RW Paint, etc).

Version tested: 1.0 build 4305

Compatibility: Windows XP SP3, Vista, Windows 7

Go to the program home page to download the latest version (approx. 5.3megs)

  • I’m sure iPhotoDraw is good; and I don’t mean to make it sound like I think it isn’t just because I’m making an alternative suggestion…

    …however, the PicPick screenshot (and other cool stuff) tool’s image editor is pretty potent. People underestimate it because it’s kinda’ secondary to the primary screenshot function; it’s a place for the screenshot to land after it’s made, and from which it’s then either annotated or edited or simply saved.

    However, upon a closer examination of the PicPick editor’s built-in tools, I was kinda’ surprised… stunned, almost, even! It’s pretty… well… I’ll re-use the word: Potent.

    And it will do a lot of what iPhotoDraw will do… probably enough of what it will do that one could use PicPick’s editor instead. That said, I see a few things that are a little flashier in iPhotoDraw… but I don’t know if it’s ENOUGH flashier to warrant using iPhotoDraw instead of PicPick…

    …especially if one has already adopted PicPick as one’s screenshot maker, thereby causing it to already be installed on one’s machine. And it’s hard not to install PicPick because it does so, so, so much more than just screenshots. I’d list all the stuff it’ll do, but that’s what PicPick’s web site is for. It even does more kinds of just plain screenshots than most screenshot makers. My personal favorite is the one which allows a person to capture an entire web page, even though it can’t be entirely viewed without scrolling. PicPick has a capture mode that will scroll the whole page automatically and capture it entirely. I’m not saying that no other screen capturer will do that, but a lot won’t; and none do it quite as nicely and elegantly as PicPick… or so, at least, it is my opinion.

    PicPick’s little editor, I should have earlier mentioned, is also so far superior to basic Windows Paint that the smart PicPick user will configure it to become the default program for all file formats which Windows Paint normally handles. I actually have PicPick set that way, even though I also use PaintShop Pro X4.

    Again, I’m not saying PicPick’s editor is superior in every way to iPhotoDraw; and, in fact, there are a few things which iPhotoDraw does in a more polished way (though with a little work, and enduring more steps, PicPick can do it, too). All I’m saying is that one can kill essentially two birds with one stone — the screen capture function, and the image annotating function — in one tool… and get all the OTHER stuff that PicPick will do, to boot!

    Just my $.02 worth… which, it’s worthy of note, my ex-wife will eagerly attest tends to be pretty much ALL it’s worth.

    Gregg L. DesElms
    Napa, California USA
    gregg at greggdeselms dot com

  • A. Ferron

    For my needs and ease of use, iPhotoDraw certainly fits the bill. I like the fact of “no ads” nagging. The interface is so simple and has so many features that I’ve been discovering.
    Looking for a simple and effective annotation feature was to say the least, “challenging”. Despite having many photo editors, this one is far easier to use and cleaver.

    One other mention, what a great teaching aid. Well done.