Siri Shortcuts: Applying a Photo Watermark

You can use the Shortcuts app to apply a watermark to a photo before sharing it on your iPhone or iPad. In this example, we'll take a transparent image file and have a Shortcut place it at the bottom right corner of the photo right from the Photos app. We can then share the photo. The watermark can be any image file. You can also manually size and place the watermark.

Video Transcript
So let's look at creating a shortcut, in the Shortcuts app on iOS, that will put a watermark on top of a photo. This is handy if you want to imprint your name or a logo or something on a photo before you share it in some way. So we're going to go into the Shortcuts app. If you don't have it, of course, get it in the iOS App Store. It's the Shortcuts app from Apple.

We go into Library here and then I'm going to create a shortcut. So the first thing that we're going to do is we're going to get the watermark. So I'm going to use Get File as the action there. I'm going to drag that over. I'm going to grab the watermark from iCloud Drive. You could choose another service like Dropbox. I could also use a completely different action to grab it from the Photos Library. But I want to use a cute little graphic that I made. So it's going to be saved as a file.

I'm going to get it from there and I'm going to show the Document Picker that will allow me to pick out the watermark. I could turn that off and then actually set the path to that file. So then if I'm just using the same watermark over and over again it could be really handy. It skips a whole step. But I'm going to stick with Show Document Picker. Now the next thing I'm going to do, is now that I've picked that, is I'm going to get the input. So I want to specify that this shortcut is going to take images. The way I'm going to do this is I'm going to hit the Settings there at the top right, the two little buttons there under Done, the one the right. I'm going to say I want it to be in Share Sheet, not a widget, and once I do it with Share Sheet it says This Shortcut Accepts Anything. I want to tap Anything and deselect All and say I just want images. Great.

Now I want to get a variable and I put it there and I'm going to say Choose Variable. I'm going to say Select Magic Variable which allows me to take the output from a previous action. One of those previous actions is the Shortcut Input. You can see I only have two. Shortcut Input in green then in purple the File that I've chosen. I want to actually get the Shortcut Input. Great. So now I've chosen the file for the watermark. Now I've gone back to saying okay now let's deal with the input that's come in here. The image that was chosen. The photo.

Now I'm going to use the overlay image action there. What image am I going to overlay? Well, I'm going to say Choose Variable. Now I can say Select Magic Variable again but this time I'm going to choose File. Choose the file. Now I could show the Image Editor and that's really neat because that allows you to actually place the watermark. But instead I'm going to turn that off. I'm going to say Position is Bottom Right. Width and Height I'm going to leave on Auto. Opacity, you know what, I'm going to change that to 50% so it's kind of going to semi fade in there. Great.

So now what happens when it's done. Well, I love to use the Quick Look action because Quick Look, basically, will display the results and then allow you to Share it from there. This means that I don't have to tie myself into saying well, this is going to be sent as a text message, this is going to be posted to some social media network or something. At that point you can decide what you want to do with it. You can just save it as a file.

So now I've got all this stuff. Let's go and go to the Settings again and let's name it. Call this Watermark 2 because I already have a watermark 1. It's set to show in Share Sheet. Accept types, images. We're good. Except that there's one more thing we need to do. You see this a lot in Shortcuts. We need to add something called Continue Shortcut in App. This is because sometimes when you get stuck inside of a thing, like a Share Sheet there from where we're going to share this image, a lot of these functions don't work anymore. So what we're going to do is we're going to put Continue Shortcut in App and it's going to jump to the Shortcut's app to run all of this stuff. Without this it just wouldn't work right. That's why you see Continue Shortcut in App a lot.

So, we'll hit Done and now we'll go and try it out. Go to the Photos App. We'll choose a photo. I'll hit the Share button at the top. Now I'll go and find Shortcuts. Tap that and then choose Watermark 2. Then you can see it's going to jump to the Shortcuts app, so you can see that in the background there, and I'm going to choose from my iCloud Drive the image I want for the watermark which is that first one right there. It's going to load it in and then show me the image. Notice at the bottom right hand corner is that nice little MacMost logo is now imprinted on top of the photo. So I'm set. Because this is the Quick Look here I can use the Share button at the top right and now I can share it all sorts of different ways or if I just want to test to see if it's working I can hit Done and I'm good.

Now I want to show you what happens if I were to change this in the overlay image instead of having it set to bottom right I can turn that off and to have it show Image Editor. So now when I go and try to do the same thing, you can see I'm still sharing there, so I go to Shortcuts, I'll share again, I'll select the image and now the image is right in the top there. I can drag it around with my finger. I can shrink it down with two fingers. I have the opacity button there so I can change it. I can rotate it. I hit Done and now it's wherever I want it. So I can position it in different places. So it's kind of handy to do that as well. You can decide which one you want to do when you create this.

So I want to just show you how I made this graphic here. This is Acorn but you can use Pixelmator or you can use PhotoShop. Anything you want. But notice that I have this checkerboard background meaning this is transparent. If you don't create a transparent image you're, of course, going to have a white background or whatever. It's just going to be a rectangle that you'll be using as a watermark. Making a transparent image is useful. I didn't have to use a logo here. I could have actually just, you know, used some text like with my name and stuck that as a watermark. You want to of course make it large enough so that it fills the corner here. In this case it's an 800 by 250. Then you think about the size of a photograph and how big you want this to be in the bottom corner.

So make sure you create a good image. Save it as a png with transparency so that you can use it as a watermark. Create a variety of them. Some with your name. Some with your company's name. Some with different things. Copyright messages. Whatever you want to do and that way you can choose which one you want every time you run the shortcut.

Comments: 2 Responses to “Siri Shortcuts: Applying a Photo Watermark”

    John Russell
    12/6/18 @ 10:46 am

    Very nice. Any similar Automator technique on the Mac?

    12/6/18 @ 10:58 am

    John: Not that I can think of. Of course there are many ways to edit images, but doing a quick watermark+share action like this in Automator would be tough as there are no good sharing options.

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