What Does Emphasized Text or Image Mean on iPhone?

There is no denying that the new features that Apple constantly brings to the iPhone by rolling out updated versions of iOS make the experience of using an iPhone much more enjoyable and convenient, with the device continually evolving into something new.

That being said, sometimes it can be hard to keep up with all the new features and improvements that come to your iPhone, as it’s not exactly possible to stay on top of everything unless you thoroughly inspect the official release notes for each new version of iOS when it comes out.

Today, our topic will be “emphasized” texts and images that you can come across when you’re using the Messaging app on your iPhone or receiving messages from someone who is using an iPhone, in particular, which can be a confusing thing to see if you haven’t encountered them before.

So, what does an emphasized text or image mean on iPhone messages?

Emphasis is one of the few reactions that you can add to the text and image messages on the iPhone Messaging app, indicated by the double exclamation mark icon.

When someone emphasizes a message, it typically means that the person who has emphasized the message is trying to draw attention to it.

In the upcoming sections, we will dive deeper into what an emphasized text or image is on the iPhone, go through the process of emphasizing a message, learn more about the alternatives of emphasizing, and finally, find out whether non-iOS devices can see the emphasized messages.

What Does Emphasized Text or Image Mean on iPhone?

Even though the word “emphasized” alone doesn’t exactly tell us what it means for an image or text to be emphasized, the meaning behind this feature is actually pretty straightforward.

The Messages app on iPhone allows you to add a reaction to any image or text, whether it’s sent by you or the person that you’re messaging, which causes an icon to appear on top of the message for both parties to see.

iphone messaging reactions menu

Emphasis is one particular reaction you can choose out of all the options you can find in the reactions menu, denoted by the double exclamation mark (!!) icon, which practically fulfills the purpose of drawing attention to the image or text that is emphasized.

iphone emphasized message

As a result, you can use the emphasis reaction for purposes such as highlighting a particular message that the person you’re messaging hasn’t replied to or conveying that a message is specifically important.

How to Emphasize a Text or Image on iPhone?

Emphasizing a text or image on your iPhone is a quick and easy process that you can get used to in no time and actively utilize whenever you’re messaging.

To emphasize a text or image on your iPhone, all you will need to do is to press and hold the message until the context menu appears and choose the double exclamation mark (!!) icon from the list of reactions that you can attach to the message.

iphone emphasizing a message

When done correctly, the double exclamation mark (emphasis) icon should become visible on the message that you have chosen, which will also cause the person you’re messaging to see the same icon on the message.

What Other Alternatives Are There to Emphasizing a Text or Image?

Emphasizing isn’t the only reaction you can give to a text message on your iPhone, as there are many other options that you can use to convey different meanings.

Below, you can find the different ways that you can react to a message on the Messaging app on your iPhone, aside from emphasis:

  • Love (Heart icon)
  • Like (Thumbs up icon)
  • Dislike (Thumbs down icon)
  • Laugh (“HA HA” icon)
  • Question (Question mark icon)

Please note that you can only add one reaction at a time to a message, and attempting to add another reaction will cause the old one to be replaced with the new one instead.

Can Non-iOS Devices See Emphasized Texts and Images?

As emphasizing is a feature that is specific to the Messages app that you can find on iOS devices, it’s only natural to wonder about the outcome in a scenario where an iOS device emphasizes a message while messaging with a non-iOS device.

When you emphasize or attach any other reaction to a message while messaging with a person using a non-iOS device, they will receive a separate text message with the information of the message that you have reacted to and the reaction you have used, allowing them to be aware of your reaction.

emphasized message on android

For instance, if you emphasize a message that says hi when messaging someone with a non-iOS device, the person you’re messaging will receive a new message with the text Emphasized “hi”, instead of seeing the emphasis icon on the message.

As the same message will also be sent when you change the reaction you have added to a message, they will also be aware of any modifications you make to your reactions.


While it’s not an essential feature of the Messaging app by any means, emphasizing a text or image can come in handy in many scenarios where you would like to quickly reply to a message without actually having to type a complete response.

To summarize, emphasis is a reaction that you can attach to any message on the Messaging app on your iPhone, whether it’s an image or a text, which causes both you and the person you’re messaging to see a double exclamation mark on the message.

In most cases, a message being emphasized means that the person who has emphasized it is trying to draw attention to it and expecting a direct response to the message they sent you.

As the emphasis (and its alternatives) are also visible by non-iOS devices in text form, you can feel free to use these features regardless of the device you’re sending the message to and enjoy the convenience that they bring to the table when replying to certain messages.