An up to date round of up Instagram stories tips and tricks for anyone wanting to jazz up their daily feed, edited as frequently as Instagram decides to make changes. Simple hacks to create more visually appealing stories and answers to those niggly little editing problems. I’ll keep updating this post as Instagram comes out with new versions or when I come across other tips, tricks and hacks. Let me know if there’s anything I’ve missed out or something you’d love to know how to create in Instagram stories.

Editing text in Instagram stories

While editing text you can tap to change fonts, choosing from Classic, Modern, Neon, Typewriter and Strong at the top of the screen. Also, add quick highlights to your text in the new update!

Screenshot of Instagram stories edit font

Add GIFs to your Instagram story

Wondering where the GIF sticker option has disappeared? This feature is currently disabled after a user noticed a racist GIF and reported it. The option is gone from Snapchat at the moment too. I’ll keep the post updated as changes are made.

Because who doesn’t want to add an animated Drake face to their everyday life?

Screenshot instructions add GIF to Instagram stories
Screenshot instructions add GIF to Instagram stories
Screenshot instructions add GIF to Instagram stories

Changing font size in Instagram stories

@tropicalpopical posted a story this week frustrated that they couldn’t fit their email address onto one line. I see stories every day of usernames also split over two lines. Here’s how to fix the problem, slide down at the left to change font size while typing/editing. Stretching after just zooms in.

Screenshot of Instagram stories change font size
Screenshot of Instagram stories change font size

Edit text colours in Instagram stories

The three photos below show how to select individual words to change if you don’t want everything the same colour, or how to create more consistent stories by matching the colour of your text to the photo.

Screenshot of Instagram stories change text colour
Screenshot of Instagram stories edit text colour
Screenshot of Instagram stories change text colour

Play with different text styles in Instagram stories

  • To create a shadow, type the same word(s) out twice, separately. Change the colour of one and layer them one on top of the other, with the second slightly off centre. They need to be pretty much the exact same size for this to work well
  • Spacing is simple, instead of try to stretch a word out (this will just make it bigger) tap the space bar in between each letter. Leave a double space between words
  • To create a box effect with your text, write the first word, hit done and then start again, typing each one individually. Now line them up by stretching some words and making others smaller until they’re all the same size and lined up neatly
Screenshot of Instagram stories shadow text hack
Screenshot of Instagram stories spacing text hack
Screenshot of Instagram stories text hack

Creating background colours

If you want a solid background colour or transparent overlay on a photo in your Instagram story, it’s easy peasy…

Screenshot of Instagram stories background colour hack
Screenshot of Instagram stories background colour hack

Adding old photos and video to your Instagram story

UPDATE: You now need to swipe up to access your camera roll, only photo and video from the past 24 hours are currently available. Use third party apps to amend meta data or send images to yourself to change the time and date. Check back for more Instagram stories updates.

You used to have to hack your way around this one, but now it’s much more simple. You’re entire camera roll is available via swiping down when adding to your story. Images older than 24 hours will have a date stamp. Tap to change between white/black and make it smaller.

*Update* drag date stamp down to the bin if you want to delete it completely. Thanks to the Nina for pointing this out in the comments below!

Create a text story over one individual image

If you have a few things to say about one single photo, maybe you want to add a few side notes, or have instructions, whatever the reason, you can easily add a text story to unfold over a few separate snaps. Edit the first as usual, save before posting, then re-upload and add your next edit. Continue these steps until you’re finished. You’ll see lots of fashion bloggers use this when asking followers to ‘swipe up’ to buy they’re shoes/hat/bag

Screenshot of Instagram stories text hack
Screenshot of Instagram stories text hack
Screenshot of Instagram stories text hack

Create videos from other sources

Use iPhone’s (sorry, I don’t know anything about Android!) screen record feature to add Instagram stories. The following example shows a music clip from Spotify, but it could be anything you want to record on your phone, such as step by step instructions, a YouTube video or even someone else’s story!

Play around with stickers

Lots of the in-app stickers can be editing simply by tapping to view other options. Add selfie stickers by clicking the camera icon nestled in among location, temp etc. Lit!

Any duh moments there? What did I miss? Let me know @nadia_dailyself



  1. 13 January 2018 / 17:27

    This was so handy. That shadow text option is clever and I never knew about holding a screen block colour tomato it transparent. LOVE the joined writing font but its not on all android yet. Boo!

    • Nadia El Ferdaoussi
      15 January 2018 / 09:11

      My font update has disappeared haha! I spoke too soon, hopefully it’s rolled out again

  2. Nafis
    26 January 2018 / 19:22

    Why i still cant change my font like other phone does , btw i am iphone 7+ user and I already updated with new version and yet still can’t 🙁

    • nadia
      30 January 2018 / 17:12

      Not everyone gets the updates at the same time unfortunately. Instagram seem to be rolling this one out slowy!

  3. Nina
    29 January 2018 / 03:38

    Great tips! As for adding old photos & time stamps, I realize I can just drag the time stamp downwards and there’s the option to delete it instead of hiding it. One thing I haven’t quite figured out or am doing it wrong are borders. How do most people get top and bottom borders on their images? Thanks!

    • nadia
      30 January 2018 / 17:12

      Thanks so much for the tip, I’ll update the post now! If I’m posting a screenshot I use the draw tool to erase out the top and bottom of an image creating a border effect, is that what you mean? Otherwise, you can use external editing apps and then upload the image to Instagram.

  4. 8 February 2018 / 16:24

    Any idea why story highlights might not be available in my app? I’m running the latest version of the app (31).

    • nadia
      5 March 2018 / 03:26

      Are you using iPhone or Android? Has it updated yet?

  5. Niki
    21 February 2018 / 13:52

    I still don’t seem to have the camera roll option for photos older than 24 hours. Anyone else experiencing the same? I seem to have all the other features and I’m running version 33.0 thanks!

    • nadia
      5 March 2018 / 03:25

      Are you using Android or iPhone?

  6. Sele
    28 February 2018 / 11:32

    There’s this new thing I saw someone do, and I can’t figure out how it’s done. They shared a feed post into a story, but it was not a screenshot, because if you tapped on the picture, it would take you to the actual feed post. Can you help me with that?
    Thank you!

    • nadia
      5 March 2018 / 03:25

      Hmmm, I’m not aware of this one. Was it still or video? Instagram rolls out different features to different users at different times. Some big verified accounts will often test new features, so maybe it’s something that’s coming for everyone in the future.

  7. Keryn
    1 March 2018 / 08:21

    Ack! Since new fonts came out, for the life of me I cannot figure out how to highlight in different color. When was just classic font I just clicked on the A to highlight text and then choose color of highlight. The new fonts don’t have this function. There’s an A++ and if I hit that it DOES highlight, but only a default color which is typically yellow or purple. How do I change the color? I know it can be done as I’ve seen it on other posts and stories. PLEASE HELP!!!!

    • nadia
      5 March 2018 / 03:23

      The only way I know is by using Strong or Typewriter then choosing your text in a different colour which will in turn change the background colour, so it’s not yellow. Let me know if this works!

  8. colleen
    7 March 2018 / 16:35

    Hi Nadia
    I was happily using your top tips for creating stories on my iPhone but now the camera roll option disappeared from the ‘toolbar’ section for stories. I can only access the last 24 hours. I am running a couple of other accounts and the camera roll option is still here but has disappeared as an option from one of my accounts .. any ideas ?

    • nadia
      7 March 2018 / 18:25

      Hi Colleen,

      There was an update on the app yesterday where the option to add photo and video from your camera roll was accessed by swiping up instead of down and everything past 24 hours is currently no longer available. You can use third party apps to change the meta data or send the photo/video to yourself to update the time stamp. Let me know if this works!

  9. Ellie
    12 March 2018 / 09:13

    Love this thank you. I cant access my camera roll any more which is a pain. That was one of my favourite functions. And Instagram has removed the gifs now because of a racist incident ( I don’t know the details ) Does anyone recommend third-party apps to access the camera roll? I’m on Android. Thanks

    • nadia
      12 March 2018 / 14:52

      Have you tried swiping UP to access the camera roll?

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