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Home / Tips and Tricks / How to use Apple Pencil to make handwritten notes on your iPad

How to use Apple Pencil to make handwritten notes on your iPad

  iPad Pro with handwritten notes in the Notes app with Apple Pencil
Khamosh Pathak

The Apple Pencil is a versatile tool for your iPad. Not only can you use it for (virtual) drawing, painting or coloring, but you can also take notes and scribble. How to take handwritten notes on your iPad:

Apple Pencil compatibility

Apple Pencil is available in two different models. The first generation Apple Pencil has a round shape and was first introduced with the original iPad Pro. It also includes a Lightning connector under a cap for charging.

  1st generation Apple Pencil

Here is a list of all iPads that support the first generation Apple Pencil at the time of writing:

  • iPad Air (3rd generation)
  • iPad mini (5th generation)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st or 2nd generation)
  • iPad Pro 10.5-inch
  • iPad Pro 9.7-inch
  • iPad (6th generation) Generation)
  • iPad 10.2 inch (7th generation)

The second generation Apple Pencil is slightly smaller and has a single flat edge. It now clicks into place magnetically on the edge of the iPad Pro and is charged wirelessly.

  2nd generation Apple Pencil

The accessories are only supported by the following iPad Pro models with Face ID (also at this time) (19659009] iPad Pro 11-inch (2018 and 2020 models )

  • iPad Pro 12.9 inch (2018 and 2020 models)
  • How to create handwritten notes on the iPad with the Notes app

    It's easy Take notes on your iPad since you don't even have to download an app, just use the built-in Notes app on your iPad.

      Handwritten note in the Notes app landscape

    Open the Notes app on your iPad and create a new note From there, click the Expand button to view the note in full screen mode.

      Tap here to create a new note.

    Now you can tap the tip of your Apple Pencil on the screen to enter handwritten note mode to call n. Drawing tools appear at the bottom of the screen.

      Pencil tools in the Notes app

    The canvas is yours now. You can scribble, write or type anything in the note. When taking notes with Apple Pencil, slide your finger up and down.

      Handwritten note in the Notes app on the iPad

    The first of the drawing tools is the pen tool. Tap to display the tip thickness and transparency option. You can do the same for the next two tools, marker and pencil.

    If you have the second generation Apple Pencil, you can double-tap the action button to switch to the eraser. You can also customize the action key to switch to the last used tool instead.

    CONNECTION: Changing the double tap action on Apple Pencil for iPad Pro

     Pen tool option in the Notes app

    The fourth The tool is the eraser. Tap on it to turn your Apple Pencil into an eraser. Move your Apple Pencil over anything you want to erase.

    The fifth tool is a lasso-style selection tool. (Photoshop users may be familiar with it.) Once the tool is selected, you can circle elements to select them. After selection, you can move them with your finger. This can be a great way to move a doodle to another location.

     Lasso tool in the Notes app

    The last tool in the set is the ruler. After you select it, a large ruler appears in the note area. You can move the ruler with two fingers and change the angle.

    Move your fingers and you will see the ruler snap into place at angles such as 45 degrees, 90 degrees, etc. Once you've used the ruler, tap the icon again to remove it.

     Ruler in the Notes app

    You will see a color picker on the right. You'll see five common colors to choose from, or you can tap the color picker icon to choose from all the available shades.

     Color palette option in the Notes app

    Now that you know all the tools, write with your Apple Pencil.

    When you finish writing, you can discover a beautiful hidden gem. The Apple Notes app has an integrated handwriting recognition function. As long as your handwriting is legible, Apple should be able to recognize and index it.

    This means that you can search for text in your handwritten notes. To test it, go to the Search box and try to find something from your handwritten note.

     Find handwritten notes

    Also, you don't even have to unlock your iPad to take handwritten notes. Simply tap on the lock screen of your iPad with your Apple Pencil. This will create a new blank note for you to write in. You can later unlock your iPad to save the note.

    You can customize the feature in the Settings app by going to the Notes> Access Notes via lock screen.

     Access notes using lock screen options

    Write well with lines and grids

    If you use the Notes app to create handwritten notes, you will find that your handwritten notes are fairly random. There's a way to do things neatly and neatly. If this is your first time creating a blank note, tap the Share button. A single "Lines & Grids" option is displayed. (You can also find the option on the release sheet.)

     Tap the Lines and Grids option.

    Select the desired type of lines or grid layout from the popup.

     Select a line or grid.

    This will now become the background of your note, making it much easier to write in straight lines.

     Take notes with lines

    Alternative note app options

    The Apple Notes app is a good place to start with handwritten notes on the iPad. However, if you want more features, you need to check out one of the many third-party apps in the App Store. Here are our recommendations.

    GoodNotes 5 ($ 7.99)

     GoodNotes 5 notetaking

    GoodNotes 5 is the most versatile notetaking app when it comes to Apple Pencil. You can customize virtually every part of the handwritten notetaking interface. You can switch between different pen styles and scrolling directions. You can add shapes, images, and text to the note. The app contains a variety of templates and a function that allows you to enlarge a certain part of the page.

    Notability ($ 8.99)

     Handwritten note in Notability

    Notability is a popular note-taking app among students. You can record audio, enter notes and take handwritten notes – all in one interface. It can also sync audio with your notes, which is convenient during the review time. You can also import and annotate PDFs and edit two notes side by side.

    If you have an iPad Pro and a newer Mac, you can connect your iPad to your Mac and turn it into a fully functional secondary display. Drawing tablet (with Apple Pencil support) with the new Sidecar feature in macOS Catalina and iPadOS .

    CONNECTION: Using your iPad as an external Mac display with Sidecar

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