How to write in a text box using your Apple Pencil on iPad

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Your Apple Pencil is more than just a drawing tool. It is also a keyboard replacement. Instead of typing in a text box, simply write using your Apple Pencil. Your iPad will automatically convert your writing to text.

The Scribble feature was first released on iPadOS 14. It works with all iPad and iPad professionals who support Apple Pencil (all generations). And as you expect from Apple, it just works. There is no need to enable this feature.

Write in any text box on the iPad using your Apple Pencil

If you prefer to take handwritten notes, the Scribble feature will feel like a blessing. This will automatically convert anything you write into text. All you have to do is to make the text at least semi-readable. Apple is very good at transferring handwritten text.

All you need to do is tap into a text field using your Apple Pencil (instead of using your finger or mouse cursor). You will see a floating pencil icon on the screen instead of the keyboard.

Tap on the text box using the Apple Pencil Now, write in the text field using your Apple Pencil. Once you have written a few words, pick up your Apple Pencil. In a second or two, the words will disappear from the screen and they will automatically convert to text.

If you want to write more, you can continue to do so in the text field. You can also use Apple Pencil to edit transcoded text. See the last section to find out how it works. 

Write long text using your Apple Pencil and Notes app 

The Scribble feature is great for quickly entering text in a small text area. But its biggest limitation is the size of the text field itself. If you want to write a paragraph or page, you will need to use a dedicated writing or notes app.

Fortunately, the Apple Notes app comes with a built-in Scribble feature. Open the Notes app on your iPad and create a new note. Then, using your Apple Pencil, tap on the blank part of the note. By default, this will take you to the drawing mode. Tap on the “pencil” button in the toolbar to see the pencil option.

Tap the pencil icon from the notes toolbar From the pencil toolbar, choose the pencil with the “A” icon.

Now you are in Scribble Mode. Just go to the top of the note and start writing with your Apple Pencil. Everything you write will be immediately transferred to the written text. Use the Apple Pencil in Notes to turn it into text 

Select and edit the text using Apple Pencil 

When you are writing with your Apple Pencil, the transcoded text will not always be correct, or you may just want to edit some text. You can do this using your Apple Pencil and some gestures. 

Select text with Apple Pencil 

Choosing text is as simple as circling a word or paragraph.

Once you complete the circle, you will see options to cut, copy, and paste. If you want to delete the text, tap on the “Cut” button.

Tap cut to remove text

If you want to select the longer text, you can draw a continuous line below the text. Tapping a word twice also tricks. If you want to select a paragraph, tap on the text three times.

Delete Text with Apple Pencil

To quickly delete a word or two, simply scrabble a wavy line on the words (like how you would scratch a word on paper).

Insert text with Apple Pencil 

To write something in the middle of a written text, tap and hold your Apple pencil where you want to insert the text. This will give you some space to write. Then, start writing in the available space. When you let go of the Apple Pencil, iPadOS will automatically merge the text.

Add or remove spaces with Apple Pencil

To quickly add or remove a location, simply draw a vertical line. If you draw a line where there is no space, it will add one. If there is already a location, it will be removed.

42 thoughts on “How to write in a text box using your Apple Pencil on iPad

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