Scribble has gone from Apple to iPad with iPadOS 14. This massive update makes it easy to enter text anywhere on the iPad using your Apple pencil. This is how it works.
To use Scribble, you need your iPad on iPadOS 14 and your Apple Pencil. You can use Scribble almost anywhere, but we decided to start with the Notes app first.
When you are in the Notes application and create a new note, the keyboard is displayed by default. We’ve minimized the keyboard and tapped the screen with our Apple Pencil to start using it instead.
When Apple Pencil is active, you will see the Apple Pencil toolbar appear on the screen. This redesigned toolbar still contains your various writing supplies, as well as buttons to open the keyboard, go to Settings and return a line in the text document.
Enable or disable Scribble in Apple Pencil settings
Note: Go to Apple Pencil settings to make sure Scribble is turned on.
We wrote “it’s scribble” with our Apple Pencil below average. Despite our poor calligraphy skills, the iPad was still able to detect what we had written and convert it to the note header almost immediately. Then we used the back button in the toolbar to go to a new line and try another sentence.
While writing, you can press and hold between words to enter a space between them. This is useful if Scribble accidentally combines words you don’t want, which can happen if you write words too close together.
To delete something you wrote, you can just scratch it and it disappears. To select a word – or group of words – circle them to highlight them, then you can cut, copy and move them.
Search online with Apple Pencil with Scribble
This is not limited to comments as it works across the entire operating system. For example, by pulling down the home screen to open universal search, a search box is displayed that you can easily write on and automatically recognized. The same goes for applications when text needs to be filled in.
You can fill in boxes in Safari. We used it to search for “HomeKit” on Appleiphonestop.com and to enter our contact information in the Apple Store.
Scribble shortcut palette
Whenever you use Scribble, you will notice that Scribble’s shortcut palette appears at the bottom of the screen, which is different from the big Apple Pencil toolbar in applications like Notes. This smaller palette of shortcuts includes undo and redo buttons, a keyboard shortcut, ellipses for accessing additional settings, and then some form of action button. When using Universal Search or Search in Safari, you can tap on it to run the query immediately.
Handy, but not always
Scribble is a cool new feature that adds a new layer of depth and feel to the iPad.
There are too many times that we get stuck having to switch between our Apple Pencil and the keyboard. We’re going to take notes, edit a photo or drawing, and have to enter text and change the way we use the tablet to better type on the keyboard. This completely solves this problem.
This does not mean that it is always useful. If you’re already using the keyboard or using the magic keyboard, it doesn’t make sense to switch to Apple Pencil to edit the text.
However, it does show how much more powerful the iPad gets, allowing it to adapt exactly to how you use it. Whether with a keyboard, mouse, finger or Apple Pencil, it just works.
Scribble currently works in English, but can also work in Chinese. It can even do both at the same time, allowing users to switch between languages while writing, and iPadOS differentiates them by translating individual languages into typed text.
Apple Pencil has gained many other skills with iPadOS, but we’ll keep them for another deep dive.