iPad User Using Apple Pencil To Write in Text Field

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

The Scribble feature was first released in iPadOS 14. It works with all iPads and iPad Pros that support the Apple Pencil (all generations). And as you’d expect with Apple, it just works. There’s no need to enable this feature.

Write in Any Text Box on iPad Using Your Apple Pencil

If you like to take handwritten notes, the Scribble feature will feel like a blessing. It will automatically convert anything that you write into text. All you have to do is make the text at least semi-legible. Apple is pretty good at transcribing the handwritten text.

RELATED: How to Take Handwritten Notes on Your iPad Using the Apple Pencil

All you have to do tap in a text field using your Apple Pencil (instead of using your finger or mouse cursor). You’ll see a floating Pencil icon appear on the screen, instead of a keyboard.

Tap on Text Box Using Apple Pencil

Now, write in the text field using your Apple Pencil. Once you have written a couple of words, lift your Apple Pencil. In a second or two, the words will disappear from the screen and they’ll automatically convert into text.

Write in Text Box

If you want to write more, you can continue to do so in the text field area. You can use the Apple Pencil to edit the transcribed text as well. Take a look at the last section to find out how it works.

Write Longer Text Using Your Apple Pencil and Notes App

The Scribble feature is great for quickly entering text in a small text field. But its biggest limitation is the size of the text field itself. If you want to write a paragraph or a page, you’ll 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, tap the empty part of the note using your Apple Pencil. By default, this will take you to the drawing mode.

Tap the “Pencil” button found in the toolbar to see the Pencil options.

From the Pencil toolbar, choose the Pencil with the “A” icon.

You’re now in Scribble mode. Just go to the top of the note and start writing with your Apple Pencil. Everything that you write will be transcribed to written text instantly.

Write Using Apple Pencil in Notes to Convert It To Text

Select and Edit Text Using Apple Pencil

When you’re writing with your Apple Pencil, the transcribed text won’t always be perfect, or you might just want to edit some text. You can do this using your Apple Pencil and some gestures.

Select Text with Apple Pencil

Selecting text is as simple as circling the word or paragraph.

Circle Text Box To Select Text

Once you complete the circle, you’ll see options for Cut, Copy, and Paste. If you want to delete the text, tap the “Cut” button.

Tap Cut To Delete Text

If you want to select longer text, you can draw a continuous line under the text. Tapping a word twice also does the trick. If you want to select a paragraph, tap on the text thrice.

Delete Text with Apple Pencil

To quickly delete a word or couple of words, just scribble a wavy line over the words (like how you would scratch off a word on paper).

Scribble Over Text To Delete

Insert Text with Apple Pencil

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

Press and hold Apple Pencil To Insert Text

Add or Remove Spaces with Apple Pencil

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

Draw Vertical Line to Add or Remove Space

Don’t like the Scribble feature? Here’s how to disable it.

RELATED: How to Disable Scribble for Apple Pencil on iPad

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Khamosh Pathak is a freelance technology writer who specializes in tutorials. His work has also been published on Lifehacker, iPhoneHacks, Zapier's blog, MakeUseOf, and Guiding Tech. Khamosh has nearly a decade of experience writing how-tos, features and technology guides on the internet.
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