Left Image Right Image
Articles in this section

Write with the Pen tool

What It Does

The Pen Tool lets you hand-write your notes just like the traditional way on paper. As you can see, it's the most important tool to master!

How to Use It

Screenshot 2023-07-18 at 02.02.09.png


  • Select the Pen Tool from the toolbar, then write on the page.

Set stroke color

  • Tap one of the color slots in the Contextual Section on the right. To customize the slot, tap it again and choose a preset, or tap the multi-colored slot at the end to add a custom color.

Set stroke thickness

  • Tap one of the thickness slots in the Contextual Section. Tap the slot again to adjust its thickness value.

See also: How do I zoom, or scroll through pages?

How to Customize It

As with all tools, you can tap the tool again to access its settings.

Change the pen style

Choose any of the following:

  • Fountain Pen - for your everyday notes and sketches (pressure sensitive)

  • Ball Pen - for your everyday notes and sketches (not pressure sensitive)

  • Brush Pen - for more artistic sketches, drawings, and lettering (highly pressure sensitive)

Set the appearance of the selected pen style

  • Drag the appropriate slider(s), if available:

    • Tip Sharpness: This adjusts how sharp the end of the stroke is.

    • Pressure Sensitivity: This changes how thick or thin your line is based on how hard you press with your Apple Pencil. Remember, the "Min" value doesn't remove sensitivity.

    • Tip Flatness: This controls how blunt the tip of the Apple Pencil is, giving you dynamic ink with the Fountain Pen.

      Dynamic Ink (from test build)_L V5 menu.png

Draw and Hold

  • Draw and Hold: With this enabled, you can draw a perfect line/curve/oval/polygon by drawing a rough shape in one stroke (i.e. without lifting the pen) and holding your pen briefly at the end of the stroke.

  • Snap to Other Shapes: To quickly connect two lines or curves, draw a line or curve and hold the stylus tip close to an endpoint of another line or curve. This feature is especially helpful for drawing tables or closed shapes that require multiple strokes. Once closed, the shape can be moved and adjusted as a whole.

  • Fill Color: Every closed shape you draw will be filled transparently with the selected color.

Pen Gestures

  • Scribble to Erase: You can scribble over some strokes to erase them quickly.
    • Erase Shapes and Highlighter: You can also erase shapes and highlighting this way.
  • Circle to Lasso: You can draw a loop around objects to select them.

Writing Aids

The following settings apply to the current document only. Tap Advanced Settings at the bottom to access the related app-wide settings.

React to pen rotation

This feature is available only with Apple Pencil Pro on supported iPads. If enabled, stroke appearance will vary with the rotation of the Apple Pencil Pro tip.

Disconnect Apple Pencil

If you wish to draw with your finger, choose Disconnect Apple Pencil.


See also:

Preview strokes with the Hover feature

Utilize the new features of Apple Pencil Pro (NEW!)