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How to use iPadOS 14’s Scribble function

Apple has been working to make the iPad more portable for years with mixed results. But with the new Scribble feature, Apple can start approaching the iPad from a slightly different perspective. Introduced in iPadOS 14, Scribble lets you use an Apple Pencil to physically type in any text box on an iPad instead of using the on-screen keyboard. Although it initially seems like a small addition, it effectively transforms your tablet from something you tap into an interactive notepad.

Although it still has some bugs to iron out, the iPad 14’s new Scribble feature is one worth exploring if you have a compatible iPad and Apple Pencil. How to use Scribble on iPadOS 14.

Which iPads does Scribble support?

Before we can get started, we need to know which iPads can actually use Scribble. That’s right, not all iPads can use this feature, and that’s why you need an iPad that has access to iPadOS 14 and supports Apple’s Pen, Apple Pencil. It narrows the field, because even though iPadOS 14 is available for a large number of older iPads, such as the iPad Air 2 and older iPad Mini tablets, if they do not also support the Apple Pencil – and since many of them precede the Apple Pen, it is no surprise that they do not support it. Here is the current list of devices that can access Scribble.

You also need an Apple Pencil to use Scribble, and a third-party pen will not cut it as a replacement. Once you’m armed with your Apple Pencil and an iPad running iPadOS 14, you’re ready to go.

How to use Scribble

As you might expect from an Apple feature, getting started with Scribble is extremely easy. There is no switch to scroll or setting screens to dig through – just pick up your pen and you are ready to go. To test Scribble, just go to any text box – the search bar in your browser will do – and press it to bring up the keyboard. While the keyboard is active, use your pen to type in the text box where the text would appear as you type. You should see your handwriting appear on the screen and slowly fade as iPadOS translates it into text.

If your handwriting does not appear on the screen, make sure your Apple Pencil is connected via Bluetooth and try again. It is also worth making sure it is charged. Also, make sure you write in the correct area by trying a few different places. Different apps have different thresholds for Scribble, with some being quite strict and others happy to scrape you almost anywhere.

Delete and select text

Scraping, however, is just the beginning. You can also use Scribble to select and delete text, making typing correction much easier. To select text, draw a circle around it. If done correctly, the circle will disappear and a check box will appear. If you would rather delete the text in question, just scribble it out, as you would for a typo in elementary school. The text disappears.

Currently, these are the only two additional features for Scribble – but we think you agree that they are the most important that can be included. We have no doubt that Apple will add more at a later time, but currently scribbles away.

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