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How to Convert your Handwriting to Typed Text with the Apple Pencil Scribble Tool

27th September 2020

Jacob Woolcock


In this short tutorial I’ll show you how to use the new Apple Pencil Scribble tools to convert your handwriting into typed text. You don’t need a third party app to convert your scribbles into text anymore – it’s built right into iPadOS 14. You can use your Apple Pencil or Logitech Crayon for this and your iPad will change your handwriting into text in near real-time. I’ll show you how to use this great new feature in both the Notes and Keynote apps to create and edit text.

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There’s finally a built-in way to convert your handwriting with Apple Pencil into text on the iPad. Have a look at this #QuickTip and you’ll learn how to do it and while you’re here feel free to Subscribe to my Channel. There are loads more iPad Tips and more being updated every week. Firstly, I’m going to show you how it works in Notes. So, I’m going to make a new Notes document, make it full screen, completely blank, and with my Pencil, I’m going to tap the screen. At this point, the Pencil toolbar shows up and you should be familiar with that from iPad before. But there’s a new tool on the left-hand side which is a Pencil with a letter A typed inside it. This pen will basically convert whatever you write into text and it’s normally pretty accurate. So, as you start scribbling away on the page, it will convert that into typed text for you. You can do some simple editing as well using just the Pencil. You can scribble over to delete a word and if you draw a line through multiple words, that will create a selection. And then you can use some of those quick shortcuts in the toolbar at the bottom to make the text bold or to change the style to make it even bigger. You can also use your handwritten writing to display as handwritten text but also to be copyable as written text. So, grab a different brush and this time just write on the screen like you would do normally and it’s not converted to text for you. But if you use your finger and tap on it to highlight it and then tap again, you’ve got the new option to Copy as Text. You can then Paste that into a different document, wherever you like, and it will paste it as written words for you. Let’s jump into Keynote now and I’ll show you another example of how this works in action. So first of all, I’ll use my normal Pen tool just to make a few markings on my page – to annotate a couple of the bullet points on my list. But then I’m going to select the end of my last bullet point and use the shortcut to press the Return key at the bottom. Now with my Pencil (and making sure I’m on that type tool with the A on it), I can scribble down whatever idea I’ve got and it will then convert it into text which matches the style of my document. You’d never know that I hadn’t typed that in. I can then use the selection tool by dragging a straight line across the words to make adjustments such as making it bold so it fits in perfectly with the rest of my slide. These new Pencil features can completely change the way you interact with your iPad. It makes converting to text so much easier than ever before you as don’t need to get a third-party app anymore – it’s built right into iPadOS 14. Hey, thanks for watching that video! Now, if you enjoyed that and you want to find some more #QuickTips for your iPad or to use in your classroom, please do me a favour and press the Subscribe button down below. That will really help me out and it will help you keep up-to-date with all the latest tips and tricks on my YouTube Channel.

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