Apple Pencil experiences with iOS Scrivener or other text editing apps?

I’m giving some thought to a new iPad and possibly an Apple Pencil to use with it. As memory serves, its use would require getting an iPad Pro.

Does anyone here have experience with using the Apple Pencil with iOS Scrivener and/or other iOS text editing/word processing apps?
Good, bad, indifferent? Significant improvements and speedups? Actually any better than just using one’s finger or pre-Pencil capacitive stylus?

To be clear, in this case I’m interested in its use for interacting with text, as opposed to handwriting recognition or markup (drawing/scribbling notes atop text) or use with graphic art programs (paint, photomanipulation, etc.).

My naive guess is that it would prove to be faster and more accurate than a finger or pre-Pencil capacitive stylus. So far, a quick Google search hasn’t turned up much discussion of this specific use (interaction with text and controls within text editor/word processing app).


I have a 12.2” Pro and pencil but don’t use it with Scrivener. It’s fantastic for taking notes and such, but for writing with Scrivener an external keyboard is better.

But the OP s concerned with using it for selecting text, at which it has got to be better than a finger, which I personally find so appallingly difficult, that I try to avoid having to do it at all.


IMHO the Apple Pencil is a much much tool for interacting with text and (most of) the interface, in Scrivener as in most other apps. If you use one of the handwriting apps (I use the MyScript keyboard) then it’s easy to add comments / make corrections. You have to be prepared to do more erasing / correcting with the handwriting recognition, but it’s a smooth enough process.

Switching between pencil (held in one hand) and typing (two handed on an external keyboard is just as disruptive as using a mouse is on a laptop (which I avoid if I can as well…), so I tend to use either one or the other, not both. And I wouldn’t want to use the Pencil for more than a couple of sentences by choice because it’s obviously slower than typing — but it’s perfectly feasible to do so and some people like writing with a pen anyway…

My experience is very similar.

The OP uses the term ”interact” which could be much more than only selecting text, which is by the way very easy with the arrows and the select-text-icon in the extended built-in keyboard in iOS Scrivener.

Using the pencil is even more disruptive because you have to move the hand away to pick up the pencil and move it back to the iPad to interact, and then move it away again to put it down and back to the iPad to continue writing.

The pencil is fantastic for many things but not for using with Scrivener, as I see it.

I was responding to this having just read his immediately previous post:

in which he talks about the problems of using text-to-speech apps on iOS in conjunction with Scrivener and says:

I was conflating the two, since in this OP he says:

Perhaps I was wrong to do so, but most of the answers here have been about using ApplePencil in those contexts.


I just got the 2018 iPad and plan to get the Apple Pencil when I can find it at a decent discount. I suspect that you are right that the Pencil won’t be much help for writing in Scrivener. That is too typewriter intensive.

But I wonder if it could prove helpful for proofing, particularly if the Pencil’s various features could be used for various markups, including tagging a sentence to be rewritten, misspelling, and punctuation errors.

Another option, although probably hard to implement, would be to allow the Apple Pencil to be used for penciled markup much like proofreaders use. The markup can be quick, although someone has to go back and make the actual changes. Here are some of the standard marks:

excellent-proofreading-and- … marks.html

I use it that way, usually using Notability. Compile to pdf, open it on the iPad and read it theough with the pencil ready. And not only my own creations. I do the same with other review tasks.

I think your best bet, and the way I’ve been working, is to trip with Pages as described here (long thread): … =4&t=51585

This is a bit of a necropost but I thought it was worth adding to as I use the Apple pencil every day as part of my pipeline.

First off, I don’t have access to a good keyboard replacement for the Apple pencil, as MyScript has removed their solution from the app store.

I wrote this in MyScript Nebo and copied it over.

My pipeline is to write in Nebo longhand. I then copy the text to Scrivener and compile. The compiled text goes into pdf viewer for markup. When I’m done, I put pdf viewer and Nebo side by side to make the corrections.

This is a bit of a simplification

I do my first pass correction on the longhand text in Nebo and then I email the original handwriting to myself as an export for backup. I then convert to text and do another pass, checking for conversion errors and general changes.

I use cloud sync with both Nebo and Scrivener, as I like both belts and braces.

To keep things clean, I don’t touch the text in Scrivener at this point, but simply use Scrivener for formatting. All my corrections are done on the original Nebo files, which are then copied back into Scrivener as a replace. This way I only have one location for notes and one location for changes and I get to write long hand most of the way.

Now, to the OP’s question: Is the Apple pencil better than a finger?

That depends:
A) for writing? Yes!
B) for selecting text? No! Absolutely not. Oddly, for what ever technical reason, fingers are far better than the pencil for this. Why? Dunno. Go figure…

The pencil is good for selecting text however don’t forget you can hold the onscreen keyboard space bar down to jump into trackpad mode for finer finger selection. That option doesn’t work with the folio keyboard though the arrow keys do offer finer selection.