Does Scrivener Support Apple Pencil Writing?

Apologies if this has been asked before; I searched these forums using several combinations of “pencil”, “apple pencil”, and writing and I couldn’t find a definitive answer.

My question is this: Can you use the Apple Pencil to write in the main Scrivener interface or is it typing-only? I’m not asking if the writing would be turned into typed text (aka OCR), I just want to know if writing in the interface is possible.

I am hoping for this feature also, or else speech to text.

AFAIK, Scrivener doesn’t support Apple Pencil.

Not that I can see, either. I have taken a few notes with the Apple Pencil and copy pasted the output into Scrivener, but not directly.

I don’t have an iPad, but I’m researching it.

Unless I’m misunderstanding, this is all you need:

The bad news is that myscript Stylus (the keyboard in that video) has been pulled from the app store. What’s left is Mazec keyboard ( and Writepad I (

Personally I use Writepad. Its reviews aren’t super, but I was careful to select my letter forms and to turn on continuous writing, I find that customising my letter forms gives me recognition as good as Stylus’ was. “Continuous” writing lets me accumulate a word or four, and review the recognition before inserting it by writing over the beginning of the line. With a little practice it became natural to review the recognition with half an eye and select the correct one if needed from the list WritePad presents – much easier than correcting MyScript Stylus’ occasional missed recognition or my misspelling.

I still have Stylus installed. It’s superior for short emails and texts. OTOH, it can get confused when asked to do editing tasks – which WritePad seldom does.

As for Mazec, it uses the same underlying recognition engine as Stylus, but I find its user interface inferior to either WritePad’s or Stylus’. YMMV.

P.S. As far as I can tell, any handwriting recognition engine does better if I exaggerate the spaces between words and write with no slant.

Is writing in this way faster/easier than using the onscreen keyboard?

My answer has to be—objectively, no. I ran a series of one-woman tests, once, and the result was that dictation won (120 WPM) , followed by external keyboard (60 WPM), various on-screen keyboards (about 50 WPM), with handwriting dead last (25 WPM). Net after corrections was tighter (much!) but relative rankings stayed the same (handwriting was still 25 WPM).

But that was transcribing a set piece of text, as in a typing test. Judged instead by daily output of fiction, handwriting and dictation trade places. For nonfiction, typing’s fine. For asking my phone for directions, dictation is fine (as long as I take time to carefully compose my phrase in advance.) For actual fiction writing, I use my WritePad keyboard.

YMMV. Some writers swear by dictation – roughly 160 WPM. Some can rip along typing at 60-90 WPM. My mental composition engine barely manages to keep up with handwriting at 30 WPM. :smiley:

Excellent data, thanks.

I think that just in the last 24 hours the My Script Nebo folk have launched a beta that may be this handwriting feature?

It’s here if you want to confirm or deny!

Believe it or not, I don’t actually own an Apple Pencil. I use handwriting on my iPhone as well as on my iPad, so I use either a plain capacitative stylus or an electronic stylus that just works as a (pointy-er) plain stylus. Since MyScript Nebo requires an Apple Pencil, I can’t help you out here.

Edit: I checked the Nebo knowledge base on the MyScript website. This new functionality permits Nebo users to use the ordinary on-screen keyboard within Nebo. It does not provide a handwriting keyboard that other apps may use.

I picked up WritePad after reading this post. There is a feature in it, which may or may not be new, where it can be added as a keyboard. So, once you purchase and install WritePad, if you go into keyboards in iOS Settings, you’ll see it as one you can add. I did so, and I have to say, it works pretty well in Scrivener. I usually use my Mac for novels, but I think for Flash fiction and other short. forms, I’m going handwriting.

iOS 14 has added handwriting support to a lot of apps I use. May be worth someone trying Scrivener with the apple pencil again, unless it needs the app to do something different first. :mrgreen:

Selvypen is a free app that allows you to write anywhere that you would normally type. I don’t do much writing, so speed does not matter to me. Comfort of not having to type is what I like.

The new iOS Handwriting support actually works surprisingly well, at least in English. I would probably not use it to write really long paragraphs, but for note keeping it’s already on "good enough"level, coming from a person who has really illegible handwriting :slight_smile:

Is there a chance normal pencil support might be included in future versions of the iOS app? Sometimes I just want to quickly scribble a note as I’m reading through and not have it convert to text, and highlight / circle passages etc… Would be great to not have to export to another app then import back into Scrivener in order to do so.

I am using the 2020 iPad Pro and scrivener does have handwriting to text recognition. I bought scrivener for iOS a few days ago to try it and I am able to handwrite just fine. It converts my handwriting into text immediately. Not as smoothly as using good-notes, but it works nonetheless.

Yeah, that works great on the Air too. I’m hoping for the ability to use the pen and it not convert to text though. So you’d be able to write, draw, highlight, annotate etc. documents without what you’re writing turning into text, it just staying as handwriting.