Question for Apple Pencil users

Hey iPad Pro users with Apple pencils, does the Apple Pencil in iOS Scrivener work as a pointer/mouse interface? Or as a drawing tool?

The reason I ask is sort of complicated, but if you’re interested, here it is:

When the iPad Pro 12” came out and I tried it with the Apple Pencil, I absolutely fell in love with it. My favorite thing was Microsoft Word. Being on the wrong side of fifty, I have fat fingers, no fingerprints left, and I’m clumsy. The Apple Pencil provided me with the most amazingly minute, incremental pointer control imaginable, better than any mouse I’d ever used. It made selecting words and groups of words, and then cutting and pasting, sublime. I was never betrayed by my fat fingers because they were no longer directly involved.

Then Microsoft ruined it: they bowed to visual users’ pressure and added a Tab in the toolbar for Drawing, and THEN they defaulted Pencil control to Draw whenever the Draw tab wasn’t active. OK, sure, you can/could “turn off” said drawing functionality with a toggle feature on the Draw Tab, but once you left the Draw Tab, you were only “allowed” ONE editing operation with the Pencil, and thereafter it immediately reverted to Draw mode (being away from the Draw tab, as it were). If you had been in that store with me when I discovered this, you would have heard my long groan of anguish. That single change in Microsoft Word stopped me from buying the iPad. :frowning:

So now I am hoping that I can use the Apple Pencil in Scrivener for mousing (i.e., editing operations). And if that is the case, I will then be hoping for the future that L&L doesn’t bow to “artist pressure” and change the Scrivener interface (for the Apple Pencil) to be a default “draw mode,” forever thereafter depriving fat-fingered writers (represent!) who just want to use the Pencil as a mouse.

I am not an Apple Pencil user, but I know there is no “Draw” function in Scrivener (iOS, Mac, or Windows), and I can’t imagine Lit & Lat deciding to add one, so at least there you’re safe… :slight_smile:

I tested. The pencil acts like a finger. Tapping, double-tapping, etc

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Like you I have a fat finger issue. The pencil is great for selection. Especially selecting a block of text. Easy to get exactly the text you want without multiple attempts with finger.

Great question, and maybe one should spread this around to all writers thinking about becoming more productive with the help of an iPad!

Because with the introduction of Scrivner for iOS I am now on cloud nine when it comes to many parts of the writing process. And the Apple Pencil enables one of them. When ‘proof reading’ or doing a first pass at rewriting, I have always felt that it’s not as good the read on the computer screen as on paper. On which you can make notes. Then came the iPad and I started to export PDF:s and using different PDF annotation apps. But now!

The iPad Pro gives me actually a larger ‘page’ than a print, so very nice ‘distraction free’ reading. And with the Apple Pencil I can do all the editing in the actual Scrivener project! All you need is an app called My Script Stylus , which works as a third party keyboard. (After installing, you can chose between the regular keyboard and MyScript by holding the globe symbol.)

You write with the Apple Pencil on the keyboard and it has amazing handwriting recognition. (And my handwriting is hardly legible, even for myself… :slight_smile:) When you stop writing it translates, and you have space for whole sentences if you want. In the image above I have written a change (“i morgon” is Swedish for “tomorrow”…)

And above the keyboard has translated my scribblings into text and inserted them into the file. The keyboard also has handy buttons for deleting, undoing, etc, etc. (There is also a separate MyScript app that works as a notebook with translation of the handwritten to electronic, but I think this is very convenient since you can use it in any app.)

For me at least this is a very nice experience when I can go away from the study and sit somewhere, at home or in a cafe, and read and do changes as if on paper. But in actual Scrivener project! :laughing: @KB

As indicated above, the Apple Pencil can be used in place of a finger which is handy to tap small objects. I’ve owned three other pencil/pens to use on my iPads (now own the iPad Pro 9") over the past two years but never found them anywhere near equivalent to paper and pencil - until the iPad Pro/Apple Pencil combination. Using the AP to mark up PDF files is effortless and the AP never skips a beat.

As an aside, after years of less actual writing on paper, using keyboards with devices instead, I’ve discovered my handwriting has gotten atrocious!

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Thank you!

Very interesting! Thanks. Looks like that would be worth having, if I could get used to inputting changes that way. And it gets pretty good reviews.

You are in Sweden? I hope to visit your country some day!

I love the My Script Stylus app, and use it extensively as well - been a revelation.

That said, just be a little cautious with it.

Occasionally, when you are having to make many corrections (i.e. jumping back to several words that you failed to notice had been misspelt), it can freeze up. Usually a jump into another app and back, sorts things out, but occasionally an app-quit is required. This could result in some words being lost.
I’m running a 12’9" iPP, so unlikely to be due to lack of RAM/Memory or anything. Sometimes, it just gets a bit bogged down.
(I generally avoid writing too much in it for long uninterrupted patches, without switching to the stock iOS keyboard, and then back again - this seems to “clear the cache” so-to-speak, which helps, in my experience.)

It’s still a brilliant solution. But I would just advise that you spend a bit of time with it to check things out yourself, before losing that once-in-a-lifetime piece of poetry, scribbled down crazily in a ‘Howl’ moment of free-form splurging! 8)

Hi, how is Scrivener with regards to the Apple Pencil these days? I would like to if Scrivener on iPadOS is useful for using as a note taking application, potentially also with on-the-fly text recognition?

I’m not sure what you hope to learn after all the earlier comments.

I just tried it, however, and on an iPad Air 4’s computing power, and the latest iPadOS 15.5.1, it worked surprisingly well, even on my far from easily legible pencilmanship. I think Apple Scribble, the engine behind this, has definitely improved from a year ago, without announcement.

Will it work for you? Only one way to find out - obtain some time on an iPad such as you desire, and try it. Enough time to really be confident for yourself and your own writing, beyond such questions.

I would wonder, though, why use Scrivener to keep notes? There are perhaps better apps for that, without distractions, such as IA Writer. Or, with many useful abilities, including the alternate of making drawings or non-interpreted text, Apple Notes, which is free, integrated, etc…


Because it’s there. I don’t have any other “note-taking” apps other than Apple Notes. It is a shame that Notes can’t be used as Scrivener’s Scratchpad as that would make for easy access. If it were I might be persuaded to use it.

Briefly looked at IA Writer but I hate Markdown as it is visually intrusive even in it’s meagre use for emphasis here in Discourse.

Like some of the earlier respondents I have awful handwriting (caused by fine motor control issues) which also means I am averse to graphical note taking. The few tests I have conducted with Apple Pencil for hand-writing recognition suggest it could be helpful — except that having to look at the pencil while I write brings on other components of my dyslexic profile, which I suspect is caused by disgust of the erratic nature of my penmanship.

All-in-all Scrivener as a note-taking app in addition to its authoring functions is a logical choice for me.

Hmm - fair enough, certainly.

Some thoughts:

  • No need to use Markdown in iA Writer – I don’t, for anything literary or so. It’s just very clean, saves without issue to iCloud, has instant startup, also instant-button alternated-font view which can help catching faults, some other interesting but well=closeted features you may or not prefer. Very instant-start, and I use it across to Win10 laptop also via Typora which I prefer there, and iCloud-Windows. Not selling it though.

  • various personal issues – not so different from age/diabetic ones, sounds, and I for earlier reasons also have had interesting thoughts about dyslexias. This is where the alternate view thought comes.

  • Scrivener, though. I think it will work as well as you find Scribble works for you in other apps, not aware of any cross-problems. As said, you just have to try it, and sounds you have.

  • on using a companion app for original noting/journaling, have you learned the iPadOS windowing ability? This is much improved in iPadOS 15, and gives a very easy ability to have both Scrivener and notes app of any kind showing on halves of screen.

    You’re then able to copy-paste between them, including very usefully ‘Unstyled Paste’, so that you match your Scrivener appearance. Drag-drop also can work, does with IA Writer, mysteriously doesn’t from Notes.

  • Notes by the way also has that wonderful get-text-from-images ability, which means you literally can scribble on it, much less demanding than Scribble itself, and then ‘copy text’, getting at least most of it. Something else to try.

Anyway (and I am probably forgetting something else), you should use what feels good to you, surely.

I actually use different arrangements, depending on what I’m doing – or copy to different apps for what they might do in abilities or look. Journaling, I stick with iA Writer, if sharing to Dropbox also to gather groupings, which that way can be multiple. I do play with Scrivener besides using it direct or copying to it, for alternate ways of working with rapid thoughts, which probably would mirror your thought of note-taking there.

A little experimenting also with…but none of these so much as to waste time or energies :slight_smile:

Best fortune, and am sure you’ll find some,

Why not? Especially if the notes are ultimately destined for Scrivener anyway.

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Katherine, it’s probably my own situation showing. I write a lot, articles which would probably be considered journaling, across a number of topics and potential stories. Which brings up an old viewpoint question on large information: categorizing or searching.

Search always wins, with actually tagging being the intermediate position for a long time, but I keep finding even that, allowing multiple facets and viewpoints, just doesn’t work, at least personally.

Thus I keep notes in streams, do break them up occasionally as you might separate notebooks over time, with those streams too large to consider fitting into a Scrivener project in any way that seems comfortable.

The freedom to write, the freedom to find on any point, that’s what works, again personally. Thus I tend to think primarily of tools which allow such flow.

Later, gathering together, arranging and freely counter-arranging, that’s composition, and that’s where I like to see Scrivener at its best.

I suppose i think first for others in such free flows, but yes, that’s not always a comfortable way as others might prefer…

And there is the point about distractions – that was pretty central in what I was trying to say originally.

p.s. one reason I’m interested in is that you can put a number of notes on screen and see them, readably, together. Copy-paste etc. gets them there from any source, though, so fits however one would like oritginal notes to be.

There I would agree. Scrivener can be hellish slow to start whether on iOS, iPadOS, or macOS. On the latter I keep it open all the time. When “on the road” — walking through the local woods — I make sure that my iPhone is synched before I go out and that my journal project is open. Also have both my iPhone and iPad configured not to sync autmatically. But the speed or rather the lack of it when starting up to make a new note is irksome. More than once by the time Scrivener is ready I’ve forgotten what I was going to type; hence leaving it running on my Mac.

kind of important correction on minor point above – I was mentioning the app,, mistyped to something not related, ‘for enterprise’ and not a writing program…!

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