How to Write on the iPad With the Stylus

Written by anne hirsh
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Writing on the iPad with a stylus can take some adjustment. Your normal writing style may not translate well to the iPad's user interface, or your normal hand position may cause the iPad to interpret the side of your palm as input. To use your iPad for stylus writing, you will need an iPad-compatible stylus and a handwriting or drawing app. Styluses designed for other styles of touchscreens may not work on the iPad.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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  1. 1

    Tap the "App Store" button on your iPad and search for a handwriting app. The iPad does not include handwriting apps in its native platform, so you must download one from the store. Penultimate is a drawing and writing app that responds better than many other apps to stylus input and offers unobtrusive protection from unwanted wrist or palm input. If you need your handwriting to convert to text, PhatPad and WritePad have the appropriate conversion software. Among the free apps, uPad Lite offers a handwriting input panel that lets you write quickly and easily with large strokes suited to the blunt tip of a stylus, and then shrinks your writing to a more manageable size for reading later. New apps appear daily, so search for "handwriting" or "drawing" to view currently available apps for stylus input.

  2. 2

    Install your chosen app on your iPad.

  3. 3

    Launch your handwriting app and read any introductory or help files included in the app.

  4. 4

    Locate the palm pad, wrist guard, or other protective feature that prevents the side of your hand from registering as input. Turn it on or place it where you want it, depending on how your app operates this feature.

  5. 5

    Hold the stylus as if you are holding a pen and rest your hand on the protected area.

  6. 6

    Write as you normally would on paper at first, and then adjust your strokes as you become familiar with how your app handles the input. You may need to use larger motions than you would on paper, or increase or decrease your pressure on the iPad screen.

Tips and warnings

  • Practice writing with the stylus before you need to take important notes. Becoming familiar with the input first will make your notes more legible and determine whether the app you chose adequately meets your needs.

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