Draw and use Scribble in Numbers and Keynote

Draw and use Scribble to turn handwriting into text with an Apple Pencil on iPad. You can also draw with your finger on iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

You can also use Select and Scroll with Apple Pencil to select objects and scroll in your spreadsheet or presentation.

Turn handwriting into text with Scribble

With Scribble, you can turn handwriting into text with an Apple Pencil on a supported iPad.* When you pair an Apple Pencil with an iPad, Scribble is on by default. To check the Scribble setting or to turn it off, go to Settings > Apple Pencil on your iPad.

  1. In a spreadsheet or presentation, tap your pencil in the slide or spreadsheet where you want to write. Or tap in a text box, shape or table cell.
  2. Tap the Scribble tool in the toolbar at the bottom of the screen, then start writing.

As you write with Apple Pencil, you can also delete words, insert text and more:

  • To delete a word, scratch it out.
  • To insert text between words, tap and hold in a text area, then start writing when a space opens.
  • To join or separate characters, draw a vertical line between them.
  • To select text, circle it or draw a line through it. Drag the selection handles to change the selection.

The toolbar also has buttons to format and align text.

* This feature is only available in English, Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese with iPadOS 14 or later.


Add a drawing

  1. To draw with Apple Pencil, tap your pencil on the page. To use your finger, or if you've turned on Select and Scroll, tap the Insert button , tap the Media button , then tap Drawing.
  2. Tap one of the four drawing tools at the bottom of the screen: the pen, pencil, crayon or the fill tool.
  3. To draw with a different stroke size and opacity, tap one of the drawing tools twice, then tap a new stroke size. Or drag the slider to adjust the opacity.
  4. You can draw with a different colour:
    • For iPhone, tap the coloured circle, then choose a preset colour at the bottom of the Colours screen. Or use the controls to mix your own colours, then tap the Add button  to save the colour as a favourite.
    • For iPadOS 14, tap a preset colour or tap the colour wheel to choose a custom colour. Use the controls to mix your own colour, then tap the Add button  to save the colour as a favourite. To remove a favourite, touch and hold its colour dot, then tap Delete. 
    • For iPadOS 13, tap the colour well, then either tap a colour in the grid or swipe left and create a custom colour.
  5. To erase, tap the eraser, then tap it again to choose one of the erasers:
    • To erase pixels, tap Pixel Eraser, then tap or drag on the drawing.
    • To erase a whole stroke, tap the Object Eraser, then tap the stroke or object fill you want to erase.
  6. To undo the last action, tap the Undo button
  7. When you’ve finished, tap Done.

To continue drawing with Apple Pencil, just start drawing on the page.

Resize and move your drawing

You can resize and move the drawing after you've added it:

  • To resize the drawing, tap the drawing with your finger, then drag the handles of the box.
  • To move the drawing, tap the drawing with your finger, then drag it.


Edit parts of a drawing

  1. If necessary, tap the drawing with your finger, then tap Edit Drawing from the pop-up menu.
  2. Tap the selection tool at the bottom of the screen, then tap or drag around the part you want to edit. An outline appears around the selection.
  3. Tap an option in the pop-up menu:
    • To resize a selection, tap Resize, then drag the handles of the box around the selection.
    • To make one drawing into two drawings, tap Separate in the pop-up menu.
    • You can also cut, copy, paste, delete and duplicate a selection.


Animate a drawing

You can animate drawings in Keynote and Numbers.

Animate a drawing in Keynote

In Keynote on iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, you can animate a drawing in Keynote to make it look like it's being drawn (using the Build In effect) or erased (using the Build Out effect):

  1. Choose the slide with the drawing, then tap or click the drawing to select it.
  2. Tap the drawing again, then tap Animate from the pop-up menu.
  3. Choose Build In or Build Out. 
  4. In the pop-up menu, choose Line Draw, then tap Play to preview the animation.
  5. When you've finished, tap Done.

On a Mac, you can animate a drawing that you added to a presentation in Keynote on iPhone or iPad.

Animate a drawing in Numbers

In Numbers on iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, you can animate a drawing so it appears as if it's being drawn:

  1. If you're in drawing mode, tap Done. Otherwise, go to the next step.
  2. Tap the drawing to select it.
  3. Tap the Format button , then tap Drawing.
  4. Turn on Animate Drawing, then adjust other options such as duration.
  5. To play back the animation, tap Play or Play Drawing.

On a Mac, you can animate a drawing that you added to a spreadsheet in Numbers on iPhone or iPad.


Share or save a drawing

In Numbers and Keynote, you can share or save a drawing as an image file (.png). In Numbers, if you animated the drawing, you can share or save a drawing as a movie file (.m4v).

  1. Tap the drawing to select it, then choose Share. If you animated the drawing in Numbers, choose “Share as Image” or “Share as Movie”.
  2. Choose how you want to send your image or movie, like with Mail, Messages or another service. Or, choose Save Image (or Save Video for animated Numbers drawings) to save to the Photos app.

On a Mac, you can share or save a drawing that's been added to a spreadsheet or presentation in Numbers or Keynote on iPhone or iPad.

  1. In the spreadsheet or presentation with the drawing, control-click the drawing.
  2. Choose Share. If you animated the drawing, choose “Share as Image” or “Share as Movie”.
  3. Choose how you want to send your image or movie, like with Mail, Messages or another service. Or, choose Add to Photos to save your image (or movie for animated Numbers drawings) to the Photos app.


How to turn on Select and Scroll with Apple Pencil

By default, you can use Apple Pencil to start drawing. You can set Numbers or Keynote to use your Apple Pencil to select objects and scroll in your documents instead:*

  1. In Numbers or Keynote, tap the More button .
  2. Tap Apple Pencil, then turn on Select and Scroll.

If your Apple Pencil supports it, you can turn on Double-Tap to Switch. With Double-Tap to Switch, just double-tap the lower part of Apple Pencil to turn Select and Scroll on and off.

To add a drawing to a spreadsheet or presentation when Select and Scroll is turned on, tap the Insert button , tap the Media button , then tap Drawing.

* Pages, Numbers and Keynote each have their own setting for Select and Scroll. For example, if you turn on Select and Scroll in Pages, it doesn't affect Keynote or Numbers.


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