Using Apple Pencil in Drafts

I really enjoy using the Apple Pencil 2 with Scribble my iPad Air. However, it is a little cumbersome in Drafts and I’ll try to detail the issues I’ve had so far.

  • In default scroll mode, the text will fill the screen all the way to the bottom of the text window, leaving no room underneath with which to write with the Pencil.
  • In typewriter scroll mode, there is an ideal space for writing under the text! But sometimes when your hand brushes the screen (which, is inevitable) the keyboard pops up, which is mostly fine because the iPad generally ignores keyboard input when the Pencil’s in use. However, when you’ve resumed writing after adjusting where you’re writing because the target area has moved, the keyboard will automatically hide again, and then the text scrolls all the way to the top/beginning of your draft! So now you have to scroll down, tap with the pencil to make sure the iPad knows you’re in pencil mode, and resume writing until a hand brush triggers the keyboard back up… and so on…
  • I guess in general, the keyboard pops up too often/unintentionally and that’s probably an OS thing and naught to be done. But if there’s some trickery you can do like you did in outsmarting Siri’s timer, the few of us trying to handwrite Drafts would be appreciative!
  • One more thing! Scribble underlines words in blue that it autocorrects capitalization and spelling from your handwriting. In every other app, if you tap on a blue underlined word with the Pencil it gives you the option of selecting the word as you wrote it e.g. all caps, odd spelling, etc. – however Drafts does not seem to allow this. The words are underlined in blue, but tapping on them does nothing, or brings up the standard copy/paste/etc. options.

I have the same experience as you described. I don’t know how much Drafts can improve it and I hope that apple does more to upgrade the experience. It’s not fluid enough for ‘real-time’ usage (for me) during a meeting.

I have looked at some of these issues, and may be able to offer some improvement, but the demand hasn’t been strong and I haven’t had time to address them all.

Also, partially waiting to see if Apple addresses some of these issues in updates, as it is such a new feature.

That said, though I certainly love that people want to do some of this in Drafts, I don’t think it’s ever going to be a better experience than using an notes app designed around pencil-style note taking. Many of them now support scribble and do the text conversion now.


For me the automation options to process the meeting notes is what’s key and why I’m looking for the support in Drafts.
I was thinking that having a floating palette of buttons to choose actions would be really helpful. I find the tool bar at the bottom a bit out of the way and I often unintentionally activate the dock.
Maybe an option to place it somewhere else in the screen?

I appreciate you looking into the issues! And responding!

I would say, I don’t want a “pencil-style” note taking app, I love Drafts, I just want to be able to use the Pencil in it with the same word processing capabilities Scribble gives me in other text specific apps like Word, or even just text fields on the web.

The big one for me, and this is Drafts specific because it works like it’s supposed to in every other app I’ve tried, is the blue underlines that allow you to select what you wrote vs the autocorrect.
Drafts is somehow suppressing these?

Also, it seems to me a fairly easy thing to add an option for more empty/buffer space at the bottom of the screen in which to write with the Pencil. But, I’m not the dev. :slight_smile:

Thanks again!

I guess one of the questions is “how much Scribble does Drafts get for free?” AKA “how far away from the controls where Scribble comes for free does Drafts get?”