Pencil Annotations

How to use the Pencil tool including the difference between "Pencil" and "Apple Pencil" and how to erase.

The pencil tool allows freehand writing. You do not need an Apple Pencil to be able to use the pencil tool, however for best performance we do recommend the Apple Pencil.  See Do I need an Apple Pencil to use iAnnotate for more information. 


The Apple Pencil can be used to “always ink” or adjusted so the Apple Pencil can act like a finger for actions like scrolling without marking the page. 

This prefenced is adjusted in settings. See Apple Pencil Settings for instructions. 

When "Apple Pencil Always Inks" is enabled you do not need to select the pencil tool from the toolbar to use your Apple Pencil. This feature allows the pencil to act like a pencil and makes annotations every time it touches the page.  The Apple Pencil is auto-detected as a pencil and you will begin marking up the page as soon as you touch the screen with your pencil. To scroll in this feature, use a single finger.

To use the pencil tool, tap the tool on the toolbar, and begin to mark the page with your Apple pencil, stylus, or finger. Tapping the pointing finger will enable a wrist guard. The wrist guard can be adjusted up or down and will not allow marking in the greyed-out area of the screen. This comes in handy if your wrist has a habit of causing marks on the page.

Once the annotation begins, either Apple Pencil or Pencil, an annotation specific menu in the upper right (shown above) offers several customizable features like adjusting the color, pencil thickness, and opacity (accessible via the colored square). Use the “back” arrow to undo an annotation or select the adjustable eraser icon. 

Tap the check mark in the upper right corner to finish the annotation.

A press and hold (also known as, long tap) on the annotation will allow it to become editable. The annotation specific menu will reappear in the upper right corner. You can adjust the color or erase from this menu.  Delete an entire annotation by selecting the trash icon.