How to Use Apple Pencil: A Comprehensive Guide

Pasito Tola

Pasito Tola is a tech enthusiast, writer, and engineer. He has a degree in Media Production and Telecom engineering from the University of Coventry and ISTA Ndolo. He is passionate about all things tech and has spent years exploring the latest gadgets, software, and innovations. His writing style is engaging, informative, and accessible, making even the most complex topics easy to understand. He is a valuable asset to our tech review site and we are lucky to have him on our team.

How to Use Apple Pencil: A Step-by-Step Guide

The Apple Pencil is a powerful tool that allows users to navigate their iPads effortlessly. As someone who often sketches and takes handwritten notes on my iPad Pro, I’ve found that the second-generation Apple Pencil has many useful capabilities.

This stylus’s pressure sensitivity, tilt and shading features make it a favourite among artists and designers. The device pairs immediately with the iPad Pro or iPad Air and is compatible with several other Apple devices. The Apple Pencil’s palm rejection technology ensures you won’t accidentally make marks when resting your hand on the tablet while drawing or writing.

The pencil’s double-tap function is also convenient as it can be customized to perform various actions like erasing or activating a specific tool. Additionally, charging the Apple Pencil is easy with its lightning connector connecting to the tablet’s magnetic strip. One handy feature of the Apple Pencil is the scribble tool which allows you to write in any text field on your iPad, including search bars in Safari or email clients.

The Basics of Using Apple Pencil

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Apple Pencil is an essential tool for artists, designers, and anyone who wants to use their iPad or iPad Pro for handwriting, sketching, or taking notes. In this section, I will go through the basics of using Apple Pencil, including its compatibility, charging, pairing and unpairing, and navigating your iPad or iPad Pro with the stylus.


There are currently two versions of the Apple Pencil: the first and second generations. The first-generation Apple Pencil is compatible with iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st and 2nd generation), iPad Pro 10.5-inch, iPad Pro 9.7-inch, iPad (6th generation), iPad Air 3rd generation, and iPad mini 5th generation. The second-generation Apple Pencil is compatible with iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd and 4th generation) and iPad Pro 11-inch (1st and 2nd generation).


The first-generation Apple Pencil charges via its lightning connector, while the second-generation Apple Pencil charges magnetically by attaching to the flat side of your iPad Pro. If you have the first-generation Apple Pencil, connect it to your iPad or use an adapter to charge it with a lightning cable. When you attach the cable or pencil, the charging indicator appears on the screen.

Pairing and Unpairing

Pairing the Apple Pencil to your iPad takes only a few seconds. You need to ensure Bluetooth is enabled on your iPad, then remove the cap on the back of the pencil and plug it into the lightning connector of your iPad. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.

If you want to unpair the Apple Pencil from your iPad or pair it with a different device, you can go to the Bluetooth settings and forget it.

Navigating Your iPad with Apple Pencil

You can use your Apple Pencil to tap, swipe, and navigate around your iPad or iPad Pro just like you would with a finger. Double-tap the pencil to switch between the current tool and the eraser, or customize the function in your settings. You can also use the pencil to hover over items, write emails, fill out forms, mark up PDFs, and even unlock your iPad on the lock screen.

The Apple Pencil is sensitive to pressure and tilt, which allows you to sketch or shade at different angles with precision. You can use it with various apps, such as Procreate, Sketchbook, Notability, Photoshop, Safari, and Notes.

In conclusion, Apple Pencil is a versatile tool that can enhance your Apple device’s note-taking, drawing, and productivity. Whether you are an artist, designer, student, or professional, the Apple Pencil offers precision, flexibility, and creativity that is unmatched by other stylus pens.

How to Connect Apple Pencil to Your iPad

If you’ve just bought a new Apple Pencil, you’re probably eager to use it. Before you can do that, however, you need to pair it with your iPad. In this guide, I’ll take you through the steps for connecting 1st and 2nd generation Apple Pencils to your iPad.

Check Compatibility

Before you start, confirm that your iPad is compatible with Apple Pencil. The following devices are compatible with the first-generation Apple Pencil:

  • iPad (6th generation)
  • iPad Air (3rd generation)
  • iPad mini (5th generation)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st or 2nd generation)
  • iPad Pro 10.5-inch

The second-generation Apple Pencil is compatible with the following iPad models:

  • iPad Pro 11-inch
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd and 4th generation)

Note that the original Apple Pencil is incompatible with iPad Air, iPad Mini, or Android devices.

Charging and Pairing

Here are the steps for connecting your Apple Pencil to your iPad:

  1. Remove the cap from your Apple Pencil to reveal the Lightning connector.
  2. Plug your Apple Pencil into the Lightning port on your iPad.
  3. The pairing process will start automatically, but if it doesn’t, go to Settings > Bluetooth and tap Apple Pencil to connect it manually.
  4. Once paired, your iPad will show you the battery percentage of your Apple Pencil in the widget area. If you don’t see it, you can add it to your widget area by going to Settings > Widgets, then tap Edit in the bottom left corner and add Batteries.
  5. When you see your Apple Pencil and its battery percentage on the screen, you are ready to start using it.

Using Your Apple Pencil


If you have the 2nd generation Apple Pencil, double-tap the flat side of the pencil to switch tools.

The Apple Pencil’s pressure and tilt sensitivity make it perfect for drawing and sketching. It also has a palm rejection feature and allows you to rest your hand on the iPad’s screen while you draw without registering it as part of your drawing.

The Apple Pencil works best with the Notes app, which is pre-installed on your iPad. You can also use it with other apps like Procreate, Notability, and Adobe Photoshop. You can even scribble text directly into any text field.

Charging Your Apple Pencil

To charge your 1st generation Apple Pencil, remove the cap and plug it into your iPad’s Lightning port. To charge your 2nd generation Apple Pencil, attach it magnetically to the iPad Pro or iPads that support it.

Disconnecting Your Apple Pencil

To unpair your Apple Pencil with your iPad, you can forget the connection by tapping Settings > Bluetooth, pressing the “i” next to the Apple Pencil, and tapping Forget This Device.

In conclusion, Apple Pencil is a remarkable tool that opens up new possibilities for creativity and productivity on your iPad. With its precision, palm rejection, pressure sensitivity, tilt sensitivity, and quick charging, it’s an excellent tool for artists, designers, and anyone who loves taking digital notes or sketching.

Customizing Apple Pencil Settings

As a tech expert, I believe the Apple Pencil is an excellent accessory for iPad Air, iPad Pro, and iPhone users who like precision and ease of use in note-taking, drawing, and graphic designing. With the latest 2nd Generation Apple Pencil, you can customize your device to suit your needs even more. In this section, I will discuss various aspects of customizing Apple Pencil settings, including:

1. Double-tap

Apple Pencil lets you perform quick actions that are usually hidden behind menus or require switching tools. The double-tap feature lets you quickly switch between your current and previous tools. To customize the double-tap feature, go to Settings > Apple Pencil and select the function you want to activate on a double-tap.

2. Tilt sensitivity and shading

The second-generation Apple Pencil has advanced tilt sensitivity features that make shading easier. To customize the tilt sensitivity and shading, go to Settings > Apple Pencil and choose your preferred shading intensity using the slider.

3. Handwriting and palm rejection

Apple Pencil lets you write and draw with precision. It’s essential to ensure that your handwriting is legible and that your palm doesn’t interfere with your work. You can turn on palm rejection in the Apple Pencil section of Settings to meet these needs.

4. Colour palette and eraser

You can change your default colour palette and configure your Apple Pencil’s eraser feature to suit your needs. To customize the colour palette, open the Notes app, tap the + icon to create a new note, and tap on the marker icon. Tap the eraser icon and select your preferred size to configure the eraser.

5. Compatibility with various Apple devices

Apple Pencil is compatible with various iPad models, including the iPad Pro 11-inch, iPad Air, 6th generation, and 4th generation iPads. You can also use it with your iPhone and Mac. However, you need to check your device’s compatibility with specific Apple Pencil versions before you purchase one.

6. Pairing and charging

Pairing and charging your Apple Pencil is a straightforward process. The second-generation Apple Pencil pairs automatically when you attach it to the magnetic strip on your iPad Pro. You can charge it using the lightning connector or connect it to your iPad Pro using the flat side of the device. On the other hand, the first-generation Apple Pencil connects to your iPad using a lightning cable or an adapter and charges using the lightning port.

In conclusion, customizing your Apple Pencil settings is an excellent way to ensure you get the most out of your device. Ensure that you choose a model compatible with your Apple device, and configure the tilt sensitivity, double-tap, and shading to meet your needs as an artist or designer.

Using Apple Pencil with Different Apps

The Apple Pencil offers a fantastic experience when drawing, sketching, and note-taking on your iPad Pro or iPad. If you’re new to the device, let’s dive into some apps compatible with Apple Pencil and some of the essential features and functions you need to know.

Notes App

The Notes app is probably the easiest app to start using Apple Pencil. You can create a new note by pressing the lock screen with your pencil’s tip. The app provides a default handwriting tool, which you can customize with additional colours and various thickness levels. It also has a built-in eraser tool, enabling you to edit notes when necessary. If you use an iPad Pro with the 2nd generation Apple Pencil, you can double-tap on the flat side to seamlessly switch to the eraser or current tool.


Procreate is a popular app, a graphics editor designed for the iPad. It combines a variety of tools, including a brush library, virtual canvas, and Photoshop-like layering. You can create perfect strokes and shading by combining the pressure sensitivity and tilt functions on the Apple Pencil. Procreate is a great app if you are an artist, designer, or creative.


Notability is another excellent note-taking app that supports the second-generation Apple Pencil’s tilt and pressure sensitivity functions. The app allows scribbling, drawing, and note-taking and has built-in recording software. You can easily switch to the eraser tool by double-tapping the pencil’s flat side.

Adobe Photoshop

Photoshop on iPad is now accessible, enabling you to use your Apple Pencil to fine-tune your edits. You can use your Apple Pencil to zoom in and out, rotate the canvas and use various tools within the app. The pencil’s sensitivity and precision make it an excellent addition to the app’s smartphone and desktop versions.


With iPadOS and iOS, you can use your Apple Pencil to annotate web pages and create new tabs. You can also highlight and select text fields with the pencil; hovering over text brings up the text selection cursor. It’s great for research and web design.

Logitech Crayon

If you decide not to purchase the Apple Pencil, the Logitech Crayon offers an affordable option to artists, note-takers, and creators. It supports palm rejection and tilt sensitivity but does not have pressure sensitivity like the Apple Pencil. It works with all iPads released after the 6th generation, iPad mini 5th generation, iPad Air 3rd generation, and new iPad Pros.

In conclusion, the Apple Pencil offers a range of unique features and functionalities that will improve how you draw, sketch, and take notes on your iPad. Ensure the iPad’s operating system is compatible with the version of the Apple pencil you purchase, and keep the device charged via the lightning connector or connector adapter. Happy sketching!

Taking Care of Your Apple Pencil

Your Apple Pencil is a delicate and highly-functional device that requires some care and attention to function optimally. Here is a rundown of all the essential steps you need to follow to keep your Apple Pencil in pristine condition.

Charging Your Apple Pencil

Your Apple Pencil has a built-in rechargeable battery lasting up to 12 hours after a full charge. The 2nd generation Apple Pencil connects magnetically with your iPad Pro or iPad Air and charges wirelessly whilst on the side of your device. For your 1st generation Apple Pencil, you can use a lightning connector on your iPad or adapter to connect it to a lightning cable. The charge time differs for both versions, so check your device manual for details.

Avoid Dropping Your Apple Pencil

The worst thing you can do to your Apple Pencil is to drop it, so it’s essential to keep it in a safe place when not in use. If your Apple Pencil experience a shock, the precision specs can suffer, causing it to malfunction.

Cleaning your Apple Pencil

For everyday cleaning, you can use a soft, lint-free microfiber cloth to wipe the exterior of your Apple Pencil. You may also use a moistened, lint-free cloth, but make sure not to let moisture enter any openings like the connector. For more in-depth cleaning, you can use compressed air to blow out any debris inside the Lightning connector port.

Storing your Apple Pencil

When you’re not using your Apple Pencil, storing it in a sleeve or a case that offers full-body protection is a good idea. You can find various protective cases for different versions of the iPad, such as the 6th gen iPad and 4th gen iPad Air. You may also want to ensure that your Apple Pencil’s tip is covered with its cap or a replacement cap.

Disconnecting and Pairing Your Apple Pencil with Your Apple Device

You can disconnect your Apple Pencil from your Apple device by unpairing it via the Bluetooth settings. To pair your Apple Pencil with your Apple device, remove the cap, plug it into the lightning port, and wait for the pairing prompt to appear. This feature is only available for specific Apple devices compatible with some versions of the Apple Pencil.

Taking good care of your Apple Pencil is crucial for optimal performance and longevity. Following the steps above, you can use your Apple Pencil to its full potential for all your graphics editing, sketching, note-taking, and other creative projects.


In conclusion, the Apple Pencil is an indispensable tool for anyone with an iPad, especially the iPad Pro, 6th generation, 4th generation, iPad Air or any other compatible tablet. The 2nd generation Apple Pencil is an upgrade over the first-generation Apple Pencil and is worth considering if you need tilt and double-tap functionality.

The Apple Pencil is not just for artists and designers but can be used by anyone who needs precision and accuracy in their work. The Apple Pencil is an absolute game-changer whether you use it for note-taking, sketching, or even email.

The Apple Pencil is incredibly easy to use, you connect it to your iPad or other Apple device via Bluetooth or an adapter, and it’s ready to go. The lightning connector on the 1st generation and the flat side of the 2nd generation make charging the Apple Pencil very convenient.

The palm rejection feature ensures that an accidental touch won’t disrupt your handwriting or sketches. Pressure and tilt sensitivity allow you to create fine art with precision and shading.

Whether you use the Notes app, Procreate, Photoshop, Notability, SketchBook, or any other graphics editor, the Apple Pencil makes it easy to sketch, shade, and create virtual calligraphic features. The colour palette and pixel precision of the Apple Pencil make it the perfect tool for graphic designers, artists, and other creative professionals.

Consider the Apple Pencil if you need precision in your work, whether you use it for sketching, note-taking, or any other function that requires accuracy on your Apple device.    


Do you have to turn on Apple Pencil?

The Apple Pencil stays connected to the iPad Pro without turning it off/on. It enters low power mode when unused and automatically reconnects when picked up. To pair it, plug it into the charging port and tap Pair. Pairing lasts until the iPad restart or re-pairing.

How do I write with Apple Pencil?

To write with an Apple Pencil, you can follow these steps:

  1. Make sure your Apple Pencil is compatible with your iPad and is charged
  2. Open an app that allows you to write with Apple Pencil, such as Notes
  3. Use the Apple Pencil to write on the screen. You can write in any text field, and Scribble automatically converts your handwriting into typed text.
  4. To select and revise the text, you can scratch out a word to delete it or touch and hold it in a text area to insert text.
  5. You can also use the ruler tool to create straight lines, then rotate them with your fingers.
  6. To copy your handwritten notes into text, long press on the first word until it’s highlighted. Next, drag the highlight selector tool.

How do you use the Apple Pencil for the first time?

Pasito Tola

Pasito Tola is a tech enthusiast, writer, and engineer. He has a degree in Media Production and Telecom engineering from the University of Coventry and ISTA Ndolo. He is passionate about all things tech and has spent years exploring the latest gadgets, software, and innovations. His writing style is engaging, informative, and accessible, making even the most complex topics easy to understand. He is a valuable asset to our tech review site and we are lucky to have him on our team.