Getting lines in Apple Notes on iPadOS (was: Re: Correspondence Group) #handwriting-on-the-internet

Nathan Galt

You hold up way better than I do without lines. If I wrote without lines I'd probably be at 30° below horizontal in four lines of text.

The very bottom of will show you how to put lines on a note that you're writing in. I don't know if there's a widely-understood name for this sort of menu; I've heard "kabob menu" and "dango menu" (yes, 🍡). Voice Control merely labels it "More" inside of a note in Notes, whereas it's "Folder Actions" one level up.

As for the iPad trying to interpret your writing as Orthodox (and, if it's like mine, producing hilariously inaccurate results): the pen with the A on it is the one that converts your handwriting to text. If you don't want to get the handwriting recognizer (Scribble) involved, use any other pen.

…As for spontaneous shape conversion…when I was fiddling around with a second-generation Apple Pencil (flat side, charges on the side of the iPad) for the very first time, I noticed that I was accidentally triggering the double-tap-the-side-to-switch-pen-types thing. A lot. I'm more disciplined now, but if you're getting tripped up by that sort of thing you might want to go into Settings -> Apple Pencil and either switch the gesture to something less irritating than "Switch Between Current Tool and Last Used" or disable the thing entirely.

Hope this helps, Nathan

Moira O'Brien

Thanks Nathan. After having my iPad Air for 2 years, I had not discovered that particular feature which is surprising as I am notorious for clicking anything clickable to find out what it does!

I use the tap on the side of the pen to switch between current tool and eraser - much needed when trying to write neat QS. On the iPad :).

Even when using the pen not with the A nib, iPad still tries to convert some strokes to lines with arrows. The trick is always not to lift the pen and to use another linked letter.


Nathan Galt

One of the things I learned while using digital whiteboards is that mashing an Undo button on a toolbar a few times is usually quicker than swapping to and from an eraser. Undo-button mashing might also be faster than the new-ish three-finger swipe leftwards (or a three-finger double-tap) gesture, especially if you want to make a three-penlift word disappear.

As for the automatic line straightening, that hadn't happened to me before, so I tried to force it. Leaving your pen on the glass at the end of a stroke will tell Notes that you want the line/curve straightened out. I didn't see any way to disable this behavior in Notes, Settings -> Notes, or Settings -> Accessibility -> Apple Pencil, but hitting Undo will reverse your stroke to the way it was before it got smoothed out into a line or arc.

Moira O'Brien

Nathan. you are a fount of useful knowledge!