FREE 3 Day Shipping M-F Learn More

7 Tips and Tricks for the Apple Pencil and IPad Pro 12.9 5th Generation

Using your finger as a pointer works fairly well on the iPad Pro 12.9 5th generation, and once you can get used to it you can even sign your name in a clumsy way. But let’s face it: you’re not getting the most out of your tablet if you don’t have an Apple pencil. A pencil won’t turn you into an animation artist overnight, and it can’t give you a quick productivity spike or any other super powers. 

That said, it can be an incredibly useful tool. If you’ve got any artistic inclinations whatsoever, you’ll love the new potential it gives you. If you’ve got any inclination to productivity, you’ll find a hundred new shortcuts and quick ways to perform commonplace tasks. 

We’re not going to go into all hundred here, because that would take a book. We’re also not going to get too into shading and tips and coloring, because drawing might not be your thing.  Here are seven handy tips and tricks for your apple pencil and iPad Pro 5th generation, tricks that are useful to anyone and which you’ll want to master before you start on the other 93. 

1. Drag and Drop 2.0

When you’ve got an Apple pencil to match your iPad Pro 12.9, drag and drop isn’t limited to one-at-a-time anymore. Once you’ve tapped one item with your pencil, you can add more to your pile by tapping with your finger. Once the pile is formed, move them around with your pencil. If it seems unwieldy at first, keep practicing— it’ll soon be second nature! 

Drag and drop with your apple pencil is one thing you really want to be good at, because with split view you can drag and drop text, images, files, notes, and almost anything else you might want to copy or move— depending on the app, of course. 

2. Patterns through Paper

Want to copy that complicated diagram in your physics textbook? Wish you could trace your team logo, or maybe a pattern for your latest crafts project?  It’s easy with your apple pencil. Simply open your favorite drawing app, then lay the page over your IPad screen, and trace! Your tablet will recognize the pencil through the paper, and when you remove the page you’ll see exactly what you traced.  

This should work with most types of paper, even that glossy textbook page. It probably won’t work on card-stock, so if you wanted to trace that postcard you just got in from Iceland, you’re probably out of luck.

Ofcourse, you could always use your iPad’s not-so-behind camera to copy whatever you want copied— but surely there are some applications of tracing still relevant in today’s society, right? 

3. Swype some keys

Use your pencil to type— no, we’re serious! The Swype keyboard was an innovative keyboard meant to work as you swiped one finger around, no tap-tap-taping. It’s not being updated anymore, but SwiftKey for IOS pretty much does the same thing, and it is fully supported (by Microsoft, surprise!) and offers a variety of keyboard layouts and support for 500 languages.

Built in autocorrect and predicative text makes it even more spiffy.

 While this faster-than-normal keyboard was designed for fingers, it’s even cooler when you do it with a pencil. Give it a try; if you’ve got any stick-to-it-ness you can get really fast. It’s fun, too; you’ll impress all your friends, and no-one watching from a distance will ever know you’re typing.

4. Notes Galore

Use your pencil to write handwritten notes— but skip your iPad’s native Notes apps. There’s nothing wrong with it, but it just doesn’t have all the functionality your pencil deserves. Instead, install GoodNotes, Penultimate, or Notability. You’ll get more papers options, like graph and lined options. What’s even more important is that integrated OCR software can can translate your handwritten notes into searchable text.  Computer searchable handwritten notes? Yes, please! 

Another fun feature: drag and drop your handwritten notes out of GoodNotes, and watch them change to text in another app. 

5. Doodle when Studying

Open up your favorite notes app in split view, and doodle or take notes while you’re reading your physics textbook on the other side of the screen— or even when you’re browsing the web. Multitasking rules, and we all know that sometimes a little finger play can help when you’re trying to get your mind around something that really isn’t all that straightforward. 

If you’re not a doodler, use the same method to draw flow charts or information diagrams to keep yourself on track when you read. There’s never any excuse for sitting there like a stone falling asleep over a boring passage. 

6. Sign your documents

Gone are the days when you had to photograph your signature and do some fancy manipulation to get it on that digital file. Now you can even sign a pdf attachment in your email, no fancy tricks required! Open the pdf, then tap Markup and then Signatures. You’ll see an option for Add or Remove Signature; click that, then choose “Add”. A pop up field will give you a space to sign with your pencil; when this is done, you can position the signature at the exact point you need.

7. Charging

You already know that your pencil charges when the flat side laid against the right side of your iPad, and you probably also know that this is a super quick charge—- in fact, in just fifteen seconds you can get an appreciable amount of charge on the pencil. What you might not know is that you can still charge your pencil through your iPad case— if you have a good one. Zugucase’s iPad Pro 12.9 fifth generation case comes with a built in pencil holder that charges your pencil while keeping it secure— the best of both worlds, in our opinion. Check it out today.