Drawing in iOS Pages, Numbers and Keynote

The new versions of Pages, Numbers and Keynote include the ability to draw freehand with the Apple Pencil, or your finger. You can use a variety of drawing tools when in this mode. The result is an image that can be arranged just like any shape or imported photo.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Drawing in iOS Pages, Numbers and Keynote.

Last week Apple released new versions of Pages, Numbers, and Keynote for iOS. One of the significant updates in these versions, all version 4.0, is that you can use the Apple pencil now to draw directly in Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. It works a little differently between the apps.

For instance, here in Pages there's an annotations feature. So if you just start tapping with the Apple pencil it's going to go into that. If you want to draw what you want to do is tap the little Plus button at the upper right. You can see in addition to objects and other things that you can insert like tables and charts there's a drawing button. Tap that and now you are drawing with the Apple pencil. Notice there's a bunch of tools at the bottom. So I can just scribble with the pencil like that. I can go from a pencil to a marker to different styles here. I can even draw a filled area. I can use an eraser and I can select an area and then do things with that area.

I have the ability to finely tune the controls. If I tap and hold with the pencil, like I'll tap this here and hold, you can see it brings up controls here. I can bring up the amount of transparency, the size of the actual tool, and you can do that for each one of these. Slightly different controls for each. Even the eraser has controls. Then you also have an Undo and a Redo button at the bottom left.

So after you're done drawing you can just tap the Done at the upper right and now you've got this graphic here. It's just the same as if you were to import a file. Notice I can continue drawing inside of this very easily. All I've got to do is just tap with the pencil and draw. If I want to move it around then I tap with my finger. So pencil and finger are different. You have to hit Done there. So it takes a little getting used to but it is nice to be able to draw freehand. If you have the ability to draw, which I don't, it's nice to be able to insert quick graphics into Pages.

Now I like how it works a lot better inside of Keynote. In Keynote when you're editing you just start drawing on it. So I'm going to use my Apple pencil now and I just start drawing here and you can see it automatically goes into drawing mode. I have the same tools there at the bottom that I could use to create whatever I want. When I'm done it still this movable object that I can move with my finger. So I tap with my finger and I drag it around the screen. There you go. It takes a little getting used to. You can just use it here in Keynote to create quick graphics as well.

It works the same way in Numbers. In Numbers, here I am, you know, with the spreadsheet on the screen. But if I use my pencil and start drawing you can see it goes into drawing mode. Then I can tap Done and now I've got an element just like any image or clipart or anything that I would import or add. I can move it around the same way that I do just using my finger rather than the pencil for movement.

Now the good news it you don't have to have an Apple pencil to do this. So, for instance, I'll go into this graphic here and I'm just using my finger. I can still select a drawing tool and I can still draw with my finger. The main difference is it's not automatic. You can't kind of force Keynote and Numbers to just jump into this mode by tapping with your finger because it doesn't know that you want to draw. But you can easily press the Plus button here and then hit Drawing and go into drawing mode that way creating a new graphic or editing an existing one.

Anybody that's got an iPad, and I suppose it should work on the iPhone as well, you should be able to draw as long as you've got the version 4.0 of Pages, Numbers, and Keynote.

Comments: 5 Responses to “Drawing in iOS Pages, Numbers and Keynote”

    Peter Whitford
    1 year ago

    this was really, really helpful. I am thinking of getting a new iPad w/pencil and wasn’t sure what capabilities I would have. Thanks for getting me started! :) :) :)

    Robert Whiting
    1 year ago

    Hi Great video’s, only problem I have found is that I used to use Apple Pencil to edit my iPad spreadsheets but now every time I tap a cell up pops drawing, quite frustrating.

    12 months ago

    Does this work in the Mac version of Keynote/Pages/Numbers? I have tried and don’t think it does, but I thought I’d ask anyway in case I’m missing something.

    12 months ago

    Jerusha: No. This is a function of the touch screen/Apple Pencil. So since the Mac doesn’t have either of those… But you can use any drawing app of your choice, create a graphic, and insert that into these apps just as you could have always done. You can also use the built-in shapes tool.

    Bob Benson
    11 months ago

    I want the option of turning off the drawing/illustration function so I don’t have to go back and forth between pencil and finger. Give me a button to Manual turn this function on and off. What is Apple doing about this frustration????

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