How to write by hand in Russian in iPadOS 16 using Apple Pencil. Very handy gestures!

All modern iPad models, when using Apple styluses, support handwriting recognition with further conversion to text. But the Russian language was not supported until this summer.

On the final slide of the WWDC 2022 presentation, it was indicated that the Scribble option would receive support for the Thai language, and with the release of the third test version of the system, it became known about the Russian version of the option.

Now let’s take a closer look at how to write by hand on the iPad with OCR and see who can use it. I will also give a list of iPads that will have this feature along with the release of iPadOS 16 in the fall.

Which iPad models support Apple Pencil

Cupertino released two generations of a proprietary stylus and limited the range of supported tablets for each of them.

Apple Pencil (1st gen)


Sleek, glossy stylus with tablet Lightning charging

Costs 11 490 rubles in Russia.

iPad 6th generation (2018) and newer models. All subsequent models of the base line work only with the first generation stylus.

iPad mini 5th generation (2019). Only this “mini” works with the first stylus. Previous generations don’t have this support, and the next one only works with the newer Pencil.

iPad Air 3rd generation (2019). As with the iPad mini, the stylus only works with one Air model.

▶ iPad Pro 9.7″ (2016) and all subsequent models up to iPad Pro 12.9″ 2nd generation (2017) inclusive.

Apple Pencil (2nd gen)

Sold in Russia for 14 990 rubles.


Matte stylus with cut edge and wireless charging

iPad mini 6th generation (2021).

iPad Air 4th generation (2020) and iPad Air 5th generation (2022).

iPad Pro 12.9″ 3rd generation (2018), iPad Pro 11″ 1st generation (2018) and more and more new firmware.

In addition to the original Apple styluses, you can also use analogues from AliExpress. remember, that it is impossible to connect any version of Apple Pencil to iPhone!

How to enable and configure the “Freehand” option

To activate the option, go to Settings – Apple Pencil and turn on the toggle By hand. No additional settings need to be made.

By the way, the option Scribble appeared back in iOS 14.

The input language is recognized automatically. If you need to change the language take a short break. In this case, you can always switch the language manually using a special indicator at the bottom of the screen.

It will be displayed while the option is running.

What gestures are available when inking on iPad

1. Normal text input. When any text field is displayed, you can start writing something on the screen. In this case, it is desirable to write within the boundaries of this field, but it is not necessary to do so.

The system perfectly understands the text entered next to, above or below the text field.

2. Removing text. To erase an unnecessary word, the most logical gesture is used – shading. To my surprise, it was this gesture that took the longest to get used to.

It is necessary to do not one or a couple of strokes, namely, to scribble all the unnecessary word. Otherwise, the system may falsely activate text highlighting. In addition, you cannot delete part of a word. No matter how you stroke, the whole word will be deleted.

3. Text selection. For selection, two gestures are used at once: an illogical strikethrough and a more logical stroke. It is because of the presence of the first gesture that deletion does not always work correctly. The system thinks you are crossing out a word to highlight it.

It would be better to leave only the stroke. At the same time, for selection, both gestures work clearly and without failures. As in the case of deletion, you cannot select only part of the word. You must first divide it, and only then make a selection.

4. Insert text. If you missed or forgot a word while typing, you can easily insert it without manually moving the cursor. Just hold the stylus at the place you want to insert and the text will move to the right, making room for new input.

The option works quickly and conveniently, you do not need to intercept the stylus and point the cursor with your finger.

5. Separation and unification. This gesture allows you to split a word into several or vice versa – to combine characters by removing the space between them. This is done by drawing a vertical line from top to bottom.

It seems to me that it would be more logical to leave the separation gesture the same, but to unite, change the direction to the opposite. Based on testing experience, I will say that this is the most frequently used gesture. It should be used when you do not want to delete or highlight the entire written word. You must first divide it, remove or highlight the one you need, and then combine it with the rest.

Where handwriting works

Fortunately, the Cupertians did not tie the chip to certain elements of the system or make standard applications an advantage. iPadOS.

The option works in any standard text input field. Such fields are used by application creators in 99% of cases. This means that you can write with a stylus even in a browser search window, even in a banking application, even in a messenger.

The text will instantly turn into printed with the possibility of further correction.

It is convenient to use handwriting on the desktop when you activate the search Spotlightin the address or search bar Safariin quick notes (opened with a gesture from the lower right corner).

And here is the operation of the option in the standard application Notes I didn’t like it. It’s all about the ability to make sketches inside the notes, and the system does not always take my scribbles for the input text. You have to cancel the drawing mode, delete the sketch and try to write something again.

During the week of active testing of the chip, I was convinced that handwriting is not for everyone. If you need to enter text frequently and a lot on the tablet, better use an external keyboard or voice input. Both of these methods will be more convenient and in most cases will more accurately cope with the task.

Option By hand or Scribble useful for those who constantly work with a stylus and periodically need handwriting. In order not to intercept the pencil between drawing and typing, this feature is great. In other cases, it will be just a demonstration chip for friends and acquaintances.


Source: iPhones.ru — Новости высоких технологий, обзоры смартфонов, презентации Apple by www.iphones.ru.

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