Using Apple Pencil

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Apple Pencil is great for annotating and more, and we’ve optimized forScore to give you the best possible performance while also providing a number of highly customizable settings to ensure that every user can work as naturally as possible.

As of November 2018, Apple has released two versions of Apple Pencil, each compatible with different iPad models. Apple also worked with Logitech to create the Crayon stylus which is, in Apple’s words, “built using Apple Pencil technology” and functions similarly. The features and settings described below apply to all three styluses, except where noted.

Live Annotations

Version 9.3 added the ability to annotate by simply drawing on the page with Apple Pencil (removing the need to activate annotation mode first). Use the “automatically enter annotation mode” option in the Apple Pencil section of forScore’s settings panel to enable this behavior.

Because forScore remembers which drawing preset or tool you were using the last time you annotated, and because Live Annotation starts immediately, it can get confusing to keep track of exactly what will happen when you begin drawing with Apple Pencil. In forScore 9.4, additional settings allow you to control how this works: check and uncheck tool types to either allow them to be saved between annotation sessions or not. Or, if you prefer, simply set a default drawing tool that will always be active every time you start annotating.

Instant Annotations

Version 10.1 added another setting, called “automatically exit annotation mode” that works in conjunction with the “automatically enter annotation mode” option. This setting allows you to start drawing with Apple Pencil, but does not show the annotation toolbar and automatically saves your work and returns to the normal viewing mode after a delay. This setting’s options are “short” (a very quick delay), “long” (a slightly longer pause), or “never” (annotation mode stays active until you explicitly save or cancel your changes). If you’re using this option, finger input is blocked by default so the “prevent finger input” setting is disabled.

Saving your work takes a moment, so drawing may be briefly unresponsive as forScore exits annotation mode. If you find that Apple Pencil is intermittently unresponsive and this setting is active, consider changing the delay from “short” to “long” so you have time to make all of your markings before forScore determines that you’re finished and begins the save/exit process.

Preventing Finger Drawing

Version 10.0 introduced a setting called “prevent finger drawing” that allows you to use your fingers to do things like change tools or zoom in on the page, but only allows Apple Pencil to draw or place stamps and shapes. If you’re using forScore versions 10.0-10.4.9, this setting only applies when you’ve entered annotation mode by touching the Pencil to the page (see Live Annotations above). If you activate annotation mode using any other method, like the default tap and hold gesture, forScore will recognize finger input as it normally does. This is intended to allow you to annotate with your finger even when Apple Pencil is connected but out of reach.

With forScore 10.5 this setting was changed to no longer depend on how annotation mode is activated. Instead, forScore disables drawing if Apple Pencil has touched the screen at any point within the last 15 minutes. If your Pencil is out of reach or out of power, tap the hand icon in the center of the annotation control toolbar to re-enable touch drawing. Touch drawing will remain enabled until the next time you touch the screen with Apple Pencil.

GesturesforScore 10.5 & 3.5

The front third of Apple Pencil 2 is touch sensitive (not just the flat side) and can be double tapped to perform certain actions depending on which app you’re using. Apple provides a system setting that influences how other apps should generally behave, and forScore responds as logically as possible to each while in annotation mode. “Switch between current tool and eraser” and “switch between current and last used tool” work as stated, while “show color palette” opens the currently selected tool’s options, if applicable, so you can adjust its properties as needed. If you choose “off” forScore will ignore this gesture entirely.

When annotation mode is not active, this double tap gesture can be configured to activate one of forScore’s more common tools or actions. Visit the “Page Turners & Shortcuts” section of forScore’s settings panel to enable this gesture to function while not annotating.


As of November 2018:

• Apple Pencil (2nd generation) is compatible with iPad Pro (11-inch) and iPad Pro (12-inch, 3rd generation)

• Apple Pencil (1st generation) is compatible with iPad (6th generation), iPad Pro (9.7-inch), iPad Pro (10.5-inch), and iPad Pro (12-inch, 1st and 2nd generations)

• Logitech Crayon works solely with iPad (6th generation)

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