Using Apple Pencil

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Although Apple Pencil works with all versions of forScore and provides superior palm rejection right out of the box, forScore was highly optimized for use with this accessory with our 9.3 update. Performance was dramatically improved, especially when using larger presets or when drawing long, continuous marks, and the update added support for Apple Pencil’s pressure sensitivity. Using earlier versions of forScore with Apple Pencil is not recommended.

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. We call this “Live Annotation.”

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, new 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 (stamps, shapes, or any one of your freeform drawing presets) and that tool will always be active every time you start annotating.

Version 10.0 added an additional setting called “prevent finger input” that allows you to continue using your fingers to control the interface, but only allows Apple Pencil to draw or place stamps and shapes. Note that this only applies when you’ve entered annotation mode by drawing with the Pencil; using any other method, like the default tap and hold gesture, will recognize finger input as it normally does (this allows you to annotate even when Apple Pencil is connected but out of reach).

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. We refer to this setup as “Instant Annotation.”


Apple Pencil is currently compatible with iPad (6th generation) and all iPad Pro models.

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