iPad Tips: Notes app evolves to let you copy and paste handwritten text (iOS 14 public beta)

For those who want to keep their handwritten notes in text form as well.

Engadget JP (Translation)
Engadget JP (Translation) , @Engadget_MT
2020年07月20日, 午後 03:52 in egmt
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iPad Tips

This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl.


The Notes app will be enhanced in iPadOS 14, which will be released this fall. The Smart Selection feature is introduced in this article. In iPadOS 13, you used to select words, sentences, paragraphs and text based on the number of taps, but now you can also select handwritten text with the same operation. In addition, you can copy and paste the selected text to other apps as text.

In this article, we will install the public beta version and explain how to do so. However, since this is a test version, there is a possibility that the specifications are different from those of the official version. Please keep in mind that. This article uses the iPad Air (3rd generation) and a third party stylus.

Twice for words, three times for sentences

Selecting handwritten text is the same as selecting typed text. Tap a letter twice to select a word, or three times to select a sentence (or group of words) containing that letter. Tap "Copy as Text" from the menu to paste it into another app as text.

iPad Tips
Tap twice to select "Automatic" and three times to select "- Automatic conversion". Tap "Copy as Text".

When you tap "Paste" in Pages, for example, the selected handwritten text is automatically converted to text and entered.

iPad Tips
▲Tap "Paste" and it will be entered as text.

Tracing and choosing freely

If you press and hold a letter and then trace it, you can select an even wider area, such as an entire paragraph. However, as shown in the image below, you may end up selecting unnecessary parts of the text.

iPad Tips
▲I can trace and select a range, but I only want to copy the part I've punched out on the right side...

In such a case, press and hold your double-tap without releasing your finger. A circular cursor will appear. Move the cursor and trace the letters to select them one by one.

iPad Tips
▲Double-tap and press and hold. As the cursor appears, trace the area you want to select.
iPad Tips
▲I was able to convert a sentence of this length to text (although I got a few things wrong...).

At present, only English and Chinese (simplified/traditional) are supported. Japanese can be selected, but it was not converted to text correctly.

Screens of the public beta version of iOS 14 / iPadOS 14 are shown with special permission based on interviews.


This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl. The Japanese edition of Engadget does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of this article.


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