How to set up and start using Apple Pencil

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Setting up and using your Apple Pencil is incredibly easy, here’s all it takes!

The Apple Pencil is a big part of what makes the iPad Pro really pro. It lets you write and draw fluidly, responsively, with full pressure sensitivity and tilt control. All you have to do is set it up and start using it! It’s an incredibly simple process, but if you want to see before you do, follow along!

How to pair your Apple Pencil with your iPad Pro

Before you can start using the Apple Pencil, you need to pair it with your iPad Pro. Only one Apple Pencil can be paired with one iPad Pro at a time.

  1. Remove the cap from the back of your Apple Pencil.
  2. Insert your Apple Pencil’s Lightning connector into your iPad Pro’s Lightning port.
  3. Tap Pair when the popup confirmation dialog appears on your iPad Pro screen.

If you want to use a different Apple Pencil with your iPad Pro, simply repeat the same process with the new Apple Pencil. If you want to use your Apple Pencil with a different iPad Pro, likewise repeat the same process with the new iPad Pro.

How to check the battery level on your Apple Pencil

The Apple Pencil doesn’t have a charge indicator—for example, a little LED light that goes from green to red to indicate when it needs to be replenished. Instead, you need to check your battery life on your iPad Pro screen.

  1. Swipe down from the top bezel to invoke Notification Center.
  2. Tap Widgets at the top right.
  3. Check the Batteries section on the right side.

How to charge your Apple Pencil with your iPad Pro

If Notification Center shows your Apple Pencil needs charging, or any time you feel like charging it, all you have to do is plug it back in.

  1. Remove the cap from the back of your Apple Pencil.
  2. Insert your Apple Pencil’s Lightning connector into your iPad Pro’s Lightning port.

Alternatively, you can use the adapter that came with your Apple Pencil to plug it into any standard Lightning cable.

  1. Remove the cap from the back of your Apple Pencil.
  2. Insert your Apple Pencil’s Lightning connector into the Lightning adapter.
  3. Plug the Lightning adapter into your Lightning cable.

15 seconds of charging will give you 30 min. of use, but it’s still most practical to charge it overnight when you’re not using it.

How to use the Apple Pencil

The Apple Pencil works similarly to a real-world pencil, but not exactly like one.

  1. Tap the tip of the Apple Pencil on icons, buttons, and other interface elements to navigate around your iPad Pro. (Note: It’s not actually capacitive like your finger so many swipes and other gesture-based navigation aren’t supported.)
  2. Touch the tip of your Apple Pencil to your iPad Pro screen and move it to start writing a word or drawing a line.
  3. Press harder with the tip of your Apple Pencil on your iPad Pro screen to get a darker and/or broader line.
  4. Tilt the Apple Pencil sideways, touch it to your iPad Pro screen, and move it to start shading in larger areas.

Because the Apple Pencil doesn’t use capacitive multitouch, you can use your fingers for normal navigation. I some cases, you can even use your fingers and the Apple Pencil at the same time. For example, touch two fingers down in Notes and you’ll get a ruler you can use to draw straight lines with the Pencil.

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How to un-pair your Apple Pencil from your iPad Pro

Your Apple Pencil will automatically un-pair from your iPad Pro if you pair it with a different iPad Pro, or you pair a different Apple Pencil with your iPad Pro. You can also manually un-pair it if you ever want to.

  1. Launch Settings from your iPad Pro Home screen.
  2. Tap on Bluetooth.
  3. Tap the Info button to the right of Apple Pencil under My Devices.
  4. Tap on Forget.

To re-pair your Apple Pencil, simply plug it back into the Lightning port on your iPad Pro.

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