Handwrite with a stylus

You can handwrite short or long text and annotate PDFs with a stylus on your Chromebook’s virtual keyboard.

Open the on-screen keyboard in tablet mode

If your Chromebook can be used as a tablet, the on-screen keyboard will automatically open when you flip the screen of your Chromebook over its hinge.

Use a stylus with your virtual keyboard

You can use a stylus to write longform content on a virtual keyboard. 

  1. Open any text box or app that you can type in, like Docs or Gmail. 
    • Tap into the text box. The handwriting pad should appear.
      • If you don’t see Handwrite: At the top of the virtual keyboard, tap the Right arrow , then Handwrite .
  2. In the pad that appears, write text with your stylus.
  3. As you write, you can edit the text in your pad by using certain pad controls and gestures.
    • Use keyboard pad controls to:
      • Undo: On the right, tap Undo .
      • Add a new line: On the right, tap Enter
      • Scroll: When you write past the third line, a scroll bar will appear on the right. Tap the scroll bar and slide the stylus up or down.
      • Submit text: On the right, tap Done . The pad will clear.
    • Use gestures to:
      • Delete text: Strike, scribble on, or cross out a word, phrase, or line.
      • Insert a word: Under the line between words, draw a Caret . You can also tap on or between words. 
      • Correct a word: Tap and hold a word, then tap a suggestion.

Edit submitted text

To edit text that’s in the app and no longer appears on the keyboard, you can use these pad controls:

  • Backspace : In the app, delete the character that appears before the cursor. 
  • New line : In the app, create a new line. 
  • Space : In the app, create a new space where your cursor is.

Annotate PDFs with the stylus

You can mark a PDF file you’ve downloaded on your Chromebook.  Learn how to find and open a file.

  1. Open your PDF file.
  2. At the top right, tap Annotate .
  3. In the toolbar that appears, select one of the following:
    • Draw thin or thick lines: Double tap the Pen , then choose a color and size. To find more colors, tap the Down arrow .
    • Highlight: Double tap the Highlighter , then choose a color and size. To find more colors, tap the Down arrow .
    • Erase: Double tap the Eraser .
    • Undo: To immediately cancel an action, tap Undo .You can tap it repeatedly to undo consecutive actions.
    • Redo: To redo an action, tap Redo . You can tap it repeatedly to redo consecutive actions.

Related resources

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