Take handwritten notes with Cursive

You can capture, edit, and organize handwritten notes with the Cursive app and a touchscreen Chromebook that works with a stylus. You can also use touchscreen gestures to edit your notes.

Your notes sync to your Google account, so you can find them with your Chrome browser.

Tip: You can still take notes with Google Keep on the Web.

Create & edit notes 


  1. At the bottom left, select the Launcher  and then Cursive
    • Or, in the row of apps at the bottom or side of your touchscreen, tap Stylus  and then Create note
  2. In the window that opens, use your stylus to take notes.
  3. At the top, change the color and size of your lines with the toolbar.
  4. To move or resize your notes, tap Select , and select the text you want to change with your stylus.

Lock your canvas

If you don't want to scroll or zoom your canvas, for example when resting your palm on the screen, you can turn on the canvas lock.

  1. At the top right, select More  and then Show Canvas lock.
  2. At the top right of the canvas, the lock indicator appears in the default state Unlocked .
  3. To lock the canvas, select Lock . The lock indicator now appears as Locked .

Tip: The canvas lock turns off when you open a new note, or if you hide the "Show Canvas lock" option.

Edit notes with touchscreen gestures

Scribble out to delete

To delete words or phrases in your note:

  1. Scribble over the word or phrase you want to delete with your stylus.
  2. Tap the screen with your stylus to delete.

Tip: To delete more text, drag your stylus to get the eraser tool.

Scribble to delete illustration

Select note text

To select words or phrases within your note: 

  1. Draw a circle around the word or phrase you want to select with your stylus. 
  2. To move your selection around, tap and drag the circle with your stylus or finger.

Select and move note text illustration

Add more space between lines

To add more room between lines or phrases:

  1. Draw a line with your stylus where you want to add more space. 
  2. Tap and drag the line down with your stylus or finger.

Add space between lines illustration

Copy & paste note text 

To copy:

  1. Select your note text. 
  2. Tap Menu More and then Copy

To paste: 

  1. Touch and hold anywhere within your note.
  2. Tap Paste.

Copy and paste note text illustration

Find & open your notes

  1. In the Cursive app, select Home .
  2. To find your notes, select a notebook.
    • To find notes that aren’t in a notebook, select Unfiled notes
    • To find all of your notes, select All notes.
  3. Open a note. 

Organize your notes

You can organize your notes in notebooks to jump quickly to a specific topic. To put notes together in a notebook: 

  1. In the Cursive app, select Home .
  2. At the top, select Menu More and then Add to notebook.
  3. Select your notebook to add the note.

Share & export notes

You can create a shareable image or export your note as a PDF.

To share all or part of your note as an image: 

  1. In the Cursive app, select Home  and open your note. 
  2. Tap Select  and select the text you want to copy with your stylus.
  3. Select More More and then Copy
  4. Paste your image anywhere.

To share your note as a PDF:

  1. In the Cursive app, select Home  and open your note.
  2. At the top, select Menu More and then Export as PDF.
  3. To find your note, in “Files,” open your Downloads folder.

Switch note apps

Open your note in another notes app:

  1. On your touchscreen, tap Stylus  and then Settings .
  2. Next to "Note-taking app," tap the Down arrow  and select an app.

Tip: Learn how to download other note apps that work with your stylus.

Manage your storage space 

If Cursive runs out of storage space, you can’t edit your notes. To continue to edit your notes, free up space on your Chromebook.

Fix problems with Cursive

If you have trouble with Cursive and are taken back to the sign-in screen, it may be a problem with cookies or extensions. To prevent further issues, allow third-party cookies on https://cursive.apps.chrome.

Sign in & sync

Even if you can't sign in to Cursive, you can still take notes locally. When you sign in later, all of your local notes will sync to your Google Account and will be available on all devices where you're signed in.

If you don't want one or more notes to sync, cancel sign in and delete those notes. If you're in the gallery:

  1. Select the note's Menu Organize and then Delete note.
  2. Select the gallery Menu Organize and then View Trash and then Empty Trash to delete the note permanently. 
    • You can also select the note's Menu Organize and then Delete note permanently.

Tip: If you use your Chromebook for work or school, you may be unable to sign in to the Cursive app with your Workspace account. For more info, contact your administrator. If you’re an administrator, you can enable Cursive for your managed accounts.

Related resources

Was this helpful?

How can we improve it?
Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu