Using Pencil

Table of Contents

 
 

Before You Buy Pencil

 

Compatibility With Older Devices

Pencil’s expressive features, like Palm Rejection, Erase, and Blend, require an iPad with Retina display,(iPad generation 3 or 4, iPad Air, both iPad Mini models) or iPhone 4S or greater.

 

Where To Buy Pencil

Pencil now ships to 65+ countries worldwide via the FiftyThree shop, Amazon, and other stores. U.S. and Canadian customers can get free shipping on Pencil via the FiftyThree shop.

 

Compatibility With Other Apps

In addition to Paper, Pencil can be utilized in other apps whose developers have implemented Pencil support. Check your app developer's website to see if they support Pencil. If Pencil is not supported, it will still work as a passive stylus.

Note that Pencil’s expressive features also only work on iPads with Retina displays, (iPad generation 3 or 4, iPad Air), iPad Mini or iPhone 4S or greater. Check here if you’re not sure which iPad you have.

If you are a developer interested in supporting Pencil within your app, learn more about our partner program and request access at www.fiftythree.com/sdk.

 

Screen Protectors

We do not recommend using a screen protector with Pencil. The rough surface of many screen protectors can dramatically increase wear on Pencil’s rubber tips. Screen protectors may also interfere with your device's ability to detect Pencil touches.

 

Basics

 

Connecting Pencil

To connect Pencil, find the pairing spot within the compatible app that you are using. Here we show the location of the pairing spot in Paper, for reference.

Press the Pencil tip firmly down on the pairing spot and hold. A white spinner will appear around the Pencil while it is connecting. In about three seconds, your Pencil will connect and the pairing spot will turn white.

In many cases, Pencil will be able to automatically reconnect when you open your app. You’ll know it’s connected because the pairing spot will be white.

Note that Pencil will still work as a passive stylus when not connected. You won’t be able to erase with the eraser or blend with your finger, but you will be able to draw with it like any other non-battery-powered stylus.

 

Disconnecting Pencil

Pencil will conserve its battery well without having to disconnect it. If you would like to however, just press the tip on the connection point icon in the tray and you will see the white icon become inactive again.

If you connect Pencil to a different device, it will automatically disconnect from any other device it was connected to.

 

Pencil Connection Issues

Please refer to this article for troubleshooting issues with connecting Pencil.

 

Turn Off Multitasking Gestures & Accessibility Zoom

If you have Multitasking Gestures or Accessibility Zoom enabled, this will prevent Pencil from operating effectively. Turn off Multitasking Gestures in your iPad Settings, under General. Turn off Accessibility Zoom under General / Accessibility.

 

Maintenance

 

Charging Pencil

To charge, pinch Pencil’s rubber tip and pull out the battery pack.

The battery pack can be plugged in to any standard USB port. Your computer probably has USB ports that will work. The charger that came with your iOS device will also work if you remove the cord from the base. The battery can only charge when plugged-in the correct way; in most cases you should be able to insert it with the FiftyThree logo facing up.

While plugged in and charging, you will see an orange light on the battery module. This light will change to green when Pencil is fully charged.

Pencil can charge fully from empty in about 90 minutes. While a full charge will let you work for the longest amount of time, it’s fine to partially charge Pencil and get back to work.

Before using Pencil, make sure the battery module is inserted all the way back into the body. The logo on the battery pack should be on the same side as the logo on the body of Pencil. It will only go all the way back in one way, but it won’t work if it’s not fully inserted back into the body.

 

Checking Battery Level

You can check the battery level from settings when Pencil is connected. Tap on your profile picture top-left, then on the gear icon, and "Pencil".

You will be able to see an estimate of battery life remaining.

Another rough way to check battery level is to plug the battery module into a USB port. If the charging light is orange, Pencil is not fully charged.

 

Replacing Tips and Erasers

The tip and eraser of your Pencil are built to be durable. How long they last depends on how hard you push on the screen while drawing, but the durability should be comparable to other stylii you have used. You may prolong Pencil’s tip life by using the broad sides of the tip for filling in large areas with ink and by using a light pressure when drawing with Pencil.

At some point, however, they will need replacing. To replace the tip, remove the battery. With the tip facing towards you, hold the battery still and rotate the tip clockwise 90 degrees. The tip will only rotate in one direction. Insert the new tip and rotate to lock the tip in place.

The eraser should last longer than the tip. We do not recommend that you do the following if you are not intending to replace the eraser, because you might tear the rubber.To replace the eraser, grasp the rubber and peel it off the end. Starting from one end, stretch the new eraser over the metal.

An extra tip and eraser are included in the package with your Pencil. If you need to order more replacements, you can do so from our store.

 

Extras

 

Magnetic Snap Compatibility

Only the Walnut model of Pencil includes the magnetic snap. It will work well with an authentic Apple Smart Cover on any full-sized iPad. The snap is not as strong on iPad mini covers. On the iPad Air Smart Cover, Pencil will snap on the side with the hinges.

Magnetic snap may work with other brands of covers, but with thousands of different designs and manufacturers, we can’t provide a full list of compatible covers. The magnets in Pencil will generally cling to magnetic or metal surfaces, like a refrigerator. If you have a newer Cinema Display from Apple, you may be able to get Pencil to cling to the front bezel.

 

Returns

 

Pencil’s 30-day Money Back Guarantee

If Pencil does not appear to be working, please make sure you have gone all the way through “3-step Guide to Troubleshooting when Pencil will not connect with Paper” before initiating a return.

We will take back any Pencils that were bought on shop.fiftythree.com within 30 days if you’re simply unsatisfied. We can offer you a replacement or a refund of the Pencil cost, plus free return shipping. For complete details, please read the guarantee. For Pencils purchased through other stores, please contact your authorized reseller for merchant guarantees.

 

Pencil’s Limited Warranty

If you believe that your Pencil has a manufacturer's defect please contact FiftyThree Customer Support by emailing: pencil@fiftythree.com. Please make sure you have gone all the way through “3-step Guide to Troubleshooting when Pencil will not connect with Paper” before initiating a return. You can read more detail about the limited warranty, here.

 

Contact Us

If you still need help with Pencil, please contact us directly.

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