Canvas & Drawing Tools


Tool Tray


The Tool Tray can be hidden to show more of the canvas area. Swipe down to hide the Tray.


To reveal the Tool Tray, swipe up from the bottom bezel of your device onto the screen (not too fast).




Tap the Eraser to see the variety of erasing options. Please note that there is no "undo" for clearing a photo.


Sketch (Graphite pencil)


The soft lead pencil blends from light to dark for sketching scenes, objects, and ideas in rough form.


Draw (Fountain pen)


The fountain pen draws from thick to thin based upon your movement.


Sketch (Graphite pencil)


The soft lead pencil blends from light to dark for sketching scenes, objects, and ideas in rough form.


Outline (Highlighter)


The marker behaves most like a highlighter. While it will highlight on the ink layer, it’s opaque on the photo layer.


Write (Felt pen)


The ink pen can be used to write messages and add captions on your ideas.


Color (Watercolor)


With the watercolor brush you can lay down a light wash or rich color.


Diagram* (Paper Pro & Paper legacy users only)


With the diagram tool, you can use a continuous line to draw clean smart shapes and lines.

When drawing with the diagraming tool, Paper can recognize certain shapes like triangles, squares and circles. Once recognized, you can pick them up, quickly fill them up with color, and even merge them together.


Cut* (Paper Pro & Paper legacy users only)


The cut tool allows you to move parts of your drawing around the screen. As the photo is on a separate layer, the cut tool can’t be used to edit your photo.

You can duplicate a cut region by holding the region with one finger and tapping elsewhere on the screen.


Fill* (Paper Pro & Paper legacy users only)


The fill tool allows you to fill existing shapes with color, or to draw new shapes with color fills.

There are two modes:

  • Manual fill - draw a freeform fill shape. (For example, a venn diagram)
  • Smart fill - tap a shape to fill it


Canvas Roll


Photo import

  • To import photos from your device's Photos app, tap on the Canvas Roll tool in the Tool Tray, to the right of the Color Mixer
  • You may be asked to grant Paper permission to access your photos
  • Select 'Import from library'
  • Select a photo from the Photos dialog

 Template Import

  • To import templates, tap on the Canvas Roll tool
  • Select 'Choose from templates'
  • Select a template from the Templates dialog




There are a number of ways to undo your work in Paper.

  • You can undo or rewind a drawing by tapping on the back and forth buttons top-right of the canvas. You can move back and forth through the stages of undo and decide where you want to resume working
  • A double-tap with two fingers will produce a quick single rewind
  • If you’ve used a previous version of Paper you can replicate the old rewind experience by tapping once with two fingers and then rewinding anywhere on the screen.



To use zoom in Paper, place two fingers on the screen and spread them in an open pinch gesture. You can pan around your idea by placing two fingers on the screen dragging them across the surface. Pinch to exit zoom.

Zoom isn’t just about getting closer, it’s about having the tools to do detailed work. When you zoom in, your tools do too. Draw, Color, Erase, and Blend adjust their size to give you finer control over tiny areas without ever touching a slider.


FiftyThree Pencil

The FiftyThree Pencil can be connected to Paper through the FiftyThree Pencil dialog. The dialog can be found in Settings > Stylus > FiftyThree Pencil.

You can display a shortcut to this dialog in the Canvas View by turning on the shortcut option in the Stylus dialog.


Canvas organization

The canvas area in Paper has a number of built in layers. From top to bottom, they are the ink layer, the fill layer (see Fill tool above), the photo layer, and the background layer. The Drawing Tools will impact the ink layer with the exception of the Fill tool.

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