Canvas & Drawing Tools

As of November 5, 2018, Paper Support has moved to join WeTransfer Support. This article is no longer being updated. Please click here for the current version of the Canvas & Drawing Tools Support Article.


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).

If you select "Clean Canvas Mode" from your Canvas Settings, it will hide all the canvas buttons. Tap on the Settings icon top right and then "Canvas Settings". Tap on the toggle next to "Clean Canvas Mode" on the next screen.

Presentation View and New Canvas

Transition to the previous or next page in your journal by swiping with ONE FINGER from the left or right edge of the screen. Create a new blank page by swiping left or right with TWO FINGERS on the canvas.


Whether you’re reviewing sketches, presenting work, or rapidly filling a journal with ideas, these two new gestures will keep you in the flow.

Brush Sizes

Brush Sizes are available now for Paper Pro customers - small, medium, and large. Swipe up to make the tools larger and swipe down to make the tools smaller.





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




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 diagramming 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.

You can add arrowheads to strokes created with the Diagram Tool by holding still for a moment at the end of any stroke. Then just tap to save one or both of the arrowheads that appear.


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.


Copy Paste

  • Tap on the Cut tool and then select the area of ink you want to copy.
  • Tap on the Cut tool again and then "Copy".
  • On the new page, tap on the Scissor tool and then "Paste". If you've used other tools, you may need to tap on the Cut tool again for the Paste menu to appear.


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
  • To remove a template, tap on the Canvas Roll tool and then the trash can icon top left or tap and hold on the Eraser tool and then "Clear Photo"




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.



The Spotlight feature is being revamped and will be back in a future release of Paper.


FiftyThree Pencil

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

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


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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