Microsoft Office for iPad to Support Apple Pencil's Handwriting-to-Text Feature [Updated]

Microsoft this week released a new beta version of its Office app for iPad with support for the Apple Pencil's handwriting-to-text feature Scribble. The feature allows you to insert and edit text in a Word document, PowerPoint presentation, or Excel spreadsheet using the Apple Pencil, with handwriting automatically converted into typed text.

iPadOS Scribble Feature
After enabling the Scribble feature in Settings → Apple Pencil, the feature can be used by tapping the Scribble Pen button under the Draw tab in version 2.64 of the Office app. The feature can be tested now by members of the Office Insider program via TestFlight, and the update will likely be released on the App Store for all users in the coming weeks.

Scribble was added in iPadOS 14 for any iPad that supports the original or second-generation Apple Pencil, including any iPad Pro, the third-generation iPad Air and newer, the fifth-generation iPad mini and newer, and the sixth-generation iPad and newer.

Microsoft's unified Office app with Word, PowerPoint, and Excel gained iPad compatibility in February 2021 and is also available for the iPhone.

Update: The update to Office for iPad with Scribble support is now available on the App Store.

Top Rated Comments

mikebenton Avatar
20 months ago
How about OneNote?!?
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
FelixDerKater Avatar
20 months ago
That's something to write home about...
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bradman83 Avatar
20 months ago
I'd love to see this functionality in OneNote as well, I feel like Scribble is most useful for jotting down quick notes.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
VictorTango777 Avatar
20 months ago

Cool feature, but I don’t find it particularly useful. It might come in handy if you want to just scribble a short phrase, but why would it be useful in MS Office? Is anyone going to write a whole report with his pencil when you can just type?
Scribble is a system feature that is supposed to be available everywhere there is text input. Apple said as much. So you can either question why Apple made Scribble available for all text input or why Microsoft applications don't work with Scribble despite Apple making it a systemwide feature.

Microsoft OneNote for iPad is crippled compared to the Mac version which is crippled compared to the Windows version. Even with Apple Pencil, OneNote for iPad still does not support handwriting recognition, unlike OneNote for Windows.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kc9hzn Avatar
20 months ago

Cool feature, but I don’t find it particularly useful. It might come in handy if you want to just scribble a short phrase, but why would it be useful in MS Office? Is anyone going to write a whole report with his pencil when you can just type?
Think a quick annotation while you’re away from the office and don’t have your Magic Keyboard with you. Or a quick change in a PowerPoint presentation right before you present it. There’s a lot of situations where you might want a short phrase when using Office on a portable device on the go.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NoelWalker Avatar
20 months ago
Cool feature, but I don’t find it particularly useful. It might come in handy if you want to just scribble a short phrase, but why would it be useful in MS Office? Is anyone going to write a whole report with his pencil when you can just type?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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