How to draw on a Mac using an iPad or iPhone as a graphics tablet

IOS 13 users, macOS Catalina and iPadOS 13 found on their devices an unexpected interesting feature called Continuity Sketch. It greatly extends the drawing capabilities of Mac documents using iPhone, iPod touch or iPad.

And the tool is an ordinary human finger or Apple Pencil.

Under Continuity Function (Continuity) Apple means a whole set of technologies (detailed review), which enable nearby devices to communicate better with each other. Continuity allows you to continue working on another when changing one Apple device, from place, where the work was interrupted. for instance, This feature allows you to receive calls on Mac, if the iPhone just lies nearby.

This technology also performs well for other system functions. Are for Continuity and unexpected applications. for instance, on iOS 13 and iPad OS, you can draw on Mac apps using finger movements or the Apple Pencil on your iPad or iPhone. And even the pressure force can be taken into account. This feature allows you to turn your tablet or phone into a professional graphics station, Mac computer attribute.

Which iPhone, iPad and Mac run Continuity Sketch

Continuity Sketch will require new Apple operating systems for its work: iOS 13, iPadOS and macOS Catalina and later. Not all devices support the function, but only listed below:

iPhone and iPod touch

  • iPhone 6s or later;
  • iPhone SE;
  • iPod touch (7th generation) or newer models.


  • iPad Pro (all models);
  • 5th generation iPad or newer;
  • iPad Air 2 or later;
  • iPad mini 4 or newer.


  • MacBook 2015 or later;
  • MacBook Air 2012 or later;
  • MacBook Pro 2012 or later;
  • Mac mini 2012 or later
  • iMac 2012 or later;
  • iMac Pro (all models);
  • Mac Pro 2013 or later.

Wherein, like on a Mac, so on the phone or tablet, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless interfaces must be active. Logging into iCloud on devices must be done with the same Apple ID login, using two-factor authorization.

How to draw on Mac, using iOS or (iPadOS) devices as a graphics tablet

Take the suggested steps, to create a new sketch for your iPhone or iPad, and then paste it into a working document on Mac.

1. On a Mac, open a document, in which you want to insert a picture (sketch). Continuity Sketch can be found in almost any standard Apple app: Pages, Numbers, Keynote, post office, Messages, Notes and TextEdit, as well as in many third-party programs.

2. Ask your iOS device (iPad) drawing itself. To do this, select «File» or «Insert», and then paste from iPhone → Add sketch. There is another way: inside the document itself, right-click and select Add Sketch in the context menu.

Menu selection «File» or «Insert» application specific. for instance, in such Apple programs, like Pages or Keynote, need to choose a menu «Insert», but not «File».

3. On selected iPhone or iPad, even if it is blocked, a window appears with the Markup tool. Choose a suitable brush and create a sketch.

4. That’s all! Now you are ready to create your drawings. In addition, it is possible to take advantage of surface pressure painting, which allows you to create a more natural sketch due to the line width and style, responsive to instrument pressure.

5. If the results suit you, click «Done» and finish sketching. It will wirelessly go to the computer and will automatically be placed in an open document.

In this way, a vector drawing is created on the iPad using the Apple Pencil stylus, pressure sensitive. As mentioned earlier, the sketch is automatically inserted into the necessary place in the document without the need to take additional actions or launch any other applications or make settings.