Notability Cheat Sheet                                                                                    Morrill


Features overview: handwrite or type notes in “notebooks,” reorganize notebook pages, print notebooks, take a photo, import a photo from library, import a web clip, import a pdf, annotate pdfs and web clips and photos with writing and highlighting, auto-sync with Drive or Dropbox, record audio, sync audio with typed notes, add a figure, search typed text including in PDFs, more.  NB: on the Notability home page or “library,” there is a question mark icon on the bottom right of the screen, which accesses help features. Many questions can be answered there.

Create a new note: in the home page / library, either tap the upper right-hand icon or go to the bottom of the right-hand column and tap “Create New Note.”

Read Only and Paper: Select “paper” style for background of note: in a note, go to wrench utilities icon in upper right, select “Paper.” Choose color and blank, lines, or grids.   Make note read-only by tapping icon.  Then, tap “Edit” to enter editing mode again.

Name or rename a note: in a note, tap on the title in the upper left of the note. Default title is the date. Delete date and type new title, tap “Done.”

Hand-write notes: the pencil tool is the default when you open a new note. Tap the pencil to select how fine a pencil you want and the color. This may be changed at any time. A stylus works best, but you can also use a finger. Undo / typing  / pencil / highlighter / eraser / select features appear at the top of the screen, along with export, voice record, + media, utilities, and navigation.

Zoom writing: tap the magnifying glass icon in the bottom-right of a note. A writing box will appear at the bottom of the screen.  This can be dragged up as desired for more comfortable writing by holding on the three horizontal bars icon on the right side of the box and dragging. The pencil / highlighter / eraser / select / undo features appear at the top of the zoom box. Writing in the zoom box translates to smaller writing in the actual note.  The small box that appears in the note can be resized as desired to make the actual end-product writing different sizes. Holding the right half of the box resizes it, holding the left half allows it to be moved on the page.

Undo / typing / highlighter / eraser / select features: at the top of a note (also in the zoom box), the left-arching arrow icon undoes the last thing you did. Tap the t icon to type notes. The keyboard has a row of formatting buttons on top that allow you to select fonts sizes and styles, colors, numbered or bulleted lists, and create favorite styles. The highlighter works on text you’ve typed or written, plus PDFs, web clips, and images. The eraser only works on handwritten notes and will erase an entire line rather than the portion you happen to touch. The scissors are really a selection tool. Encircle handwritten content and get a marching-ants selection line. Tap within the encircled portion to change the style (like color), cut (you’ll tap elsewhere later to paste), copy (again, tap later to paste), or delete.

Navigating in a note: drag up and down with two fingers to scroll through a note. Pinch out or in to zoom in or out. Tap the upper-right navigation icon in a note to see all pages displayed to navigate to them, or tap and hold to move and re-order them. This icon also lets you bookmark certain pages (handy in a long note or a PDF), and search for typed typed (including in PDFs).

Return to library / auto-sync: tap the upper-left hand library icon. If you have auto-sync enabled, that will automatically happen when you hit that button.

Organize notes: notes can be sorted into “Subjects.”  Create a subject by tapping the + icon on the library screen. Tap “subject” and type a title. To add notes to a subject, tap “Edit” in the upper-left of the library screen. Now, drag and drop individual notes in the proper subject. The + icon also allows you to create “Categories” if you want further organization. Subjects can be placed into categories. Create a category, then, tap “Edit” and drag the subject you want filed in that category below the category folder icon. Then, tap “Done” and the subjects will now be accessed through the category folder icon. (Note: organizing just with subjects will probably be fine for many users.) Change the color of a subject while in edit mode by tapping the subject name, then tapping the wheel icon to the left of the name at the top of the right-hand column. Now, use the three icons to change the color, add an icon to the subject, or create a passcode. Tap “Done.”

Add a photo, figure, web clip, or sticky: in a note, tap the + icon to add media. Tapping photo will access the albums stored on the iPad. “Take a Photo” will access the camera and insert the image you create into the note where it can be resized and moved. “Figure” allows you to insert various shapes. “Web Clip” opens up Wikipedia and Google searches. Navigate to your desired page, zoom in on the desired content, click “Done” and the page you saw is now inserted into your note. Tapping on it will allow resizing and movement, and you can highlight or write on it. “Stickies” allows you to insert and resize a sticky-style note for hand-written notes. These will stay with the sticky if you move or resize it.

Set up auto-sync: in the library, tap the gear icon near the lower-right of the screen to access settings. Tap the “Autosync” field to select a destination, like Dropbox or Google Drive, for your notes to be backed-up. Scroll down to “Cloud Services” and select the appropriate cloud account. Change other settings as needed here, too.

Import a PDF: after establishing a cloud account above, save a PDF to it. You may wish to create a document with Google Docs or Microsoft Word, then save it as a PDF, or you may find a file in PDF format you wish to use. In the library screen, tap the import icon, which is in the upper right of the screen next to the create a new note icon. You will now be able to navigate in your Drive or Dropbox account to find the desired PDF. You will be given the option to create a new note of the PDF or add it to an existing note.

Voice record: in a note, you can tap the microphone icon at the top of the screen to start recording. If you are typing notes, the audio will be linked to the notes, so you can record a conversation or lecture and have notes linked to particular parts of the audio. Once you have recorded something, a triangle will appear next to the microphone for playback. To play audio associated with particular text, notice the red vertical line beside the typed notes. That line indicates there is an audio recording associated with that text.