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How can we improve Excel for Mobile Devices

Apple PENCIL should NOT automatically start "drawing mode" in Excel (and Word)

The Apple PENCIL is NOT ONLY a drawing tool!
Like in many other apps it should also be possibe to use it as a (more precise!) substitute for the finger!
For example in Apples notes app, you can perfectly and very precisely use the pencil to move the coursor, to select text and to start actions by tapping a button.
All this should be possible in Excel (and Word) too!!!
(Please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, ...)

17 votes
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    Walter shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →


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      • Vegard Bakke commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        For those how cannot find Word/Excel/Powerpoint in the Settings menu:
        There is a bug in the Settings app whiched bugged me until I found this link

        Basically close Settings, by "double click" the home button, to view all the open applications. Then close the app, by swiping it upwards.

        When you reopen Settings, the apps might be present. (At least that happend to me. : )

      • Leon Stearns commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        To permanently stop the pencil from drawing, go to your iPad settings. Scroll down through apps to Excel and/or Word and select the app. There is an on/off switch for "Apple Pencil Always Draws Ink" Problem immediately solved.

      • Tim McManus commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        It was noted that this was release in the June 2017 update, and there is also a note below to look in Settings->Excel, but I cannot find anything in Setting for Excel. How does one turn off the default drawing feature?

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        In the iOS 10 settings app, Excel has an 'Apple pencil always draws ink' switch. Turning to off appears to disable ink in Excel.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Edit: Gordon W's "fix" below seems to be working without me having to "draw->select objects" every time.

        Thank you Gordon W!

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This is conjecture, but I imagine there is a stalemate between Microsoft and Apple. For this issue to be fixed, one of them has to subordinate to the other. I don't think that's going to happen. They are already in standoff mode now.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Dear Microsoft,
        I am still in my 30 day trial period. If you don't fix this issue, I will cancel my subscription. Gordon W's comment does not fix the issue merely allows the pencil to be used to select 1 box until you try to adjust the data in it. This issue is the same with all Microsoft applications for iPad (word, PowerPoint, etc).

      • Gordon W commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        To disable the auto draw feature and use the pencil as a more accurate finger, touch the "draw" tab at the top of the screen. The touch the "select objects" button to disable the auto draw

      • Steve commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Is anyone with authority on this going to give an answer for a fix to this issue? I basically bought a $100 boat anchor. I bought this to use as a precise pointer for excel spreadsheets on my Ipad pro and it just keeps trying to draw in the excel cells unless I use my finger to start the cell modification.
        I wouldn't think this would be that big of a deal to put a non-draw option to this program.
        I see that people have been complaining about this feature for roughly 2 years with no answers.

      • Glen Duval commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Also just found this forum trying to fix this very annoying Feature????? In Exel Microsoft please fix now!!! In all IPAD based Office products

      • Clemens Kathman commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I could not agree more for Excel or Word! Absolutely a bonehead developer idea. Did they even attempt to get user feedback in a focus group? NO ONE would have wanted this!!

        Things like this show Microsoft's arrogance. They know that Office is the primary package on most desktops so they just don't give a **** about their quality or usability. This auto-draw mode should have been discarded in spec, long before programming.

      • John commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Why hasn't this been fixed yet? Post on this feed go back almost a year. It's so obvious AND Microsoft even posted it would be possible in March.

      • Liam commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Same problem.
        I don't have an issue with having to select 'cursor' at the start of a doc, but it automatically switches black to 'draw' after EVERY new action. A completely annoying feature and incessant waste of time having to re-select 'cursor' at every action....

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        AGREE! This is a glaring deficit in the Excel app for IOS. Simply inexcusable that this isn't at least a select-able option. Microsoft are you listening to your users?

      • Robert Becerra commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Totally agree! Just found this forum after googling "how to turn off automatic draw functionality Apple Pencil excel for ipad". Ridiculous. My goal of using the Apple Pencil as a precision selection tool is thwarted by this idiotic and presumptuous feature.

      • Me commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Agreed.... terrible idea to make it only annotate documents. I like the vandalize comment by Matt because that is how it feels. If you could actually select and turn off the draw with touch it would be much much better. I guess Microsoft could not make that feature work but there must be a way.

      • Matt commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Apple pencil is a precision selection device to replace the mouse. Now it has become a tool to simply vandalize my documents.

        Please fix this.

      • Christel commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Good suggestion! With my pencil, I'd like to position the cursor, mark text and do thing like that - and I do not (only) want to draw with it!!!

        Microsoft still seems to see the Apple pencil only as a drawing tool, which is nonsens - and in the meantime even Apple has changes its mind...

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