Getting Started

Create Your First Notebook

When you first open GoodNotes, you will be presented with an empty library. The library lets you manage your notebooks visually. To create your first notebook,

  1. Tap the + button on the toolbar.
  2. Tap Create Notebook.


After you have opened the notebook, a toolbar will be shown above the page. The function of each button is illustrated below:

  • Return to library
  • Contents
  • Add
  • Shape recognition
  • Zoom window
  • Pen
  • Highlighter
  • Eraser
  • Lasso
  • Read-only mode
  • Undo
  • Redo
  • More

Add Handwriting

The default tool selected is the pen tool, which will probably be the tool you will use the most.

  1. Use one of your fingers to write something on the page.
Color and Thickness Settings
  1. Tap the pen button on the toolbar.
  2. Tap the color or thickness you would like to use in the popup window.

Shape Recognition

With shape recognition, you can easily insert lines, polygons, circles and ellipses.

  1. Select the pen tool or the highlighter tool.
  2. Tap the shape recognition button to turn on shape recognition mode.
  3. Your handwriting will be turned into proper shapes.
  4. Tap the shape recognition button again to turn it off.

Text Boxes and Images

  1. Long press anywhere on a page to open the long press menu.
  2. Tap Image or Text.
  3. Tap outside the image or the text box to finish.

To edit existing text boxes or images, tap and hold on it and then tap Edit.

Rotate Images

You can rotate images using a two fingers rotate gesture.

Lasso Tool

Move Things Around
  1. Tap the lasso button on the toolbar.
  2. Circle the objects you want to move.
  3. Drag the selection to the place you want.
  4. Tap outside the selection to finish.
Copy and Paste

To copy selected objects, tap on the selection and then tap Copy. Then tap and hold where you want to paste them, and then tap Paste.

Scrolling and Turning Pages

Use two fingers to scroll; swipe left or right to turn to next or previous page. In read-only mode, use only one finger.

Zoom Window

GoodNotes provides the zoom window to assist you to write in small size with your fingers or with capacitive styluses. Inside the zoom window contains a zoomed view corresponding to a rectangular area on a page.

Opening the Zoom Window
  1. Tap and hold anywhere on a page and then tap Zoom, or
  2. Tap the zoom window button on the toolbar.
Moving the Zoom Window

Tapping on anywhere on a page will move the zoom window to that position. You can also drag and drop the zoom window cursor.

Writing Continuously
  1. Begin writing near the left.
  2. Continue to write towards the right; a blue rectangle will appear on the left.
  3. You should be able to see the last portion of what you have just written inside the blue rectangle. Continue your writing inside the blue rectangle.
  4. The zoom window move forward automatically when you lift your finger.