Remember the days of the Palm, when you could pull out a stylus and enter text by using a strange handwriting that would let you “type” with your handwriting. The Selvy PenScript iOS Keyboard feels succeeds the Palm Graffitti input method with a modern handwriting recogniztion that doesn’t force you to learn a new way to write. You just your own handwriting while entering text on your iPad or even an iPhone.

iOS Replacement Keyboards

If you’re not familiar with, them a replacement keyboard installs like an app from the Apple App Store. Download the app from the store and then you have to configure the iPad or iPhone to allow the use of the keyboard.

Add New Keyboard in iOS

Go into the Settings app after installing Selvy PenScript keyboard. Tap on General on the list in the left. Then tap on Keyboard from center. Tap on Keyboards on the next screen at the top. Tap on Add New Keyboard. You’ll see the Selvy PenScript keyboard listed among others. Tap on it to add the keyboard. Then tap on the keyboard name again and choose Allow Full Access.

To use the keyboard in an app, tap in a text entry box. For example, open the Notes app and create a new note or open an old one. Tap as if you were planning to enter text. The regular iOS keyboard will pop up, unless you have an external keyboard attached. If you don’t, the keyboard pops up with a small globe icon in the lower left corner of the keyboard. Press and hold that key and the list of installed keyboards will pop up. Choose the Selvy PenScript keyboard.

Selvy PenScript Handwriting Recognition.

Selvy PenScript Keyboard Demo for iOS

When you enter text the Selvy PenScript will pop up and you can now write. This works okay with your finger on an iPhone or an older iPad. However, people who use the Apple Pencil first or second generation will love this app. Writing with the Pencil in apps is wonderful.

The keyboard entry box looks simple. It has the following buttons across the bottom:

  • Settings
  • Keyboard chooser
  • Space bar – long press to change the language of the handwriting recognition
  • Backspace
  • Enter
  • Hide keyboard

Above the writing recognition box you’ll see a row of words. This shows you options for your recognized handwriting.

The row of words usually has the correct word. However, you don’t need to tap the word to enter it. Just pause your handwriting for a moment and it enters the text in the text entry area of the app your writing in. Customize the length of the delay in the app settings.

Selvy PenScript App Settings

The Settings icon brings up the app. Tap on the button on the lower left of the keyboard. You’ll then see the App Settings. The available entries include:

  • Languages – choose your keyboard language.
  • Customizations – the real settings are here. See below for more info.
  • About – version numbers, etc.
  • Feedback – send the developers your feedback and bug reports.
  • Installation Guide – teaches how to make the keyboard work in iOS.
  • Try It – test out the keyboard.
Selvy app settings

The top portion lets you choose your Pen Color. We then get an option to customize the thickness of the line. The next two sections show options for putting a space after a word and putting a period at the end of sentences. Finally, there’s an option to change how long the keyboard will take to recognize the text and enter it wherever you’re entering text.


The Selvy PenScript keyboard does a great job of recognizing your handwriting. If you own an Apple Pencil, then it’s a great experience. However, for short text input the regular keyboard works better. I have used it a little for entering text with my finger, but that’s not as satisfying.

Go grab the Selvy PenScript. It’s free and works great. However, you’ll want to remember that any text that you enter using the keyboard will go through their Korean servers. Some might find this worrisome. I don’t.

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