How to Use iPad as Drawing Tablet: A Step-by-Step Guide for Artists

Turning your iPad into a drawing tablet is simpler than you think. By connecting your iPad to your computer and using specific software, you can draw directly on your iPad, and have it show up on your computer screen. This setup is perfect for artists who want a portable and versatile drawing tool. You’ll need an iPad, a compatible stylus, and the right software. Now, let’s dive into the step-by-step process to get you started.

Step-by-Step Tutorial on How To Use an iPad as a Drawing Tablet

In the following steps, we’ll guide you through the entire process of using your iPad as a drawing tablet. By the end, you’ll be able to draw on your iPad while your artwork appears on your computer screen.

Step 1: Ensure Your iPad and Computer Are Compatible

Check if your iPad and computer are compatible with the required software.

Make sure your iPad is running the latest iOS version and that your computer meets the software requirements. Compatibility is crucial for a smooth setup.

Step 2: Download and Install Astropad or Duet Display

Choose and install Astropad or Duet Display on both your iPad and computer.

Astropad and Duet Display are popular apps for turning an iPad into a drawing tablet. Download either app from the App Store and install the corresponding software on your computer.

Step 3: Connect Your iPad and Computer

Use a USB cable or a wireless connection to link your iPad and computer.

A stable connection between your devices is essential. For a more reliable link, use a USB cable. If you prefer wireless, ensure both devices are on the same Wi-Fi network.

Step 4: Launch the Software on Both Devices

Open the Astropad or Duet Display app on your iPad and computer.

Launching the software on both devices will establish the connection. Follow the on-screen instructions to pair your iPad with your computer.

Step 5: Set Up Your Drawing Preferences

Adjust the settings to match your drawing preferences.

Most apps allow you to customize your drawing experience. Spend some time setting up the pressure sensitivity, brush sizes, and other preferences to suit your style.

Step 6: Begin Drawing

Start drawing on your iPad and watch your artwork appear on your computer screen.

With everything set up, you can now use your iPad as a drawing tablet. Open your preferred drawing software on your computer and start creating!

After completing these steps, your iPad will function as a drawing tablet, giving you the flexibility to create digital artwork with precision and ease. Your computer will display your drawing in real-time, making it easy to edit and refine your work.

Tips for Using an iPad as a Drawing Tablet

  • Ensure both devices are fully charged or connected to power sources to avoid interruptions.
  • Invest in a high-quality stylus like the Apple Pencil for better precision and pressure sensitivity.
  • Regularly update your software to benefit from the latest features and improvements.
  • Use a stand or case to position your iPad at a comfortable angle for drawing.
  • Experiment with different drawing apps to find the one that best suits your style and needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use any iPad model as a drawing tablet?

Most recent iPad models can be used, but it’s best to check the compatibility with the software you plan to use.

Do I need a special stylus to draw on my iPad?

While you can use any stylus, the Apple Pencil is highly recommended for its precision and features.

Is a USB connection better than a wireless connection?

A USB connection is more stable and provides faster data transfer, reducing lag.

Can I use free software to connect my iPad and computer?

There are free options available, but paid apps like Astropad and Duet Display offer more features and better performance.

Do I need to install drawing software on both devices?

You need the connection software on both devices and your preferred drawing software on your computer.


  1. Step 1: Ensure compatibility.
  2. Step 2: Install Astropad or Duet Display.
  3. Step 3: Connect your devices.
  4. Step 4: Launch the software.
  5. Step 5: Set up preferences.
  6. Step 6: Begin drawing.


Using an iPad as a drawing tablet is a game-changer for digital artists. It combines the portability of the iPad with the power of desktop drawing software, making it an invaluable tool for creating detailed and professional artwork. By following these steps, you can easily set up your iPad to serve as a drawing tablet, opening up new possibilities for your creative process.

If you’re serious about digital art, investing in tools like the Apple Pencil and high-quality drawing software will enhance your experience even further. So why wait? Transform your iPad into a versatile drawing tablet today and take your art to the next level. Happy drawing!

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