Switching tools with Paper

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How to switch tools in the app Paper for iPad and iPhone.

New to Paper by FiftyThree and can’t seem to figure out how to switch tools? I have the short answer for you right here.

They may be subtle, but the white dots beneath the row of tools are a big clue to help solve this mystery. Similar to the dots you find at the bottom of your iOS device’s home screen, they indicate there are off-screen goodies to be had.

indicator dots beneath Paper tools

Tool switching (iPad)

Swipe across the row of Think Kit tools to reveal another set of five (Fountain Pen, Pencil, Marker, Fine Tip Ink Pen, and Watercolor Brush) to the right.

Tool switching (iPhone)

And for you iPhone Paper users there are three sets of tools you can swipe through.

Animation showing how to switch tools in Paper for the iPhone.

I know what you’re thinking, “wow how could anyone miss this?” Well from the amount of emails I receive a month asking how to change tools… quite a lot.

About the author

Hi I’m Michael Rose. Just another boring, bearded, tattooed, time traveling designer from Buffalo New York. I maintain several open source projects and occassionally blog.

Glitched photo of Michael Rose with a long beard.



  1. Michael Rose wrote on

    You can’t add text directly on top of images you import. You can only add text as note below them.

  2. Carroll Durodola wrote on

    Can I save my work as 300dpi so it is printable in Paper53? My iPad is old, I can’t get Photoshop, Procreate keeps popping off my screen. I’m trying to find an app that will let me save as 300 dpi. HELP!

  3. Michael Rose wrote on

    When you export Paper ideas to your camera roll they’re saved at the same resolution as your iPad’s screen — which varies on what model you have (Pro 12″, Air, Mini, etc.)

    They also come out at 72 dpi I believe, so you’d need an app that can resample it to 300. On my Air 2 images are 2048 x 1536 which @ 300 dpi comes out to be 6.827 x 5.12 inches… more than enough to print a 4 x 6.

    You can certainly go larger, but there will likely be some image quality loss. I had one of my drawings blown up and printed at 40″ wide and it looks fine. It really depends on the image though.

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