How to Style and Format Text in the iPhone Notes App


The iPhone’s Notes app benefits from Apple’s long history with desktop publishing, offering powerful yet easy-to-use formatting and styles.

There is a lot of iPhone apps that allow the user to style and format text to print, save or share, but Apple’s Notes app is free, easy to use and comes pre-installed on every new iPhone. A simple note does not convey information as well or as quickly as a well-presented note with headings, bolding, and italics where appropriate. This is especially true if it’s a bit long or covers complicated details, so it’s very helpful to provide an integrated solution that works well on an iPhone.

Apple has a long history with layout and text styling, having been among the first companies to offer a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) solution for a mass-produced computer. The original Macintosh combined with an application called MacWrite made life easier for anyone who worked with documents. With Apple’s LaserWriter printer, the company quickly became a leader in desktop publishing. Currently, Apple’s software is no longer the first choice for most publishers, however, Pages is included for free on the iPhone, iPad and Mac, providing an attractive option for people who need to format a large document or even an entire book. For the short to medium term, the Notes app may be all you need and it draws on Apple’s long history of working with text to provide a simple and versatile solution.


Related: How to Quickly Organize iPhone Notes Using Tags and Smart Folders

Apple’s Notes app offers one of the easiest ways to format and style text with an iPhone. It comes with every iPhone, and the user interface is designed specifically for a smartphone’s relatively small touchscreen. Starting with a new note in the Notes app, the user can tap the plus symbol which is located at the top right of the iPhone’s on-screen keyboard to open the formatting bar. The row of icons includes a table on the far left, followed by the text style button that looks like the letters “Aa”, then a list of checkboxes, a camera and a pen. Tapping ‘Aa’ opens a panel to select from a variety of format and style choices, then selecting one of these allows the current word or paragraph to take on the style suggested by the button. The Notes app is very intuitive and easy to understand once you know the location of the command.

Add Tables to iPhone Notes

Apple iPhone Notes app format bar style panel

In addition to the standard bold and italic text options, the Notes app for iPhone includes underline and strikethrough styles and each of these can be applied to selected words by choosing one from the text style panel . User can also use paragraph formatting for title, heading, body, etc. Three types of bullets are possible, as well as indentation. With these formatting controls, the entire paragraph will change to the chosen format.

Tables are easy to add to an iPhone note by tapping the table icon in the formatting bar, which creates a two-by-two table. With the text cursor inside a table cell, row and column controls appear above and to the left of the table with options to add or remove a row or column. Although the Notes app isn’t the ideal app to use for layouts that will be printed, it’s quite nice for quick formatting on a iPhone to save it as a PDF or as a note that can be shared jointly with another Apple device owner.

Next: How to Add Text to Notes Directly from iPhone Camera

Source: Apple

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