Drawing with PencilKit in Swift

Drawing with PencilKit in Swift

Drawing with PencilKit in Swift

Apple presents PencilKit in iOS 13, Before iOS 13, integrating Apple Pencil was more complicated. It provides a set of tools & APIs to easily add draw, sketch & annotation capabilities within an app. It is the low latency framework used by Apple across their applications.

With this, we can create a canvas where users can draw with various brush styles, adjust colors and opacity, and add annotations like text and shapes. The framework provides tools for detecting gestures like taps, double-taps, and finger interactions, allowing for a rich and intuitive drawing experience.

Also Read: Scade Enable Android App Development With Swift

Classes in PencilKit

PKCanvasView: It allows users to draw on the canvas using touch or stylus input. It handles touch events and provides a smooth and responsive drawing experience. It also represent tool picker to the users and it supports gestures like long-pressing, tapping, double-tapping, which developers can customize and respond to as needed.

PKInkingTool: It offers various pen tip styles, including round, square, and image-based pen tips. Developers can choose the desired tip style to provide different visual effects and simulate different writing or drawing tools.PKToolPicker: The PKToolPicker presents a set of drawing tools that users can choose from. It typically includes options like pens, pencils, markers, highlighters, rulers, color picker and erasers. Users can select the desired tool to change the behavior of their input and customize the appearance of the strokes.

PKDrawing : It represents a collection of strokes and other drawing data

Steps to integrate PencilKit

  1. Create a new project on the Xcode and give it a name as per your preference.
  2. Create a view in the viewcontroller and assign it, class PKCanvasView.
  3. Create a button for clear, redo, undo and imageView in the viewController of the project. For clear button we can add action and outlet, for storyboard we can add image button. 
  4. Create a function for the canvas view setup in the view controller.
    override func viewDidLoad() {
          canvasView.delegate = self
    override func viewDidAppear(_ animated: Bool) {
    func setUpCanvasView() {
          if let window = view.window, let toolPicker = PKToolPicker.shared(for: window) {
           toolPicker.setVisible(true, forFirstResponder: canvasView)
  5. Now add the delegate function for the canvas view in your view Controller
     extension ViewController: PKCanvasViewDelegate {
     func canvasViewDrawingDidChange(_ canvasView: PKCanvasView) {
     func canvasViewDidEndUsingTool(_ canvasView: PKCanvasView) {
         print("End using the PK tools")
    func canvasViewDidFinishRendering(_ canvasView: PKCanvasView) {
         print("Completed the UI Event")
  6. To view your image, add a view controller then image will be created after drawing in the canvas view.
    class SecondViewController: UIViewController {
     @IBOutlet weak var trashBtn: UIButton!
     @IBOutlet weak var imgView: UIImageView!
     var image = UIImage()
     override func viewDidLoad() {
         imgView.image = image
        @IBAction func trashBtnTapped(_ sender: UIButton)
         self.dismiss(animated: true, completion: nil)
  7. Now set the navigation on the Image button in the View Controller of your project.
    @IBAction func imageBtnTapped(_ sender: UIBarButtonItem) {
         let image = canvasView.asImage()
         if let secodVC = self.storyboard?.instantiateViewController(identifier: "SecondViewController") as? SecondViewController{
             secodVC.image = image
         self.navigationController?.present(secodVC, animated: true, completion: nil)

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