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I use a note taking app (BlankBook) to draw diagrams on my iPad while talking to people on Zoom. It works very well, but sometimes I want to point to something on the screen.

What I would like is for something visible - like a circle - to appear whenever I touch the screen with my finger. Is there an app or some kind of setting that will do this? I think I've seen something like this in screen-captured videos before, so I think it's possible.

I have seen a few pages like this one that say you can do this by enabling "AssitiveTouch" and creating a custom gesture, but that really doesn't work very well. (When it's turned on the app can't receive any gestures other than a single tap, so you have to turn it off in order to draw on the screen, then turn it on to point at what you just drew, turn it off to scroll, turn it on again, etc.) So I'm looking for a different solution, other than AssistiveTouch.

In case it makes a difference, I should mention that I'm using Zoom on my Macbook rather than the iPad, and sharing the iPad screen via the USB cable.

(Note: there is a similar question from 2018, but that question is specifically about recording a user's interactions with the device for development purposes. The link in the only answer is broken, but is it's this app it's really quite specific to web development - it wouldn't work for my issue.)

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As far as I know, doing this in the way you say, seems to be impossible (thats not to say it might not be changed).


I think I've seen something like this in screen-captured videos before, so I think it's possible.

This was almost certainly on an Android device, where there is a system setting to enable visual presses. If only it was also an iOS feature.


What would I do in your situation?

Take advantage of the fact that the iPad is plugged into the Mac, and use the mouse to point out bits you want to emphasise (I'm not entirely sure how Zoom works on Mac/how plugging in the iPad works, but if the cursor doesn't show up, you could try screen sharing your entire desktop not just the ipad screen app)

If that doesn't work for you could try;

  • Attaching a bluetooth mouse to your iPad and using that to point at anything (works better than the mac if you want to be able to use the mac for other things)
  • Circling whatever you want to draw attention to, then undo after
  • Using the assistive touch icon on the screen as a makeshift 'cursor' by dragging it around the screen to where you need it, then letting it go back to the edge when you don't (although its quite big, and will continue to take up space on the screen even when not in use)
  • Changing applications to something that has a laser pointer tool
    • Making a blank keynote presentation > opening thee 'more' menu (3 dots in a circle) > rehearse slideshow > annotate (the icon that looks like a pen drawing), will allow you to do basic drawing and pointing, although you might be able to find something else
    • If you do end up changing apps, check the settings of each app you test, as the devs may have added a touch input setting, (I have seen it in very random apps, although none of them would fit with drawing diagrams)

Hopefully you can get something helpful from this.

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  • Thank you for the answer! You're probably right that I'm thinking of videos of android devices. (Either that or it was added when editing the video.) I'm mostly using the "circling whatever you want to draw attention to, then undo after" strategy, it just feels a bit inelegant sometimes. – Nathaniel Feb 14 at 10:48

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