Getting Started with Astropad Studio

Astropad Studio lets your iPad act as a companion to your Mac; and works beyond a graphics tablet.
It mirrors your Mac’s screen, allowing you to draw and use touch input from your iPad. With Astropad Studio, when you draw using a finger or Apple Pencil stylus on your iPad, those strokes and gestures interact with your Mac. Working with Apple Pencil, gives you pressure sensitivity and palm rejection when drawing, and allow for even more touch gesture shortcuts and versatility.

This quick guide will help you get familiarize with some of Astropad Studio’s features.

Starting Astropad Studio

Astropad Studio doesn’t draw directly itself, it acts as an input to any of your favorite Mac creative tools like Photoshop, Clip Studio Paint, Illustrator and more. After successfully connecting the Mac and iPad apps, you’ll notice the iPad’s screen is now mirroring the Mac’s screen.

Turn on your choice of program on your Mac, and adjust the screen view selection to accommodate your desired canvas size. Once resized and adjusted, the selection goes away; but you can always re-adjust it by using “Move & Zoom”.

Mac screen to iPad screen example

Ring button

On screen, you will see an Astro-red Ring button. This is a button you can tap or press down on.
It can also be moved anywhere on-screen. Just hold it down, and drag it to the desired location.

On-screen Ring button

Tap, and it opens the Workspace Sidebar

Astropad Studio’s Workspace Sidebar can be revealed or hidden with a tap of the the Ring button.

Workspace Sidebar appears after tapping Ring button

Press down, and it allows quick access to “Move & Zoom” mode.

Move & Zoom mode allows you to pan and zoom to adjust the size of your iPad screen view with two-finger gestures. It’s accessible, either by pressing the on screen ring button (as seen in the example image below), or by selecting it through the Workspace sidebar.

Move & Zoom mode when using the Ring button

Workspace Sidebar

There are many useful features to access in the Workspace Sidebar; it acts as your control center for Astropad Studio. The Main Menu and Shortcuts sidebar offer both versatility and customization, to help diversify your creative workflow.

Main Menu

From here you can see both the program in use, as well as the user logged in. Functions accessible in this menu include:

Main Menu Sidebar


Workspace – Switches to Shortcuts Sidebar; which has customizable shortcuts and quick access to other Mac apps in your dock.

Pencil & Stroke – Customize the preview line, adjust Pressure, as well as Stroke Stabilization.

Magic Gestures – Edit the functions of each Magic Gesture to suit your workspace.

General Settings – Adjust different display settings, including; brightness, resolution, and color.

Move & Zoom – Another way to reach Move & Zoom mode.

Connection – Shows status of the connection quality between Mac and iPad

Learn & Support – Check out our support materials and read more about Astropad Studio!

Magic Gestures

To learn more, check out our guide for Magic Gestures here:


The Shortcuts sidebar lets you utilize shortcut commands by tapping them from your iPad screen. In Astropad Studio, the workspace shortcuts changes to the app in use. It’s designed to adjust to your every changing workspace. At anytime you can add, edit, or rearrange your saved shortcuts.

Workspace sidebar with Photoshop shortcuts

Switch between Mac apps

It helps to keep your most used programs in your Mac’s Dock

The icon at the top of the sidebar shows your program in use on your Mac. When you tap it, you can view all your active Mac programs, as well as those sitting in the Dock. From here, you can also launch and switch over to another program on your Mac.

Customizing Shortcut Commands

Toward the bottom of the workspace sidebar, you can bring up the on screen keyboard and quick keys, as well as go into Move & Zoom mode. And right above these options, is where you can edit shortcuts in the sidebar.

Edit Shortcuts menu


Tap an existing command – Enables renaming and editing the shortcut.

Tap the red circle – Prompts with the option to delete the selected command.

Add a Separator Places a space in the sidebar, helping you organize and group your shortcuts.

Add Shortcut – Lets you name and add a brand new shortcut.

Tap Shortcuts –  This is where you can edit the shortcut linked to finger tap magic gestures.

 Program compatibility & Support

Astropad works with many Mac-compatible apps. For more information on supported programs, check out our ongoing list – here

For more in-depth information check out our online Manual here:

As well as our other support materials here: