Getting Started with Astropad Standard

Astropad Standard lets your iPad mirror your Mac’s screen, allowing you to draw with pressure sensitivity from your iPad. With Astropad Standard, when you draw using a finger or Apple Pencil on your iPad, those strokes and gestures interact with your Mac.

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

Starting Astropad Standard

Astropad Standard 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 a white 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 Shortcuts Sidebar

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

Shortcut 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, or by selecting the option at the bottom of the Shortcuts sidebar.

Move & Zoom mode when using the Ring button

If you have an additional monitor attached to your Mac,
or Luna Display; use Screen switching in Move & Zoom

Use Screen switching to toggle between your Mac screen, additional monitors, or Luna Display.
Using Luna Display together with Astropad, allows the iPad to work as both a drawing tablet and an extended screen.

Sidebar Menu

There are many useful features to access in the Sidebar. Along with editing shortcuts, you can check connection quality, as well as adjust settings.

Shortcuts sidebar

Shortcuts sidebar lets you utilize shortcut commands by tapping them from your iPad screen. At anytime, you can edit or rearrange your saved shortcuts. From the Shortcuts sidebar, there is also quick access to other functions, including:

Finger / Apple Pencil – Switches between drawing with your Finger or Apple Pencil.

Shortcut buttons – By default set to Photoshop commands, the shortcuts can be customized to different commands.

⚙ – Tap to access Astropad Settings. Edit Shortcuts, adjust display brightness, as well as other helpful settings here.

⌘ – Tap to reveal or hide on screen command keys. These keys can be moved to any corner of your iPad screen.

Draw | Move & Zoom mode – Switch between drawing on screen, or make quick access to Move & Zoom for screen view adjustments.


When you tap the ⚙ symbol in the Shortcuts Sidebar, it opens more of Astropad Standard’s iPad Setting. Functions accessible in this menu include:

Edit Shortcuts – Change and rearrange the shortcuts in the sidebar

Pencil & Stroke – Here you can adjust the Magenta preview line length, turn it off, as well as remove your Apple Pencil.

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

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

Learn & Support – Read help materials and more information on Astropad Standard!

Edit Shortcut Commands

By default, Astropad’s Standard’s shortcut commands are set to accommodate Photoshop. If you work with other programs, the commands will need to be changed for the program in-use.

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

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

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

Reset to defaults – Return the original default commands.

Touch Pan & Zoom

You can utilize two finger touch panning and zoom.

Using two-fingers gestures you can pan and zoom your canvas, like you would using a Mac trackpad. Unlike Move & Zoom, this allows touch pan and zooming directly in your creative program’s canvas.

Two-fingers pinching gesture to zoom:

Two finger pinching gesture to zoom

And two fingers together dragging along the screen to pan:

Two fingers together dragging along the screen to pan

 Program compatibility & Support

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

As well as our other support materials here: