iPad Pro with Notes Lines and Grids heroSource: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore

The Notes app on the best iPhone or iPad is a pretty great tool. You can create basic text or rich format notes, checklists, add photos, mark them up, or even create sketches handwrite a note. There used to be a ruler feature, but Apple has since replaced that with a set of lines and grids that make it easier to draw straight lines, create vector sketches, handwrite a note, and so much more. But how do you go about it? We're here to help you out on how to access lines and grids in the Notes app on your iPhone and iPad.

How to access lines and grids from a new note in the Notes app on iPhone and iPad

When you start a new note, something with no writing on it, you can access Lines and Grids directly when you tap the Share icon.

  1. Launch the Notes app on iPhone or iPad.
  2. Start a new note
  3. Tap the ... in the upper right corner of the screen.

    Access lines and grids from a new note in the Notes app on iPhone and iPad by showing: Launch Notes, tap New Note, tap the ... button in the top right cornerSource: iMore

  4. Tap Lines and Grids.
  5. Select a style of line or grid.

    Access lines and grids from a new note in the Notes app on iPhone and iPad by showing tap Lines & Grids, tap the line or grid style you wantSource: iMore

How to access lines and grids from Action Extensions in the Notes app on iPhone and iPad

Action Extensions are extra tools that let you perform tasks within an app. If you've already started a note — if you've already written or sketched something — you'll be directed to Action Extensions to access lines and grids.

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  1. Launch the Notes app on iPhone or iPad.
  2. Select a note.
  3. Tap the ... in the upper right corner of the screen.

    Access lines and grids from Action Extensions in the Notes app on iPhone and iPad by showing: Launch Notes, tap existing note, tap ... in the top rightSource: iMore

  4. Tap Lines and Grids.
  5. Select a style of line or grid.

    Access lines and grids from Action Extensions in the Notes app on iPhone and iPad by showing: Tap Lines and Grids, tap the style you wantSource: iMore

You'll see that when you tap the Share icon, it brings up the standard share drawer, showing other sharing options and tools (like locking a note or creating a PDF).

How to set a line or grid as the default note style in the Notes app on iPhone and iPad

If you're likely to use the same grid or line every time you use the Notes app, you don't have to select it for each note. You can set one as the default, and every new note will default with that selection.

  1. Launch the Settings app on iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap Notes.

    Set a line or grid as the default note style in Notes on iPhone and iPad by showing steps: Launch Settings, tap on NotesSource: iMore

  3. Tap Lines & Grids.
  4. Select a style of line or grid.

    Set a line or grid as default note style in Notes on iPhone and iPad by showing steps: Tap Lines & Grids, select your preferred line or grid style for all new notesSource: iMore

From now on, all of your new notes will launch with that style.

How to remove a line or grid from a note in the Notes app on iPhone and iPad

If you want to save or share a note without having a grid or line in the background, you can remove it at any time, even if you've got it set as a default note style.

  1. While in the note, tap the ... in the upper right corner of the screen.
  2. Tap Lines and Grids.
  3. Select the blank style.

    Remove a line or grid from a note sketch in Notes on iPhone and iPad by showing: In the note, tap the ... button in the top right corner, then tap Lines & Grids, choose Blank styleSource: iMore

This will remove the line or grid from the background but leave everything you wrote or sketched in place.

Make it straight with lines and grids

Do you have any questions about accessing Lines and Grids in the Notes app on iPhone or iPad? Put them in the comments, and we'll help you out.

Updated April 2021: Updated for iOS 14.